Transmission 24.2: WORLDBUILDING COLLECTION: NARRATIVE SHAPE
Here come insights and behind-the-scenes from our futures practice! A glimpse into our uncommon perspective and approach, to keep updated or to know what to expect when time traveling with us.
Summer is a concept season at The Time Travel Agency:
Worldbuilding for adaptation.
In each broadcast of The Time Travel Transmissions two sections:
Worldbuilding Collection, our latest tools for worldbuilding.
Hyperlink Stroll, a chill summer activity inspired by The Wiki Game.
Concerned with the question 'How does Worldbuilding fit in a process of adaptation?' we’ll look into the worldbuilding that happens in our futuremaking.
What if the process of adaptation was pleasurable? The playful nature of worldbuilding is an opportunity to feel so– worldbuilding processes and tools teach how to access creativity and pleasure especially when we are stressed. What if by stepping into a future world we felt good about where things are going?
Our Nordic experiments embrace play and social participation while our American experiments focus on implementing, taking risk, and adapting fast. When play culture meets adaptation culture, there’s a lot to learn from each other.
Like open-heart surgery, making futures is invasive, yet our clients work from the assumption that their organization is going to make it.
Worldbuilding is a stage in our process that allows futures to be explored.
We make worlds so our clients feel what it’s like to live in and affect those worlds;
to feel agency.
These are behind the scenes of our most recent worldbuilding tools,
developed between Sweden and California this year
for organizations envisioning how to move forward.
Here are the most recognized stages of our process:
Inside Worldbuilding is 'Narrative Shape'
TOOL 2: NARRATIVE SHAPE
WHAT ‘NARRATIVE SHAPE’ IS
NARRATIVE SHAPE is a cherished worldbuilding tool that defies linearity and eschews traditional hero-centric narratives. Inspired by the work of Jane Alison, this tool invites storymakers to embark on a liberating journey of creation using shapes!
What if it’s easier to build a story from a tactile activity?
Narrative Shape encourages the development of stories by constructing physical, kinetic sculptures that embody the story’s readability (…). We begin writing events without a connection, and move onto malleability of (unrelated) physical materials.
As creators shape the materials, a narrative shape gradually emerges, guiding the overall story’s direction and putting individual events into the places that make sense.
This tactile approach offers a fresh perspective, enabling storytellers to break free from conventional practices in narrative design (beginning, middle, end; obstacle - solution; etc.), and delve into unexplored realms of storymaking, namely into their own style.
INSIDE ‘NARRATIVE SHAPE’
One of the defining aspects of Narrative Shape is its dual nature. When faced with creative blocks or uncertainty about a story's direction, the tool offers two distinct pathways for inspiration. Storymakers can pose the question, "What's the shape of this story?". By visualizing the story's details, they gain insights into its essence.
Alternatively, they can ponder, "What's the story of this shape?". By exploring the physical sculpture, they unlock unexpected storylines.
Here’s an example: imagine starting with a narrative shaped like a fern. We see its delicate fronds unfurl, representing growth, resilience, interconnectedness. The fern's shape can evoke storylines about natural harmony, unfolding events, and/or organizations that survived all of the seasons in one year.
NARRATIVE SHAPE certainly has a form herself. A question or two for ‘NARRATIVE SHAPE’: What inspired you to take on this form, and what stories or emotions do you hope to convey through your physical existence?
“I thought it would be hilarious to capture the essence of transparency and fragility in a solid and unyielding material [glass]. I'm here to remind people that writing worlds can be crystal clear, yet incredibly brittle”.
A chill summer activity inspired by The Wiki Game for those taking it easier this season: in each broadcast, three links creatively related to worldbuilding, to hop from one to another in a breezy digital stroll.
Any Sentiers but as news from futures that already happened
On the next transmission: the ANTENNA tool and more Hyperlink Strolling. See you in two weeks!
And on LinkedIn and Instagram: MOVING DAY, a storyworld we built using IMPACT: Learning Edition, a game (from fellow inventors KnowledgeWorks in Pittsburgh) that ignites deep and systemic conversations about the future of learning, which we angled at the future of a city’s garbage economy.