For the first week, we had to shortlist three system topics that interest us. For each of those topics, we had to do light, cursory research to validate that we could do more in-depth secondary or primary research
For the second week, for each system we shortlisted, we began more in depth research in order to come away with at least five key findings (research points that prove to be inspiring and informative about the system)
From this point on, I settled on "Narrative structures" as my system. We were told to make stock diagrams for our systems in order to study the in-flow and out-flow journeys in our system.
I mapped out these diagrams starting on a very high level and eventually zoning in on the journey of the hero through the Monomyth (aka The Hero's Journey), a narrative pattern identified by Joseph Campbell.
We then had to map out a Service Design Blueprint (Journey Map) to further deconstruct our system.
I mapped out the 17 different stages a Hero passes through according to the Monomyth, and also what that Hero is doing and feeling through each of the phases.
We then had to develop a series of metaphors that align to the phases we identified. This exercise helped me find further associations and different ways to express my concept idea.
The next metaphor I played with was of the structure of code. A simple program I wrote on C++ lined up interestingly well with the possible stages of a narrative structure:
Naturally, when it comes to lyrics, many songs follow along the path of a story, because it's a narrative itself. That made me want to study songs further to find possible overlaps even structure wise. The second mountain-like diagram is a widely studied structure broken down according to song paragraphs of the emotional heights they each incite. It was alarmingly similar to the wide-spread diagram of the 5 act Freytag structure of stories that's shown above it.
On the right is a mapping of the different stages of a creative process according to a book I'm reading called The Storm of Creativity by Kyna Leski. Leski claims that every creative process intrinsically has the same stages and uses the metaphor of a storm to analyze them. These different stages were quite similar to the stages I identified before (of the design process and of the Hero's Journey) and the layering of metaphors was interesting.
This was a midterm research poster I presented in class which included everything we had done until that point.