Kyoorius Designyatra 2012: Responding to Stories

Storytelling is an integral part of creating designs. But storytelling within presentations at this years Kyoorius Designyatra saw varying styles in how the narratives were constructed. But most of the stories that received extended and repeated sessions of applause were those with stories about human networks and responses. What is that makes human stories so potent in presentation narratives?

Speakers like Robert Wong, Josy Paul and Masashi Kawamura presented numerous examples of creative projects that had people at the centre of its creation. These were presentations that received a lot of praises. The presentation by Arunachalam was described by many as touching and unforgettable as the theme was encrusted in human experiences that was honest and heartfelt.

The interesting point about being a good storyteller as opposed to a person presenting his work is that stories about people easily to stay in our minds. Also it is easier for us to narrate the same to someone else. Good story tellers edit their stories well. They integrate them with compelling anecdotes.

Does this mean that presentations with the right amount of stories are not as good? Not necessarily. Rodney Edwards‘ detailed presentation on the editorial system developed for Microsoft did not have anecdotes or touching human stories. But it gave us a crisp idea of how the design could function so fluidly in that system. Yet, when I asked around the audience, most of them responded saying that the content was good but that this was not the forum for that kind of a presentation. Which makes me believe that we, member of the creative industry, are a bunch of romantics unable to wrap our heads around technical and factual content that is not laced in a story.

Even within presentations with a well-laid out narrative, most of the creative work that received compliments were those in which people were responding to situations. ‘Human response’ was beginning to emerge as the untold theme of the events. Most of the creative endeavours of Robert Wong, Masashi Kawamura, Josy Paul would not have been successful if people had not participated in them. Even at this years Kyoorius Designyatra, people participated in large masses through channels such as Twitter and Instagram. These interactions create a new platform for debates and discussions to continue. Although, it was rightly pointed out to me that social media cannot be moderated, both the appropriate and inappropriate tweets from this event documents the widely different groups of people who participated and responded. These are stories, within these three days of storytelling, truly validates that ‘human response’ has become very important in our online and offline lives.

This piece was written at Kyoorius DesignYatra 2012, as a part of a Design Writing Workshop that was conducted by the British Council.