Design Research

Stimulating Thinking at the Design Pitch: Storytelling Approach and Impact

DAVID PARKINSON / The Design Journal, 2017

ABSTRACT / / This paper presents findings from doctoral research to propose that next, we should look to understand storytelling at the design pitch in terms of the relationship between approaches taken and their impacts. A review of literature highlighted the following as desirable impacts for a design pitch: ‘Delivering Understanding’, ‘Demonstrating Value’, ‘Stimulating Critique’, and ‘Encouraging more Holistic Thinking’. These impacts were used to focus a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with employees from Unilever and Accenture. Storytelling approaches and their impacts of over 50 design pitches were discussed. Emergent themes were deciphered through the thematic analysis of the interview transcriptions. The impacts were found to have significant relationships with the following storytelling approaches: ‘Acknowledging Cultural Perspectives and Beliefs’, ‘Diversity/Difference’, ‘Detailing Concept Development’, and ‘Imagery, in particular Analogy’. A summary of these relationships is detailed in a framework, entitled ‘Design Pitch Storytelling: The Impact-Approach Framework’.

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Animation as a Creative Tool: Insights into the Complex

IAN HEWITT & DAVID PARKINSON / Re:Research, International Association of Design Research, 2017

ABSTRACT / / Case studies are discussed, from Northumbria University’s practice-led Centre for Design Research (CfDR) that demonstrate how visualising concepts and designs through digital animation can enable effective communication of ideas and interactions, which in turn enables creative leaps in thinking, understanding and decision-making. Animation is a tool that can unlock the comprehension into what is and what could be. This paper reflects on a number of collaborative projects between the CfDR and several scientific communities, demonstrating and focusing in particular on the process of visualisation, designing digital animations to communicate complex processes, ideas and interactions. An approach and understanding has been developed about how to effectively communicate potentially complex, scientific and technical concepts for the benefit of the client and the end user, in particular the lay audience whose knowledge of the subject may be limited or non-existing. Findings indicate that the process of constructing simple digital animated stories becomes a learning process for both designer and client. Critical discussions during collaborative meetings develop shared understandings: helping clients to think more creatively about communication (appreciating the benefits of manipulating a truth to position to waylay contextual confusion), and making implicit knowledge belonging to the client explicit to the designer. It is important to state that this negotiation is more effective when the designer is a layperson with respect to the complex implicit knowledge of the client. During these collaborative conditions the untangling of complex ideas have achieve the a-ha moments in the animations’ audiences.

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How Does Storytelling Unlock The Potentialities of Communities; The Designer-Client Relationship

DAVID PARKINSON / The Pearl Diver: Designer as Storyteller, DESIS

'The Pearl Diver: Designer as Storyteller' is an edited book that captures the last three years of research by the DESIS Storytelling Philosophy group. You can download a copy of the book via the following link:

 

https://archive.org/details/ThePearlDiver_DESIS

 

David Parkinson's contribution to this book can be found on pages 136-142. The piece is entitled: 'How does storytelling unlock the potentialities of communities; the designer-client relationship?'

Designing Trust: How We Develop Relationships In Social Contexts

LAURA WARWICK / Design for Next: European Design Academy 2017

ABSTRACT / / This paper draws on findings from a recent Doctoral inquiry to discuss the importance of eliciting trust in an initial engagement in a social context, how this can be obtained and what this means for Design practice. It suggests that the trust placed in the designer is more important than that placed in the approach, due to the necessity to demonstrate benevolence in order to elicit trust, which can only be perceived in the actions of the designer. It presents a model that demonstrates the links in the relationship between designer and community, and their ability to co-design value.

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Engaging Pitches: Storytelling Approaches and their Impacts

DAVID PARKINSON / Design for E-very-Thing, Cumulus 2016

ABSTRACT / / This paper discusses the findings of a doctoral research study that builds an understanding of the relationship between storytelling approaches and their impacts at the design pitch. Determined through a literature review, the following desirable impacts were used to focus conversation during a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with employees from Unilever and Accenture: ‘Delivering Understanding’, ‘Demonstrating Value’, ‘Stimulating Critique’, and ‘Encouraging more Holistic Thinking’. In discussion of over fifty design pitches, interview participants identified many storytelling approaches used by designers when pitching product and service concepts, and their perceived relationships to the aforementioned impacts. Emergent themes were deciphered through the thematic analysis of the interview transcriptions, where four impacts were found to have significant relationships with the following storytelling approaches: ‘Acknowledging Cultural Perspectives and Beliefs’, ‘Diversity/Difference’, ‘Detailing Concept Development’, and ‘Imagery, in particular Analogy’. A summary of the relationships is presented in a framework, entitled ‘Design Pitch Storytelling: The Impact-Approach Framework’. Of particular significance for engaging audiences are the illustrations of the following relationships: firstly, detailing concept development can bring both transparency and familiarity to the design process, allowing the audience of the design pitch to have critical discussion and develop more holistic thinking around project territories; secondly, incorporating imagery can awaken a curiosity that leads to abstract and novel thinking, again encouraging more holistic viewpoints to develop around project territories.

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