Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The relationship between architecture and interactive storytelling

When I started to think about the relationship between architecture and interactive story telling the Jewish museum in Washington DC came to mind. The architecture in this particular building is a fundamental part of the way the visitor experiences the museum. The visitors are always moving from small dark spaces to areas of light and back to small dark spaces again. The small and dark spaces give the visitor a claustrophobic feeling, while the light and open spaces give a false sense of hoping and discomfort. The movement between the two situations starts to create a discomfort state of mind and plays with the emotion of the visitors. The texture and materiality of the spaces also play an important role in the experience. In one particular area of the museum, the visitors are taken to the bottom of a confined but tall space with walls covered with pictures of victims of the holocaust. Above the space there is a walk way made of metal, which creates a sound that resembles soldiers marching.  I think this example can give an overall idea of how the spaces, itinerary, textures, and sounds in a building can become a way to tell a story. 


Mommy cooked dinner, Father didn't eat.
Alberto Nieto

ittle dreamer picks up jumbo crayon
Celine Theodore

The lost dog found his collar.
Ruben Ramos

Thirty-nine million votes counted in hours.
Emma Curtis

One Machine, Many Clothes, No Clue
Lamesha Smith

Professional Student, help wanted, parents allowed
Krystal Wardley

The notepad sits, naked, no thoughts.
Bhavik Patel

Blistered Hands, pulling sugar, well crafted.
John (Matt) Walker

Seven soldiers ventured out; one returned.
Kevin B. Silverman

Hungry walked ate pizza five dollars
Taylor Auerbach

'Solid Yesterday. Liquid today. Vapour Tomorrow'
Harsha Hardhagari

Gary lied. Mary died. Sue cried.
Tiva Emerson

Sadness was revealed through the canvas
Odenis Vitoreli Jr.

mile walk is sweeter together.
Minh-Tam Le

Voyage Titanic Unsinkable Fog Iceberg Sunk
Matthew Banton

He drops back, throw, catch, TOUCHDOWN!!!!
Namon Littlejohn

raging inferno,swirling ash, empty graves
Heather Lieberman

How To Do It !

The following project structure is intended to provide you with a methodology to be both specific and help you/me track the progress and meet your milestones. Since individual projects vary widely some points might not apply. However, make sure you use it as a roadmap to define/clarify your deliverables and go back to it frequently and methodically.

It has four distinct phases:


This phase helps you understand the big picture and the opportunity to achieve the main goals of this project; its interactive aspect being one of the most important ones.

Develop models, scenarios, analysis and feasibility assessments.

Define the requirements, scope, timeline, budget (your time and resources) and benchmarks for the project.

Interviews, Research and Analysis:

  • Potential user interviews
  • Workflow
  • Art-Technology integration assessment
  • Functionality and operating mode
  • Understanding of user behaviour

Requirements of Analysis:

  • Prioritize and validate requirements based on quality(1), cultural and strategic factors
  • Determine success criteria and metrics
  • Define a preliminary list of suitable tools.


  • Produce a final document with the discovery result.
  • Develop a high-level implementation plan.
  • Present recommendations from advisers and other parties involved.


During this phase, create the look and feel of the solution. Develop the content requirements, the creative components, the technical design and the information architecture or infrastructure that supports the project.

Creative Design:

  • Look and feel
  • Rounds of Creative
  • Content build
  • User interaction

Technical Design:

  • Architecture
  • Component diagrams
  • Data model
  • Prototype


Develop and integrate all the creative, technical and information components. Build a prototype and conduct tests to ensure this is the best solution to your project.

Creative Production:

  • Creative Brief
  • Graphics, 3D video/audio production
  • Technical integration
  • Solution building

Technical Production:

  • Coding
  • Test plan documentation
  • Component integration
  • System testing
  • Problem resolution


Demonstrate the solution after all final specifications and testing results.

Live environment:

  • Installation
  • Test performance and integration
  • Load testing and Quality Control
  • Implement promotion/communication strategies


That's all folks!

1-Quality: the true nature of things, the peculiar and essential character

All Illustrations custom made by Rich Powell

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Art as Practice based Research

I suggest we put our preconceptions in suspense
until the whole story is told,
which will be... never

Welcome to this instance of Interactive Storytelling. We will use this blog stream to capture the evolution of our thoughts and perceptions on what Interactivity and Storytelling is.

Perhaps as a starting point we can think of interactive anything, as something that exists only in the context of user behaviour and story as a shared social construct facilitating human communication. But even then, these broad assumptions can and are being challenged as technologies evolve and dissapear into the very fabric of society.

As the image of the iPhone-like device suggests, we, as humans, are constantly recombining and re-inventing the primitive elements of storytelling and interactivity (which are?).

Today we are, in many ways, surrendering our individual voices to the datasphere, which, when analysed (or mined, to use a common term) reveals another type of collective being, which by its twitts and blogs, reflects our commonalities more that our differences.

It is out of this phenomena that a bigger story is emerging, one in which we lose consciousness of the medium and see neither print nor film but just the power of the story, of which we are both actors and audience.