Story Hunt

Design Research Project
A collaborative research project worked with communities in the Outer Hebrides on a project entitled “ Design for Island Life”. This project is initiated to seek to explore ways to build resilient, creative and confident communities.

This project began with an intensive two weeks of research program with the Institute of Design innovation and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, including visiting faculty and students from The Royal Academy of Art & Design Copenhagen and Koln International School of Design.

Team : Yerim Moon, Wei Chen, Lara Di Ferdinando
Role : Drawings, Primary research, Secondary research, Analysis, Concept development, Proposal
Duration : Three Months
How can we raise a value of the islands using their personal stories and traditions of the Hebrideans?
stornoway in Outer Hebrides
1. Design Process
2. Project Brief
This project is about the archipelago of the Hebrides, a group of islands located in the west-coast of Scotland.

For this project, we focused on “ the Outer Hebrides and the history and environment”. The Outer Hebrides have a unique environment, culture and heritage as a strong Gaelic culture alive. The islands have suffered from a continuous decreasing of the population for along time with the consequence that Gaelic culture started fading from people’s memories.

Decrease of the population of the islands. Being distant from the Mainland and transportation highly affected by the weather and the costs of the services. Young generations are leaving the islands to get better education and to access better opportunities.

To highlight the old traditions that can advance a deeper understanding, accessibility and appreciation of the culture and history in the islands by providing people living in the mainland and islands a better connection.

People who belong to the islands. No matter where they were born, people have a strong connection to their roots.

Brief Diagram
Research Question
How can we raise a value of the islands using their personal stories and traditions of the Hebridean ?
Background & Literature
1. Desk Research
Cultural and historical Aspects
people in these islands value their myths and tales because talesand myths have been passed down to the next generation fromprevious generation and they mirror islander’s philosophy, traditionand culture.

Geographical Aspect
The sea surrounding the islands is found interesting as the islandscannot be existed without the sea and the sea is highly related tohistorical events in these islands.

Social Aspect
Young generations who used to live in these islands have strongsense of belongingness and they want to come back again in thefuture.This is because the cities they have moved to do not satisfy themowing to its gradual spacial uniformity and functionalist relationshipwith space not like the islands providing them unchangedenvironment with evocative feeling, which is the element bringingprevious islanders back to the islands and connecting people inislands and mainlands.
Hebrideans want to activate Hebrides’ culture which has been dying out such as Gaelic language and Gaelic traditions. They also want to preserve the originality of their lands, which builds the place attachment from people who have roots here. Additionally, They want to diminish the gab between people living in islands and mainland with better connectivity.
2. knowledge Map
3. Interpretation of History & Environment of Outer Hebridies
History is interpreted as paths.Paths are one of elements which has been evolved and created from past to present by our ancestors and path will exist in the future as well by being walked by next generations. Sea routes can also be interpreted as paths because literally sea routes are the paths in the sea as well.

Personal History
History and environment is interpreted as personal history. Every individual has different personal histories. More specifically, personal history could be identified by trekking their life routes such as places they have traveled before, they have lived and where they are originally from. Trekking personal history will become history of their nation and periodical and historical clue of the country.
Stakeholder Interviews
1. Stakeholder Map

Brian Weigiman
Glasgow Museums Resources Centre

Maryam Mcmillan
Student from Hebrides

David Francis
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Stornway in Isle of Lewis
Seonald Mcdonald
Lewis Castle Museum and Archive

Alayne Barton
The Island Book Trust

Lain Stephen
Writer, Artist and Storyteller

Christine Morrison

March Anne
Historical Society [Comunn Eachdraidh Nis]
2. Stakeholder Interview Questions

Questions for the stakeholders in a sector forstorytelling

"What interesting stories about the sea do you have ?"

"How do you connect people through stories ?"

"How do your organisations help people track family histories and who are the audience ?"
"What kind of programs have you got to gather people and encourage them to share their stories ?"

"What do you want to achieve through storytelling events?

"How do you get people involved to tell your stories?"
"How do you capture new stories of islands ?"

"How would you encourage or help people share their personal stories?"

"What do you want to achieve through storytelling events ?"

3. Stakeholder interviews in
“ The benefit of speaking Gaelic language is that it will give you access in whole culture and rich tradition of Gaelic “
Professor in Gaelic language
in Glasgow University

" Note taking of radio makes intangiable history tangible by recording historical moment "
Brian Weigiman _ Glasgow Museum
“ There are many interesting gaelic stories from 1527. J.Fcampbell / Tales of the West Highland and people told stories each other for entertainment "
Brian Weigiman _ Glasgow Museum

" I think that to make children keep using Gaelic is important for their heritage and students living in the Hebrides speak Gaelic more than other island, but they are more and more losing it and they are just normal kids like other students. " 
Professor in Gaelic language
in Glasgow University
“ I think that to make childrenkeep using Gaelic is importantfor their heritage "

