“Along the way he has earned a reputation as the design world’s master storyteller, with a philosophy that’s more accessible than Bruce Mau’s and a mass sensibility less whimsical than that of Michael Graves.”
Strangely, I only know of a few pieces by Graves, I just thought I’d take a short break from work and address this issue. As a(n aspiring) designer, I have gone through many role models. Of them all, the one that was most significant in my life was Yves Behar. In my senior year at DASH (Design and Architecture Senior Highschool), where I went in Miami to discover the ramifications of product design, the class was asked to redesign the OLPC, a task Yves Behar had gotten a lot of attention for recently. I didn’t know. I came across a TED talk where he praises story-telling. The next day, I started praising story-telling. I have to admit it worked out well for me, story-telling is the best way I have found to channel my joy and excitement for life.
Once at Art Center (College of Design), I kept tying stories to my projects. Quickly though I got bored of my stories. Reality became blend, and the whimsical beautiful. I was lost. Still am. I love stories, real stories. However I feel that what industrial design teaches us to make are industrial stories (what can I say, you’ve got to keep it cohesive), deceptive dreams. Oh! Look! A product that will do this and that, oh god and look at the visuals telling these stories, is that a 3D rendering or a model?! Now stories are made of features: the hero, the key plot, the end or a button, a product an idea. It seems modern storytelling now revolves (due to the internet and the flattening of the world?) on daily “epic-ness.”
I know, it’s been said and observed, our attention spans have evolved (devolved?) but does that mean it’s good?
I also agree that hero-centric stories have been around since the beginning of mankind if not earlier, the Iliad and the Odyssey for example but there is a key difference: they were Epic POEMS. They had magical, whimsical, lyrical elements. Now it seems only few bother to care about the melody of things, of people, everything is simplified… Look at Facebook… or this ad for the Razor Maxx… How many story lovers and tellers’ souls died making this video?
Any thoughts? You can email me at email@example.com if you’d like to answer more privately, I am interested in what you have to say.