Resonance in Storytelling.

I was deeply moved, some years back, when I saw this video. I think of it quite frequently and the central question the artist asks – who does sound belong to?

As I’ve been reflecting on what makes for effective storytelling the word that immediately comes to mind is resonance. When we want to develop connections through storytelling that are deep, full and reverberating, how do we tap into the quality of resonance? What is resonance?

“Resonance describes the phenomena of amplification that occurs when the frequency of a periodically applied force is in harmonic proportion to a natural frequency of the system in which it acts.”

Looking at Newman

When something resonates, it leaves a lasting impression. You create new space in your self to accommodate, or you fit the new information into existing space that houses likeness. I wondered if, being tapped into resonance, would enable us to more readily tap into resonance with our audiences, our publics, our clients. 

Patterns of Resonance

There’s a relationship here between resonance and intuition. When we tap into our intuition to guide us, are we also tapping into moments of resonance that have instructed us and helped to shape our intuition? Could externalizing our patterns of resonance teach us something about ‘the intuitive or serendipitous quality of [a designer’s] work?’ (Buchanan)

“Design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning as well as being functional, and to express ourselves in media other than words or symbols.” (Brown & Wyatt)

Looking at Klein

If our credibility rests in our ability to make compelling arguments, to tell stories that are relevant and meaningful, then achieving resonance becomes evidence that we’ve tapped into what matters. Harmonic proportion is critical at every juncture of the design process – in the brief, during research and ideation, in articulation of the process, and, ultimately, in the outcome itself.