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Tell Me a Story – How the Use of Narrative Impacts Our Professional and Personal Lives - Joanna Grigg

Tell Me a Story – How the Use of Narrative Impacts Our Professional and Personal Lives - Joanna Grigg



This talk was part of the ICLCity2013 event at City University London on the 13th May 2013. For more details see: ...

This talk was part of the ICLCity2013 event at City University London on the 13th May 2013. For more details see: http://www.city.ac.uk/centre-for-creativity-in-professional-practice/services/icl-city-2013



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  • Jahn, Manfred. 2005. Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative. English Department, University of Cologne. N1.2. At http://www.uni-koeln.de/~ame02/pppn.htm accessed 1 October 2012 IS available in full online. I have saved some of this on PC )
  • I made this bit up
  • (Though time need not be linear in the design process (Porter & S))
  • Next slide is the first exercise – the olives
  • State that have chosen creative a digital industries to fit with the scope for this year’s conference at ICLCity
  • http://narrativedesign.org/2012/02/masters-of-narrative-design-10-christy-marx/Mag: The Narrative Design Explorer Accessed 6 Feb 13She is aware of dual role here, .. – need to say what they are…Ie the games designer labels themselves a ‘narrative designer
  • Bumblebee Labs, Hang (Xianhang Zhang) http://blog.bumblebeelabs.com/mozilla-presentation-on-space-narrative-designing-for-social-interaction/
  • Morrell Re-presenting Governance In Organizations: How Narrative Theory Can Enhance Agency Perspectives. http://www.kevinmorrell.org.uk/Narrative%20and%20Organization%20at%20Aston.pdf(is on a slide entitle ‘abstract’)[in the folder on the Narrative EPDE paper, Morrell]
  • Rhodes, C., & Brown, A. D. 2005. Narrative, organizations and research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 7(3): 167-188. At http://www.organizational-storytelling.org.uk/research-resources/narrative-in-social-and-organizational-Research/index.html Accessed 8 October 2012 (full text on PC)
  • (This slide takes it back from academic to cultural) From: Storytelling (2010), Quote from online promotion for: Workshop Promotion, October6 - 10, 2010, Learn the Proven Storytelling Secrets of Master Communicators,Marylhurst University, Portland, Oregon. Retrieved on April 15, 2010, fromhttp://www.nlporegon.com/storytelling.htmlI found this In Tully paper

Tell Me a Story – How the Use of Narrative Impacts Our Professional and Personal Lives - Joanna Grigg Tell Me a Story – How the Use of Narrative Impacts Our Professional and Personal Lives - Joanna Grigg Presentation Transcript

