Storytelling Through Design: Using Elements of Storytelling to Inform Architectural Narratives
Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
Architecture along with other types of media, like films, novels, and games are all representational art forms that incorporate storytelling. However, in the field of architecture the art of storytelling could suggest a transformation into an idea of possibly making grand and shallow statements, and not taking into account the engagement between the user and the design. In recent time there have been architects who have addressed this issue and established standards of how architecture weaves in narrative and have even made comparisons to the other types of media. An example would be Narrative Architecture by Nigel Coates where he discusses how architecture is able to express movement and be arranged in a sequence like a story. In Amy Spaulding’s The Art of Storytelling, she notes how the storyteller who oversees setting the tone, pace, immersion, and more acts just like an architect. However, there should be further exploration into the general analysis of storytelling and how it compares overall across different media to help influence architectural design. In this thesis, a new approach to the architectural design process will be explored, combining the multiple processes of storytelling with that of architecture, highlighting the interactivity between the story, place, design, and user. The process involves analyzing the storytelling medias of narrative architecture, films, novels, and games, and then applying aspects of each into the architectural design process to create a framework for how a story can be interpreted into architecture. The architecture being designed for the narrative being investigated is a memorial center for the Chattahoochee Brick Factory in Atlanta, Georgia. The architectural design created functions to honor and tell the story of the lives lost on the site and introduces the memorial program in an elevated way that calls for action to be had on the site. The end goal would not just be bringing the story of a place to life, it would establish a developed way of thinking about architecture and the variations a story could take and elevate user experience with the space.