Beginning in September 2023 the Lens-Based Media program will introduce a new elective study path: Narrative Design. This study path responds to the needs of students who want to engage more deeply with the narrative potential of the media they have chosen to work with.

The elective program is based on the belief that you can apply design principles to narrative, and that the design tradition of art education has something unique to offer Narrative Design as a discipline. The program fosters an approach that is distinctive from more traditional “creative writing” postgraduate programs.

As part of the Narrative Design study path students will explore ways to harness the principles of narrative design, which have been developed over millennia, and to investigate contemporary narratological insights. Students will learn to design narratives which can act as organising principles for their transmedia artistic projects. They will participate in several Thematic Projects addressing specific topics. Each seminar is taught by invited experts, who will share their experience and narrative skills with students.

Within the Narrative Design study path each student will produce two sustained narrative works, employing a range of media best suited to communicate their project’s themes and story. Students will be expected to create different versions of their individually-developed story through at least two distinct media formats (of their choice), and to learn from the consonance and dissonance between the different versions of their story. The thesis component of the Narrative Design study path will require a 5000-word written narrative, accompanied by a 3000-word reflection on the relationship between written narrative and the image-based version of the same narrative.

We believe such a study path offers an important perspective to today’s postgraduate students. The moment an artist’s work can grip an audience—using narrative skills to move beyond addressing those already pre-converted to their research topics and aesthetic interests—they are in a position to create a powerful channel of communication between artist, activist or researcher, and their audience. 

Narrative Design is an elective study path within the Master of Arts in Fine Art & Design: Lens-Based Media program.