Universality of narrative

When we talk about narrative, it consists of  so many situations. Narrative genres like a novel, saga, short story or epic poem in which narrative provides the overall structure.  Even art can be narrative modestly. Just like lyrics or poem, they ‘dominated bit by a story line, but by a single feeling’. (H. Porter Pg 2) It mainly achieves on engaging with the public. It is not necessary to be a story but also brings out the knowledgable message. It is like speaking to the audience in a particular way. The importance of disseminating or influence the public can’t be ignored.  On the whole, design can be just merely a design, maybe be just on the aim to be innovative, sustainable, progressive, brand-defining, cost effective or iconic. However, at my point of view making observer getting involve with the design is marvelous, by implying metaphoric meaning can interact with the community and make the substance alive.

In terms of narrative, it is pervasive and universal which provide a deep structure that we couldn’t simply justify this kind of art movement.  It happens when things happened. To the concern of the narrative perception,’ when we look at static and completely spatial as the picture, narratives consciousness come into play’. (H. Porter Pg6)  For example, when you reading the historical images or painting, the sense will guide you to think of its narrative, your brain will automatically question you; What, Why, When and How. We often look for the story. It seems like everything appears to be relating to something else. We always expect things to be happened, in another way we expect how the story will develop.

‘People don’t see the world before their eyes until it’s put in a narrative mode’ quoted by Brian De Palma. (H. Porter Pg6)  Sometimes, being too ordinary is not a good thing.  When the object doesn’t have a narrative to support itself, it’s highly at a chance to be classified as normal creation where people rarely will pay attention to. They may think it’s just the normal daily design that doesn’t need to care about it. So, a narrative can act as an ‘instrument that provokes active thinking’ thereby to gain public attention.

kr-14-2_2370_05_Foto_Dietmar-Strauss kr-14-2_2370_48_Foto_Dietmar-Strauss

Here is an example in Cologne. St. Bartholomew is a disused parish church in Cologne that turned into a burial space. ‘This consecrated landmark has now been classified to functioning as a columbarium’. (Company, A.)  I found this place interesting because the designer is able ‘to preserve the chapel section and the burial vault section as a whole, whilst also maintaining them as two individually functioning units.’ (Company, A.) You can use the chapel as the ceremony then to place the bone ash into shelves next to it. The sense of a rest in peace is created in the whole atmosphere. The uses of ‘a membrane composed of several million bronze rings’ (Company, A.) as the curtain surrounded the chapel are so clever, allowing light to go in and the semi-transparency displayed like an installation which reduces the sadness and serious mood in the space. I think this is a great example to show how narratives contribute in the design world.


Company, A. (2016) Liturgical Worship Space, Alphamesh.de. Available at: http://www.alphamesh.de/index.php?mact=CGBlog,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=167&cntnt01returnid=107 (Accessed: 11 May 2016).

H. Porter, A. (2008) The Cambridge introduction to narrative, second edition. 2nd ed. United Kingdom: Printed in United Kingdom at University Press, Cambridge, pp. 1-9,160-164.


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