Ahh Paris, you fine mistress!

Pretty much everything that needs to be said about our Paris trip.. ūüėÄ

Don’t let the truth get in the way

Storytelling is such an important aspect of our lives, one that is often overlooked or dismissed as a genuine trait of the Irish people. However, we just seem to have this incredible knack for telling a good tale. Whether it’s the simple story of Bridie¬†telling her neighbours of that troublesome young lad down the street that “do be doin’ the drugs and what not”, or one of¬†the countless yarns of the middle-aged generation telling us how Ireland nowadays is “gone to the dogs”. We love to tell an old wives tale or two, and the truth is not always the first port of call.

The Oscar-nominated short film, Granny O’ Grimm is a perfect example. The truth is supplemented for entertainment, the animals in the woods become the dreadful, winged, fire-breathing dragons of the old Fanmorth Forest and the left-behind grandmother becomes a fearsome and wicked witch to be reckoned with. And this exaggeration, it’s fantastic viewing! The stories are far more interesting, far more enjoyable, easy to imagine and easier to bend the truth.

Another fantastic example of excellence in storytelling, is the 1957 black and white film ’12 Angry Men’. Here is the case of a youth accused of murder; his trial consists of the eleven bigots that believe he did it and the one man who gave him a chance. The selling point of this film is that it is solely based in one room. The entirety of the film, in one room with diverse, strong characters and an increasingly poignant sense of storytelling. These were the days when the story was the key to selling whatever it is that needed to be sold.

For our class this week we concentrated on loosening up and getting the story to flow. Through interaction with other students, we sifted through ideas and ways of getting a story out. It was probably the most fun I’ve had (inside college hours) since I came back from the holidays. Not an ounce of truth to the yarns, but enjoyable and hilarious. We also had to sell our own product as an exercise. This was perfect, i¬†had been taking in all this talk of adding a back story and a context, with characters and situation, adding all that to the products. I felt I could make my waste disposal project romantic (ambitious, i¬†know). I had this whole tale of my girlfriend and I on the Costa Del Sol for a getaway picnic on the beach, the stars were out, the soothing sounds of the oceans¬†swept through the night…and yet¬†I had nowhere to throw my rubbish.

Waste Disposal Project

And as designers-in-the-making, this is a vital lesson that we ought to learn. A good story is sold on its characters, its context, plot, imagination, twists, and guile. A product is sold much in the same fashion. If you can tell the story of the product, its history, its place in society through imagery and intelligent composition, then there is no reason for your creation not to catch the eye of any manufacturer. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you can make it tell a story then it is worth far more than that, especially to a designer.

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