The pioneering character and continuing success of Schaal's scenic compositions for stage sets and exhibitions is significantly due to this field allowing him to take full advantage of his multiple talents. He succeeds equally in the thinking and practical skills of an architect, a painter, a sculptor, a landscape designer, an urban visionary, cineast, and a man of literature, and this allows him to discover, through his space-embracing scenographic installations, unique three-dimensional equivalents for his paper-drawn 'thought spaces' and 'path spaces' or 'thought buildings' from the 1970s. His renowned compendium entitled Architektonische Situationen, published in 1980 and containing, the essence of his early spatial studies, in fact contains within it the seeds of all his later stage set and exhibition configurations. The symbiotic relationship between legendary director Ruth Berghaus and spatial visionary Schaal first began producing history-making stage sets in the early 1980s.
Working with Berghaus, Schaal created elementary spatial compositions possessed of great suggestive power for Les Troyens (1983), Wozzeck (1984), Orpheus (1986), Elektra (1986), Moses und Aron (1987), Tristan und Isolde (1988), Lulu (1988), Fierrabras (1988), Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (1991) and Nachtwache (1993), and also working with other directors to do the same for countless other operas and theatre pieces. In creating his installations and their powerful images, Schaal has never solely been concerned with creating suitable illustrations for scene-related plot action. Instead, he always adds something more, as it were, in the form of a boldly independent interpretation. The same is true of his concepts for temporary or permanent ex-hibitions. Before undertaking any of the individual projects on his long list of exhibition projects, Schaal has always researched archive material, historic background, and repercussions, but also the emotional and psychoanalytical implications of the exhibitions' theme and the exhibits concerned, with the meticulousness of a scientific specialist.
In works such as his installations for Berlin Berlin (1987) or Prometheus (1998), for the Filmmuseum Berlin (2000), and for the memorials of the former concentration camps Mittelbau-Dora (2006), Bergen-Belsen (2007) or Esterwegen (2011), he always presents his own view of the world, his own view of things. Frank R. Werner studied painting, architecture and architectural history in Mainz, Hanover and Stuttgart. From 1990 to 1994 he was professor of history and theory of architecture at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste Stuttgart, from 1994 until his retirement in 2011 he was director of the Institut fur Architekturgeschichte und Architekturtheorie at the Bergische Universitat in Wuppertal.