Devising the Plot: communicating designers thinking through storytelling

Louise Valentine

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    The way practice-centred design researchers use language to communicate their creative practice in an academic context is a problem. In current design research writing, the voice of the practitioner is lost because the relation between thinking and making is not adequately discussed and argued.

    This paper shares the results of a small qualitative study aiming to develop an approach to critical writing about designing that draws upon individual thinking practices (i.e. tools, techniques and methods for nurturing individual creativity). Discussion attends to the challenges facing the design researcher when communicating the rhetorical relation between personal, subjective experiences and objective communication of concepts, strategies and operational decisions in design thinking.

    In the study, storytelling is used as the means of developing a style of writing that bridges academic writing and visual research; creative thinking and research language; individual creativity and collective communication. As such, the paper asks if the method of storytelling is an effective, efficient and valuable method for communicating practice-centred research to a diverse audience. Through analysis of stories and evaluation of workshop discourses, the paper closes by articulating a series of recommendations for developing a strategy for practice-centred design researchers to communicate their thinking through writing to diverse audiences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEAD 07 conference proceedings
    Subtitle of host publicationdancing with disorder: design, discourse, disaster
    EditorsTevfik Balcioglu, Ozlem Caglar Tombus, Derya Irkdas
    Place of PublicationTurkey
    PublisherIzmir University of Economics
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)9789758789214, 975878921X
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event7th International Conference of the European Academy of Design: Dancing with disorder - Izmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey
    Duration: 11 Apr 200713 Apr 2007


    Conference7th International Conference of the European Academy of Design: Dancing with disorder
    Abbreviated titleEAD2007
    Internet address


    • storytelling
    • designers thinking
    • communication
    • audiences


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