Storytelling in Service Design / Service Design Drinks Berlin

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Berlins November 2012 meet-up explored story-telling for service design. Based on the 7 basic plots by Christopher Booker the visitors created amazingly strange stories in a hands-on session. With acting-out and other techniques the 50+ people demonstrated their hidden talents and had long ongoing conversations afterwards.



G R U P P E N B I N G / N O V E M B E R 2 1 , 2 0 1 2

Storytellingin Service Design

Why is storytellingrelevant forservice design at all?

But when you put all these things together, with elements from architecture, physical design, electronic technology from software, how do you actually prototype an idea for a service, and it seems that really, its about storytelling, its about narrative.

B I L L M O G G R I D G E Co-founder of IDEO

Application of storytelling

Presentation of service concept


Inspiration for ideation

Application: Act-out

Application: Physical model

Application: Scenario

7 basic plots in storytelling

C H R I S T O P H E R B O O K E R Author


Overcoming the Monster



Voyage and Return

The Quest

Rags to Riches

Icon: Bryan Anderson / The Noun Project; Summary: Bill Boyd

Overcoming the Monster

A terrifying, all-threatening monster has been terrorising a community and must be confronted by the hero in a fight to the death.

Greek Myths



The Three Musketeers

The Bond Stories

Star Wars

Jack and the Beanstalk

Overcoming the Monster

Icon: Matt Beynon / The Noun Project; Summary: Bill Boyd

Rags to Riches

The story of an ordinary insignificant person, usually overshadowed by a dark or dominant figure, who turns out to have special qualities.

The Ugly Duckling

My Fair Lady


David Copperfield


Jane Eyre

Rags to Riches

Icon: Giorgia Guarino / The Noun Project; Summary: Bill Boyd

The Quest

We learn that in a faraway land there is a goal worth any effort to achieve a promised land, treasure, something of great value. From the moment the hero learns of this prize, the need to set out on a long hazardous journey takes over everything.

Homers Odyssey

Treasure Island

Pilgrims Progress

Lord of the Rings

Watership Down

Around the World in 80 Days

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Quest

Icon: Luis Miguel Oliveira Caldeira / The Noun Project; Summary: Bill Boyd

Voyage and Return

The hero or heroine (or central group of characters) travel out of their familiar everyday surroundings into a strange world completely cut off from the first. At first this new world is exhilarating but gradually a dark shadow intrudes and they are glad to return usually by a thrilling escape home.

Back to the Future

Alice in Wonderland

The Wizard of Oz

Lord of the Flies

Gullivers Travels

The Lion, the Witch and the


Voyage and Return


We have come to associate comedy with humour, but it isnt as simple as that. The essence of comedy is that it is like a jigsaw puzzle when it is finished it seems obvious that there is only one way it could have ended up and it has to have some redeeming truth which is brought out into the light.

Summary: Bill Boyd

A Midsummer Nights Dream

The Merchant of Venice

Pride and Prejudice

Sense and Sensibility

The Marriage of Figero

Some Like it Hot

Four Weddings and a Funeral



Sooner or later, in any attempt to explore the deeper patterns which shape story-telling, we are brought up against one central, overwhelming fact. This is the way in which, through all the millions of stories thrown up by the human imagination, just two endings have far outweighed all others. Either it ends with a man and a woman united in love. Or it ends in a death. Summary: Bill Boyd

Romeo and Juliet


King Lear

Bonnie and Clyde

The Picture of Dorian Gray


Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde

The Story of Icarus



A hero or heroine falls under a dark spell, whichtraps them for a long time in a living death, physical or spiritual imprisonment, sleep, sickness or some other form of enchantment, before a miraculous act of redemption takes place and they are freed from the darkness and brought back into the light.Icon: Okan Benn / The Noun Project; Summary: Bill Boyd

Sleeping Beauty

Snow White

Beauty and the Beast

The Snow Queen

A Christmas Carol

Crime and Punishment

The Secret Garden


Your challenge: Tell a story in 2 min

See you atnext service designmeet-up