Spatial Storyworlds Panel at the 4th Intl Visual Methods Conf (Sep 2015, Brighton UK)

Dates: 16-18 September 2015
Location: University of Brighton, UK
Website: http://goo.gl/riKlO5
Deadline for submission of summaries: 15 April 2015

While immersed in watching the screen or reading a book, you are, in many senses, always ‘outside’ the story. By contrast, you can walk right into a narrative environment, becoming physically, emotionally and intellectually immersed in narrative space. It seems bodily immersion in spatialised stories heightens the sensory dimensions of narrative and simultaneously reduces other aspects of narrative experience. The majority of narrative environments e.g. exhibitions, cultural and heritage sites, brand and retail environments or crafted public realm, are not strictly determined, linear spatial experiences. They offer a different kind of immersion. Visitors/audiences/inhabitants/users tend to go where they like and construct their own narrative threads. Fixed linear sequence from a single viewpoint is one dimension that is often loosened. However, it is argued that this kind of sequence is not the primary or sole key to narrativity. Narrative spaces have authors, narrators, dramatic conflicts, content, ways of telling, events, characters, voice, shifts over time from one state to another, in other words, a plethora of narrative dimensions.

David Herman suggests even literary stories are not created simply through a sequence of events but through the construction, by the audience, of a storyworld based on cues provided by the author showing the who, what, where, when, how, why framework of the story. He also suggests that audiences recognize a story as a story, through the rhythm and change of states and events, which, it is suggested, take material, visual and spatial form in physical spaces. Cues, states and events can vary from relatively stable architectural structures and spatial arrangements; more temporary printed graphics; still and moving image; sound; light effects; fast changing digital layers, usually accessed through mobile technologies; and, finally, the behavior of other people in the space.

The panel will explore the question: if we conceive of narrative environments as storyworlds rather than strict linear sequences, how does this change design practice particularly in relation to visual methods? The panel seeks to address this question through visual case studies critiqued through spatial, narrative or cultural theory.

Exhibition designers, artists and architects are invited to submit
· A 400 word summary addressing the debate and questions outlined below
· Five images
· A 100 word biography

Submissions should be sent to the panel chairs:
Tricia Austin (p.austin@csm.arts.ac.uk)
Allan Parsons (a.l.l.a.n.parsons@csm.arts.ac.uk)
(Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London)
Email attachments should be no more than 8MB.

Dates
15th April 2015: Submission
27th April 2015: Notification of acceptance

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About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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