" Over the world they do not care history, heritage, and the importance of speaking Gaelic and they are also more friendly with digital devices "
Professor in Gaelic language
in Glasgow University
Taking part in a workshop in relation to personal and Family history in Glasgow Museum
“ If you are just surrounded by buildings you might not more think about environment and nature, but if you are surrounded by nature, you are more aware of the damage and stuff ”
Maryam _ Student from Hebrides
“Story circle”, which is a group of individuals sitting in a circle, sharing stories. Through this circle, we found interesting way to involve people to start a storytelling, stimulate people, continue a story and record all the stories
The Scottish Storytelling Centre
“ I have relatives living in Canadaand they created a face-bookfamily page and actively run it asa way of recording of family history “

“ The local islanders share re-sources and it is normal for usthat everyone helps each other ”
Maryam _ Student from Hebrides
4. Stakeholder interviews in
Isle of Lewis Local History Society
Isle of Lewis Local History Society
Isle of Lewis Local History Society
“ At the beginning, small number of local people started recording their own and family history themselves because they are aware to the importance of their local history and it encouraged people to treasure their history “
March Anne _ Isle of Lewis Local history society
“ There is a boat trip with a storyteller by sailing around from one island to another island the storyteller will tell you historical stories "

This local history society plays a huge part in binding localpeople and immigrant to othercountries long times ago. "
March Anne _ Isle of Lewis Local history society
“ Occasionally they come herewith their family stories and record them here “
March Anne _ Isle of Lewis Local history society
“ This is our everyday life. We invite people, have food together and talk to each other “
Ian Stephen & Christine Morrison
_ Artist,Sailer,Writer in Outer Hebridies
Ian Stephen & Christine Morrison
Ian Stephen & Christine Morrison
They regard personal and family stories as a big part of their life. They think their family artifacts contribute to keep their culture and history alive which is the reason why they themselves bring their family artifacts containing their own stories to the local historical society.
They put lots of efforts to preserve their Gaeil culture through many different activities. However, only old generations get involved in cultural activities and events as they are more aware of the value of their culture and history.
Concept Development
1. Synthesis & Analysis
After creating evidence wall, we started a brainstorming activity to formulate, communicate about and evaluate the full range of potential design ideas prior to design development. By taking an abductive approach, we began to draw connections between insights. This led us to identify tension points and reoccurring themes from multiple stakeholders within our research and consider the reason behind each of them.
Evidence Wall
We came up with 30 different ideas based on our research question “ How can we raise the value of the islands using the personal stories and traditions of the Hebridean ? ”

We focused on coming up with ideas on how we can raise the connectivity through storytelling experiences and personal histories by trying to come up with specific idea to narrow down and be more realistic.

After the activity, we categorized and grouped all ideas and decided tofocus on and develop the key word of Storytelling and how we could give travellers opportunities to listen to islanders’ sotries in an experiential way
b. Initial Idea
We come up with an idea connecting people through activities such as telling stories orcreating tales together.
Creating a tale together
What if people in one island started writing a tale and they send it to their islands to continue making stories? Once people in one island finished writing, they send this book to another island by throwing it away to the sea and it would move along the sea current and reach to the island.

People in islands will be connected by making tales together and the stories would be written in Gaelic language to contribute to preserve the language.
Idea Visualisation
Idea development
We aimed to create something physical and tangible than a digital platform because we wanted it to be what resembles the islanders who communicate each other face to face, visiting and inviting neighbors.

In the island, we met people who are happy to share stories of their own and interesting stories of the islands with other people who are less familiar with the islands.

“ What if we gave people opportunities to share and listen to islander’s stories? "
The story they own reflect the spirit, the culture and the history of the islanders
Idea Visualisation
Design Outcome
1. Design Brief
Story Hunt
Story hunt is an experimental approach to travel in the islands, based on collecting islanders’ stories from the islander themselves. Participants can design their own journey by following their personal interests to discover a more in depth experience of local life. Here, the islanders and the travelers will communicate by sharing stories, historical and cultural facts, tales and legends.

We applied storytelling approaches in order to connect travelers and islanders. Stories from the Hebrides reflect the spirit of the inhabitants and its places, as well as their history and culture.

Storytelling will allows people to recognize, strengthen and create a strong place-based identity that inhabitants and travelers can relate to.

By combining all of these possibilities, our ultimate aim is for travelers to experience a pure sense ofHebridean life through authentic interactions with the islanders.
2. Scenario
Final Reflection
This Outer Hebrides project has brought me a lot of great memories. The experience to visit island for the field research gave me a chance to think of what a meaningful design would looks like and what designer’s role is. It motivated me to create something right for them and something that can make them happier. This thought let me focus on the audience and drove this project to the right direction. I hope that this small design intervention will help connect people in Hebrides and people outside Hebrides through experience of Hebridean life.