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Interweaving and Architecting as Storytelling

The Power of Storytelling from Harvard Business Review:

The interweave and architectural lenses enables a unique kind of story to be told about our world, a company, department, situation, building, ship, enterprise, or community. This story provides focus and frame on what is important, fundamental, essential, and  Interweaves the parts.

An interweave and architectural story is told a little bit different based on the intended audience and who they are and what they do, who do they collaborate with, where they stand, their attention, questions to be answered, problems to solve, information needs, what they look at, and what they are supposed to do with the architectural knowledge. 

The main characters and settings, the intended audience and their collaborative work situations are important to keep in mind when formulating and telling an story. The passions, challenges, conflicts, complications, and opportunities of the work place are the centre piece the story. Interweave and architectural thinking as well as interweaving and architecting practices provide many tools, techniques, considerations, and forms for the resolution part of the story. Interweaving bridges people and their work across socially, technically constructed and natural boundaries.

An interweave or architectural story can be interactive and live and used to capture corporate history as well as to provide a backbone and structure for enterprise knowledge management. A story can convey knowledge in the form of definitions, descriptions, explanations, predictions, hypothesis, and prescriptions.

An interweave and architectural story comes in many forms and expressions:

  • Orals stories that are communicated directly and that shapes our beliefs and mental models.
  • Written stories, narratives, plots in the form of text and illustrations.
  • Stories embodied in human bodies as a result of personal experience, such as after a participation in an enactment of work done in a workspace.
  • Stories embedded in physical artefacts made of wood, clay, paper, steel, etc.
  • Stories embedded in a specification that other should realise.
  • Stories embedded in a practice or situation such as an architecting practice, or a kind of workshop with a specific setup and aim.
  • A set of structured models that together tell a story from a particular perspective.
  • Formal simulations and mathematical models.

When models are used to tell an story it is recommended that they are accompanied by two kinds of explanatory stories. 

The “Story of” is a narrative that explains and brings the pieces of the model together in a written form suitable for the intended audience and work they do. The “Story of” tells a human oriented story that brings to the surface important information that often falls between the parts of the structured model, such as the ‘whole picture’, backgrounds information and reasoning, judgements and trade of’s made. This story should or rather must be written and organised so that ordinary people that are not architects can read, understand, and use it. In many cases rich pictures can complement, but not replace, these stories aimed at informing interested parties.

The “Logic of” tells a different but equally important story. This story focus on explaining the underlying logic, principles, rules, underlying assumptions and theories of the model, i.e. how the pieces formally, logically or mathematically fits together. This underlying logic is often not directly visible to readers of the models.

/Anders W. Tell

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