Some Distinctive Features of Narrative Environments

Main Article Content

Issue Vol 1 No 2 (2018)
Published Jul 30, 2018
Section Articles
Article downloads 440
DOI https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v1i2.20
Submitted : May 12, 2018 | Accepted : Jul 18, 2018

Tricia Austin

Abstract

This paper explores key characteristics of spatial narratives, which are called narrative environments here. Narrative environments can take the form of exhibitions, brand experiences and certain city quarters where stories are deliberately being told in, and through, the space. It is argued that narrative environments can be conceived as being located on a spectrum of narrative practice between media-based narratives and personal life narratives. While watching a screen or reading a book, you are, although often deeply emotionally immersed in a story, always physically ‘outside’ the story. By contrast, you can walk right into a narrative environment, becoming emotionally, intellectually and bodily surrounded by, and implicated in, the narrative. An experience in a narrative environment is, nonetheless, different from everyday experience, where the world, although designed, is not deliberately constituted by others intentionally to imbed and communicate specific stories. The paper proposes a theoretical framework for space as a narrative medium and offers a critical analysis of two case studies of exhibitions, one in a museum and one in the public realm, to support the positioning of narrative environments in the centre of the spectrum of narrative practice.

Keywords: media-based narratives, narrative environments, life narratives

Article Details

How to Cite
AustinT. (2018). Some Distinctive Features of Narrative Environments. Interiority, 1(2), 153-172. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v1i2.20
Author Biography

Tricia Austin, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, United Kingdom

Tricia Austin is an academic, author and design researcher. She is Course Leader of MA Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. She has lectured on design in Europe, Asia and Latin America and led a number of creative, socially-engaged projects with community groups, other universities and governmental organisations across the world. Most recently Tricia was a contributor to, and co-editor of, The Future of Museum and Gallery Design: Purpose, Process, Perception published in 2018 by Routledge.

Share |

References

Bruner, J. (1991). Self-making and world-making. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 25(1), 67-78.

Greimas, A. J. (1983). Structural semantics: An attempt at a method. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Greimas, A. J. (1987). On meaning. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Griffiths, S. (2017, October 30). Now is not the time to be indulging in postmodern revivalism. Retrieved from https://www.dezeen.com/2017/10/30/sean-griffiths-fat-postmodern-revivalism-dangerous-times-opinion/

Hebert, L. (2011). The semiotic square. Retrieved from http://www.signosemio.com/greimas/semiotic-square.asp

Parsons, A. (2017). Actant and actantiality (Unpublished lecture). Central Saint Martins, UAL, London

Potteiger, M., & Purington, J. (1998). Landscape narratives: Design practices for telling stories. New York: Wiley.

Lefebvre, H. (1991). The construction of space. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

Jameson, F. (1981). The political unconscious: Narrative as a socially symbolic act. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Ricoeur, P. (1979). The human experience of time and narrative. Research in Phenomenology, 9, 17-34.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (2005). Phenomenology of perception. (C. Smith, Trans.). London: Routledge.

Perec, G. (2008). Species of spaces. London: Penguin.

Psarra, S. (2009). Architecture and narrative: The formation of space and cultural meaning. London: Routledge.

Kossmann, H., Mulder, S., & Oudsten, F. (2012). Narrative space: On the art of exhibiting. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: An introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Latour, B. (2014). Agency at the time of the Anthropocene. New Literary History, 45(1), 1-18.

Ryan, M. (2016). Narrating space/spatializing narrative: Where narrative theory and geography meet. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press.

Hawhee, D. (2002). Agonism and arete. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 35(3), 185–207.

McKee, R. (1999). Story: substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting. London: Methuen.

Wegner, P. E. (2010). Greimas avec lacan; or, from the symbolic to the real in dialectical criticism. Criticism, 51(2), 211–245.