Storytelling Stimulates Science
Multi-disciplinary working is claimed as an essential ingredient for innovation. However, the barriers to multi-disciplinary cooperation that lead to meaningful contributions for an organisation are
significant. The authors describe how a series of collaborations between an industrial R&D science community ("the scientists") and Northumbria University’s School of Design has helped to develop a new approach to research and teaching based on the communication device of storytelling. We find that this approach can create a common platform in to which different disciplines can embed their specialist knowledge to the benefit of multi-disciplinary working. This paper builds on previous work of Smith and Sams 2007; ‘Friendly’ . This paper also describes observations on how the level of engagement of the scientists with the design-led projects has developed, charting a shift from sceptical suspicion to engaged enthusiasm. This paper focuses upon recent projects that have involved both undergraduate Design for Industry (DFI) and postgraduate Multidisciplinary Design Innovation (MDI) groups, disclosing the academic structures and investigative methods that allowed design, business and engineering students to collaborate with the scientists and help inform their strategy team, e.g. how new patented science could be better communicated.