How to write a case study A pattern language network tutorial Yishay Mor, Oct. 2008
the big idea
First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.
(Cecil Day-Lewis, 1947)
I can't grasp much of anything without putting my thoughts in writing, so I had to get my hands working and write these words. Otherwise, I would never know what writing means to me.
(Haruki Murakami, 2008)
Design knowledge in narrative
The challenge of the Design divide : the gap in design knowledge between experts and novices.
(Mor & Winters, 2008)
Narrative is a predominant vernacular form of representing and communicating meaning. We use narrative as a means of organizing experiences and making sense of them.
(Bruner, 1986; 1990; 1991; 1996)
Narrative (i.e. stories)
Something happened to someone under some circumstances *
* and there's a reason for me to tell you about it. William Hogarth, a rake's progress
Narratives – where do they come from, Where do they go?
The “good” case: There and back again Context Challenge Success Reflection
The good, the bad, and the ugly
You can learn from stories of success.
You can sometimes learn even more from failure.
Sometimes you don’t know what the hell happened until you tell the story.
I wasn’t there Don’t assume that I am familiar with your context. What you take for granted, for me is a new world. Take your time to set the scene: who, where, when. 3 May. Bistritz.--Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. In the war of Troy, the Greeks having sacked some of the neighbouring towns, and taken from thence two beautiful captives, Chryseis and Briseis, allotted the first to Agamemnon, and the last to Achilles. Chryses, the father of Chryseis, and priest of Apollo, comes to the Grecian camp to ransom her; with which the action of the poem opens, in the tenth year of the siege. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question. Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?' Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned: Introibo ad altare Dei .
Stick to the story
Actually, it is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it. [...] The most extraordinary things, marvelous things, are related with the greatest accuracy, but the psychological connection of the events is not forced on the reader. It is left up to him to interpret things the way he understands them, and thus the narrative achieves amplitude that information lacks.
Walter Benjamin (The storyteller, in Illuminations, p. 86)
Tell it like it was
You don’t know
Would have happened..
Could have happened..
Should have happened..
You DO know, and only YOU know What happened
… and then tell what you learnt
This is your story, and what you learned is part of it.
After you’re reported on the context, the events and the consequences – report on your learning experience.
In the midst of the word he was trying to say, In the midst of his laughter and glee, He had softly and suddenly vanished away – For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
But.. Good stories are not enough Coming next: Patterns
Thank you The pattern language network project: http://patternlanguagenetworg.org Participate: http://snipurl.com/planet-workshops Yishay Mor http://www.lkl.ac.uk/people/mor.html firstname.lastname@example.org This presentation http://www.slideshare.net/yish/case-study-how-to-presentation