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Storytelling: An Introduction to the Series

November 30, 2016

The human brain is wired for storytelling. We respond strongly to well-constructed narratives because they allow us to transcend ourselves by viewing life though the lens of another’s experience. Biologically, the act of listening to stories releases chemicals that trigger happiness and empathy. Abraham Lincoln was emphatic about telling stories because he believed they made it easier for people to remember the points he was trying to make.

Designers, like many professionals, are drawn to stories. At the outset of a design problem, stories can help bridge the gap from concept to form. They can also be essential to understanding old projects in a new light. The storytelling techniques used by designers in general, and impact designers specifically, are continuously evolving. The focus is increasingly shifting away from heroic form and exceptional use, towards upstream costs, efficiency, and impact. The cast of characters in the designer’s story is also expanding, becoming ever more “human-centered.”

Stories can take many forms, and in this series will explore the colloquial to the clinical. We will discover new possibilities in publishing and dive deep into an incredible series of case studies. We will review a landmark set of design dialogues and see the ghosts of the rust belt rise again. We will also close out 2016 with a roundup of the brightest young talent in the Impact Design field. 

Stay tuned.

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