Storytelling through design : applied design thinking in a narrative construct

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Saylor, Jacob M.
Flook, Chris
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Telecommunications
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This paper seeks to explain the creative project created to apply design thinking techniques to narrative constructs by exploring several published articles and other works that explain the field of design thinking, as well as materials that help better the understanding of storytelling. These are then applied to the data collected as part of the creative project for the purpose of determining if the application was successful. Following several studies from the origins of the design thinking concept as described in Simon (1969), to more current publications like that of Conklin, Basadur, & VanPatter (2007), which speak to the field's applications to other industries, a method of combining the two fields can be derived. To do so, this paper examines the theories presented in Brown (2009) as well as complimentary works such as Kelly, & Littman (2005) and Stewart (2010) to increase the knowledge of how design thinking can be applied to the art of narrative environment construction, an ever-expanding form of storytelling. It then covers the process of applying the design approach to digital storytelling. The creative project uses a combination of game elements married with design concepts, as well as cross-platform media to construct a trans-medial narrative-based environment. This environment was facilitated by the physical space of the game as well as an online environment derived from the website designed for the game. The data was then reviewed to see what results design thinking methods applied to the environment held.