  • Tell Me aStoryThe use ofnarrativeJoanna GriggICL City 2013joannagrigg@hotmail.co.ukwww.joannagrigg.com
  • This presentation looks at• What is narrative?• How it is used in areas such as commerce, ordesign – areas that are not creative writing• Examples• How you might use it
  • Joanna Grigg:professionalstory• Freelance writer and lecturer• Previously in publishing, sales, communityentrepreneur, many other fields• Currently tutoring ICL and RCA double design masters• Writing has covered fiction and non-fiction – 13books, journalism• Writing therapist – storytelling our lives
  • Using narrativeAll around us stories are• just starting• mid way• endingWhen these stories involve *us* in someway, and we don‟t yet know the ending, weare in a hugely creative space – we canwrite the endings
  • What is narrative?A narrativedescribesa structure of events.It is the architectureof a storyYou can likennarrative to thedesign of a building
  • The difference between narrativeand storyA story is thesequence ofevents, i.e. theorder in which thenarrative occurs.This can belikened to a tourthrough thenarrative building
  • For practical purposeswe canconsider‘narrative’to besynonymouswith ‘story’
  • In storytelling, fiction, filmA story is a sequence of events involvingcharacters in a setting
  • Where in fiction‘character’ has aspecified meaning, inother domains thismay be substitutedwith symbol,environment,temperature, elementsof a project brief, andothers as required
  • For instanceif we‟re developing a story to investigate howtemperature impacts on emotion we mighthave a number of „characters‟:• Character a) = freezing point• Character b) = 20 degrees C• Character c) = -273 and-a-bit degrees C• Character d) = happiness• Character e) = sorrowOur story would describe the interactions ofthese elements
  • Intrinsic to these definitions isthe temporal nature ofnarrative – a sequence ofevents involving character(symbol, environment, ortemperature, etc) needs tohappen over timeIt is never a snapshot, time isnever stilled(though it need not be linear)
  • How often, when wedesign, or plan, do wethink in terms of asnapshot, rather thanongoing process? Byeither:• using a fixed mind-framewhile we design/plan, or• thinking of our output asa fixed item or system andour users as fixed in time
  • Exercise• Look at this image and writea story about it in 5 bulletpoints – what happens tothese olives?• Befantastical, silly, tragic, explosive• You won’t have to share thisstory with anyone• We’ll come back to this later
  • Are you creativeenough?
  • If I askedyou to write(draw, code)your lifestory on thispiece ofparchment,what wouldyou write?
  • If I askedyou to writeyour workstory onthis pieceofparchment,whatwould you
  • If I askedyou to writeyourbusiness‟sstory on thispiece ofparchment,what wouldyou write?
  • If I asked youto write thestory of thefuture of yourbusiness onthis piece ofparchment,what wouldyou write?
  • Looking at different possibilities fornarrativeHere are some thoughts from people who usenarrative in their work – from a number ofdifferent domains
  • The „Narrative Designer‟„I consider my role as a narrativedesigner to be two-fold:„a) as a game designer specialising inhow to integrate storytelling withgameplay; and„b) as a writer who carries out thatintegration.‟Christy Marx• http://narrativedesign.org/2012/02/masters-of-narrative-design-10-christy-marx/• Mag: The Narrative Design Explorer Accessed 6 Feb 13
  • Design for Social Interaction„.. When people interact in social spaces, theyare engaged in the communication of“narratives”. Social software needs to bedesigned with narratives in mind, rather thanfeatures…a design methodology thatallows the analysis of any piece of socialsoftware from a narrative perspective..‟Xianhang Zhang, Bumblebee LabsBumblebee Labs, Hang (Xianhang Zhang)http://blog.bumblebeelabs.com/mozilla-presentation-on-space-narrative-designing-for-social-interaction/
  • Governance„The corporate governance paradigm relies on agencytheories of control. This describes interactions betweenindividuals or firms, but does not shed light on ingrainedsocial phenomena such as culture and identity.„Acknowledging that these also govern behavioursuggests a re-presentation of corporategovernance, with a focus on understanding power ratherthan on control.‘Narrative theory offers an alternativemethodology, opening up new possibilities for researchthat enhance our ability to develop representations ofcorporate governance.‟Kevin Morrell, University of BirminghamRe-presenting Governance In Organizations: How Narrative Theory CanEnhance Agency Perspectives.http://www.kevinmorrell.org.uk/Narrative%20and%20Organization%20at%20Aston.pdf
  • Organisation research„Organisational story and storytelling research hasproduced a rich body of knowledge unavailablethrough other methods of analysis.‟ (Stutts and Barker)The adoption of a narrative approach „may increasethe relevance of organisational knowledge producedby academics‟. (Ng and de Cock)The use of narrative approaches might encourageorganisation theory „to reinvigorate itself‟. (Czarniawska, cf.Brown & Jones)(From Rhodes, C., & Brown, A. D. 2005. Narrative, organizations andresearch)International Journal of Management Reviews, 7(3): 167-188. Athttp://www.organizational-storytelling.org.uk/research-resources/narrative-in-social-and-organizational-Research/index.html Accessed 8 October 2012
  • Narrative in practice 1Working with Masters design students atBeihang University, Beijing
  • 1. Reverse engineer a householdelectrical product (deductive thinking)
  • 2. Take one component and build astory around it (imaginative, or‘design’ thinking)
  • 3. Play and imagine
  • 4. Bring thescope back toearth –modify forpracticalconstraints(materials,reasonableuse, cultural,safety, etc)
  • Case study on using narrative in productdesign (Beijing 2012)Narrative in DesignDevelopmentPeter R N CHILDS1, ZHOU Ying2and Joanna GRIGG31Imperial College London 2Beihang University,Beijing 3Royal College of Art, LondonInternational Conference onEngineering and Product DesignEducation5 & 6 September 2013Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Narrative in practice 2Branding within SMEs
  • 1. Warm ups – „story-ball‟
  • 2. Share story ideas throughbrainstorming
  • 3. Relaxation
  • 4. Drawing aswell as writingand verbalstorytelling
  • 5. Groups, then mix the outputs
  • 6. ResultA selection of ideas andstorylines, some zany, someinsane, but many with potentialas they stand or afterdevelopment
  • Playing with narrative• Take your bullet point story about olives• Think of various settings for your story:- your career- your family- your workplace- your enterprise• Write a number of these in a list
  • On the way home / over the coming week:• Replace the olives with characters –people, or things• Find a relaxed and quiet space, thinkabout how your story develops• Look at your story – what are the newideas and possibilities?• Try rewriting your story in one sentence –a requirement for the digital age – what isit, what happens?
  • Become a storyteller„A storyteller is one whocreates an atmosphere wherewisdom can reveal herself.‟Attributed to the Inuit peopleFrom: Storytelling (2010), Quote from online promotion for:Workshop Promotion, October6 - 10, 2010, Learn the Proven Storytelling Secrets of MasterCommunicators,Marylhurst University, Portland, Oregon. Retrieved on April15, 2010, fromhttp://www.nlporegon.com/storytelling.html
  • Joanna GriggICL City 2013joannagrigg@hotmail.co.ukwww.joannagrigg.com