Toward societal transformation through design storytelling
A case study of brand designing in the mineral water industry in Finland
Keywords:Anthropocene, Societal transformation, Transition design, Design storytelling, Narratives of change
The world today is facing the urgent need for fundamental transformation in the ‘Anthropocene’ era. However, even if consensus has been formed around the need for transformation, what constitutes fundamental changes and how these changes occur are researched and debated across multiple disciplines, including design studies. Recently, in the design field, transition design has been proposed as a new area of design practice, study and research. Transition design is based on long-term visioning and recognition of the need for solutions rooted in new, more sustainable socioeconomic and political paradigms. This study explores the role of design storytelling in steering and navigating a societal transformation. Using a critical single case study method, this study analyses the fundamental elements of transformation that emerge from each component of design storytelling. A mineral water company in Finland was selected as the purposive single case. It is a specific type of private organization that intends to bring about a societal transition through optimum use of design storytelling. The findings illustrate that the components of design storytelling, which use societal change as their innovative business proposal, distinctively match the components of societal transformation. Design practices that leverage visual and verbal elements edit and weave a new relationship between the sociotechnical landscape, regime and innovation proposed by the company. We believe that this paper makes two main contributions. First, the authors emphasize the potential role of design as a deliberate change process for societal transformation. Second, through the cross lens of societal transformation and design storytelling, the storytelling and narrative approach of societal transformation by design is underlined.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Yasuyuki Hayama, Francesco Zurlo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.