Narrative as a design tool

Recently I have been interested in the possibility of narrative as a design tool/research process. My story, currently with no working title, is the ‘coming-into-life’ a number of ideas, relationships, beliefs and personal experiences of mine put into a semi-coherent narrative.

With writing I have found that ideas that I once thought were very much separate were in fact deeply connected while others that I felt had more important were placed in the periphery. My interests are in science-fiction, or rather science-fictions, and it’s potential to open up dialogue about future worlds that we may soon inhabit, letting us debate, plan, rethink our future in an exciting and imaginative way.

My short story is about machines which I have called ‘Origami Machines’ (described due to their mechanism of folding, refolding, unfolding time, space, language and biological data). These machines were created to communicate with entities that ‘exist’ all around us. The main component of these machines is a fungus/computer interface - circuits part silicon and part fungus material. LED screens are replaced by continually transforming petri dishes whose meaning can only be read by certain specialists. A scientific/institutional tea leaf reading if you will.

This relationship between technology and organic material, or maybe more specifically the relationship between technology and whatever life and spiritual nature of the universe is made up of, is reflected in the love felt between an engineer (the protagonist and his gardener). Initially thinking they are within two separate worlds they clash together when they are contacted through a force beyond time/space and beyond our human understanding.

There is an antagonist, not necessarily as one character but a soup of bureaucrats, CEO’s, and three lettered government agencies which are adamant on the technology of the Origami Machines to not be revealed to the public - inspired by the crackdown of psychedelic materials several decades ago which allowed individuals to communicate with the self, to heal and to have a more unified connection with the universe. However, I didn’t want this story to contribute to the noise and nausea of conspiracy theories so I may scrap this section all together and put more focus on the deeper relationship between the two characters.

My proposal, an ongoing techno-psychedelic story, features themes of architecture, space travel, virtual reality, men in black, fungus computers, love and inter dimensional existence but its still unfolding with the goal that ideas from this story will dissipate out further into other visual and written projects.