Storytelling and the Design Pitch

Timeframe: 2014- present

The relationship between design and storytelling is a growing field of research, this research project promotes the idea that the next focus within this field should be 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’. Storytelling approaches and these impacts were discussed in relation to over fifty design pitches. Emergent themes were deciphered through a 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, published in David’s Doctoral Thesis entitled: Storytelling at the Design Pitch: Relating Approach to Impact. Further work on this topic and framework has been published in a number of conferences and journals including Cumulus’ annual conference (2016) and The Design Journal (2017).