Storytelling and Social Innovation

Timeframe: 2017

The Pearl Diver: The Designer as storyteller is a book generated by people involved in the DESIS Philosophy Talks series “Storytelling and Social Innovation”. This topic has been addressed from a wide range of perspectives through conversations with designers, researchers, philosophers, as well as practitioners and theorists, from many different fields. David’s contribution to this book adopts a storytelling philosophy in the analysis of design pitches, with the intent of understanding how an approach to storytelling can unlock potentialities in the audience; an appreciation of the concept’s value; an ability to discuss a concept critically; and to be able to think more holistically around the concept territory. His article makes specific reference to a design pitch delivered to employees of The Traffic Penalty Tribunal; a UK based government department charged with monitoring parking appeals. This example acts as a tool for illustrating the findings communicated in a theoretical framework devised after the analysis of the interviews. It is proposed that acknowledging a user’s perspective and cultural beliefs, being diverse and different, detailing concept development, and using imagery (in particular analogy), are all approaches to storytelling that can play a role in unlocking the aforementioned potentialities. The Pearl Diver: The Designer as storyteller has been officially selected for the INDEX – ADI Design Prize. It was showcased in Milan at the National Museum for Science and Technology, from 10th – 19th of October 2017.