Narrative Driven Design

Narrative Driven Design

I began working on my first E-Book this year as part of a new series of passive income strategies I’m testing for 2017. Coincidentally, my office’s PR Director asked if I would be willing to write a short post for the company’s LinkedIn campaign. Having my thoughts already swirling around the thesis of my book, I began to reduce a section of my writing to fit this format. As it approaches its final format, I thought I’d share it here in its raw form. I’m always looking to improve, so comments are welcome.

Narratives are powerful tools to inspire and fortify creativity in architectural applications.

The subjective nature of design offers an overwhelming volume of opportunity. This ambiguity often entangles creatives within iterative design loops as they exhaustively explore options. Hoping to arrive upon an aesthetic the client will arbitrarily appreciate, this cycle sacrifices control of design quality and project timeline.

Establishing a narrative simplifies the design process by eliminating extraneous exploration to focus attention on relevant studies. Additionally, narrative reasoning justifies artistic moves as meaningful contributions to a cohesive design. This best practice establishes a project-wide tuning fork to maintain design integrity.

Applying narrative-driven logic qualifies the performance of a finished design. Our work occupies the space between metaphysics and objective reality. Balancing this duality requires translating ideals into a physical vocabulary. To ensure these environments clearly represent their narrative, our interiors must engage people on a human level.

People understand their environment within the context of stories. Moments of metaphor draw upon previous experiences to inform how new spaces are perceived. Emotional provocation is the fundamental bridge that allows us to materialize a narrative. Arousing a cadence of feelings through a sequence of spaces, allows the building to express its story.

It’s no coincidence that “morphology” simultaneously defines the relationships of physical forms and words alike. In fact, writing is the most powerful tool for applying a design narrative. Deconstruction of a story through semantic studies reveals a project’s emotional essence. Once translated to this universal human language, the project identity can be expressed through form.

Applying theory (architectural, among others) we materialize these feelings into environments that encourage a recollection of emotions in a prescribed sequence. The project’s narrative is thus revealed in a personal context that intimately connects each user with the identity of the space.

To be narrative-driven is to maintain design integrity. While there will always be a market for the popular aesthetic, timeless environments require us to engage people in the context of their own personal journey. By embracing emotion as the universal human language, we provide experiential relationships that will never go out of style.



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