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Storytelling in Design by Anna Dahlström

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Chapter 1: Why storytelling matters

Intro: It all starts with ‘Once upon a time…”

I grew up in a family where stories were always told. My dad is a writer and reading and writing played a big part in our childhood. I remember being sat next to dad in the sofa with my oldest younger brother on the other side. Dad would read us the Moomin books, Narnia, the Brothers Grimm, H.C. Andersen and Astrid Lindgren and we’d sit there completely absorbed. The stories he read sent us on journeys to places we didn’t know existed. They created worlds in our minds and sparked our imagination by making us see things we’d never seen before. Just like a good dream you don’t want to wake up from, we never wanted those reading sessions to end. We wanted to know what would happen next, how it all began and how it was going to end. Evening after evening we’d get one step closer until the final page was turned and it was time to start a new chapter, sometimes in a new book.

When you look back throughout history, stories have always played an important part in our lives. Long before the written word was invented in Mesopotamia around 3200 BC,1 we’d tell stories about the moon and the stars, battles that’d been lost and won and tales of the world out there that’d we’d not yet discovered. Telling stories was our way to pass along information across generations to make sure that history and facts weren’t lost. It was also a way for us to make sense of the world around us. To find a way to explain what we ...

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