Persuasion tactics of staging thesis excerpt

Page 1

ERSUASION ACTICS F TAGING


A special thanks to my greatly supportive mentors, Prof. Dr. Brandes and prof. Dr. Baron, my family back at home and my immies back at KISD. The biggest hug goest to Lavic, without whom this would not have been possible.

40

SU

Inte

gr

M

at

ed

M AR Y De

sig

n

Ha an ving d rela sta disc tio gin uss n g, ed ho h by s we bo w ave ee ca th n rh th ey in ing w cla eto dif com h rify ric fer.1 m at th on the eir : 1 , a se Ta s w tw ke lis t of a loo ell o feat k at as He ur es

rri ck ’s etor 5 fe ic at an d st ures ag on ing pa ge sh ar 26 e. fo ra

rh

74 Inte gr

at

M A

DE

SC

48

RI

In

te gr 3. at ed S De Da ta R sig za bu n iF cK by u S Ke e ng nm o FFe a o Ku n-gt ec ma ū, an Jap an D oci atae SS ,2 01 2

PT

IV

E/

ed

De

sig

OD

B

EL

3:

C

n

TH

EC

IT

Y are gro gro W u th upin ped hen e c sp spa g als toge erta e ti th ak o al o o m ther, in co o a grough f thergan nife and nten is st th layoupintherecity ati s it is ts o se wh ut ings th will mod n, w f in e e as en w sp at d alwa l. E ca CA ve n a e owspatie pe ce, o termys b n NOSE-S 6 TU e rc DY a dn st al w eiv n a ine cert o th h e h ab ifferery, o ole the um e ain a o r s de ut thnt m the tha se g n sc ro a t ri Ly ves e cit ann sam tell up le, n e th s we che’ its n y m r, w e sto eir e a o su can s im me del. canry in c a no h asdiffe ge fromThis talk d re o cit es distr nti f the Kev mod y a a in el dis as nd la icts te e city, a , le th tricts refe ndm path me whe ey gro en and renc arks.s ed nts re ti g of up o tle lande). T (se es a th h e , or e c f co demmark e n the n o a ‘op moity, a tentsarc s, b tion a e pa en spnum grou ( in tion cau of se th cit s, e ace’ent) p of the of a , y b c m mo dge - a c in re uild ase o la d s th ving els andong tio ings e lo n , flo rollefromwe a nod me to a e ra as ting rcoa eve re n s. S te o n o m in th in c ster t to t simo in f o e o de ving oc nte mod even ply e n m e co arc both an mt ric l, or t as h n in to ten ated aro ode spa free ge ts u th ch spa nd l but ce, TA er. ose ce an a CT IC S n tos th d w re OF a it PE be t en hin RS pla cir UA SI ce cle ON d

TA

CT IC

S

OF

PE

RS UA

SI is ON d be em a Th restclea rcatee ext rl or ricti y dif d ca ent lo to ch oseon o fere n va w n a f ry h 75 on nginly d mo tiate . E ich ve c e ve e be eve g th marc m d, b nt onte e o c e th rest nt to ligh ate nt a th in an nt e o ric d n de th ted the t en , sim d si g p e n vi an end r wa whileext ron ply ht, . m b d to the on thy aro sig Move en y t c arc rea spa e in und ht is me from te ti n te . h wa hite the al e nt The not, t ca c le o o o (sey to tura dem me f th solu r n e K dem l co arc nts e d tio p olu a nte ati ch esig ns s m rca xt on ose ne ba te ca . A n r b go as dis n b giv o exa tric e a en visi d so T m ts o ‘na h ple f amtors lutio e cit tu ) con ra n l’ inteoun sho n fo y m te o r u t nt. a th rpre of fr ld b stag del e c e h of samt the eedo giv ing an b w e c m ha lear e timcon m to n a heree a te c ve c Cit be topic e th nt, roa erta the b m t alloy mo en p s anere a ut w an in d re v pro ws dels de d na re a here fo te n a timgress r a crea rm rrati um at n te in ve b p – e cre ion on-l a ed s th er ev fr in , t dig en ates but inea am th at ts e e th w co est – ‘pac at r seq work brie a th n a v ob ten nd o at hkets t th uen tha f. e c je t. ’ c be cts By rgan elp thof in same of t c tw is dir ee and learlise th e vi form e ec n th ev y si o t m e en groe dis tor atio n an se ts to up pla p fo ne are g ing ye r 49 o se stag T r. im eth ce d h n plie er, rta t ca se oing e e cit M d in rela in as se f th n y te e tio s w e viro mo r Th CR a es m ns he ‘w nm de o EA is ore re ho en l is TIV th le’ ts no a e vi is ES w t t sito imp hereide TA r sh ort th al GIN t Ho ou ant. e G s ld In TY expw th PE en o of siti , d S o w sta riti ona de t gin ng l an scri g forela d ev pti lo pu TH rm te to alu ve, n im E4 rp a s? a w th tive rra ea ose h RH s e e It c ti ET pla h o , fun n th ’s no diffe typ ve, ORI f th c in t es c CA re ki ve e ti ‘typ th ese o W LM n ng ry nt h O de e’ c em formand ab ke ere o sc on in y, th rip ta the s o featuut th wit an e se tio ine p f st re e hin d c tt ns r, b rop a s it su th reati ing we ase er gin of De cce e vi ng up ga d o spa g, to o S si ve n tia restc Ripssfu tor a ce f th . th l e rt l, is ti e de aura ve we’ w ain mo h sc o pa rip nts Sta re ta at m‘feelind is rtic tive , ba gin lkin a th g kes g’ e ula st rs g co m fr r se aginand . Pla abo u m o sp ing m otting g to hote ces t lik e are ndin bac thersthat creals use e k an n’t n g tim bec and will te a d yt an hin ecesse in ause kee istin p d g ap fee oth arilythat they visi guis pre l a er to se cia ce thaenco ttinenjo rs rt tio a n u g y n fo in a en rag . Th r th est joy thed toey h e st eti em do se ag c lv ed se ttin g.

DE STSCR AG IP IN TIV G E

DE

FI

PE TA RSU OFCTICASIO S N ST AG IN G

NI

NG FI THE EL DS IN

TR

OD

UC TIO

N/

ST AG

IN

SU

RH M M

G

ET OR

AR Y/

-

IC

-

TO ST STA A G ST GIN E A DO GING P R RHING G D ACT ET RH EFIN ICE OR ET E S IC OR D AL IC TH EO RY


THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

Master Thesis

USING THIS BOOK This book consists of 4 main chapters, each with further division based on key rhetorical elements. At the end of each is a summary that relates the elements of rhetoric to those of staging. Be sure to look at the margins since they give clues for how to use the accompanying case-studies.

TA

CT

IC

S

OF

PE

RS

UA

SI

ON

41 M

as

te

r Th

es

is

DE

FI

stag

NIN

G

ing

TH

E FI

EL

DS

& are

cre

ate

de

sig

as

te

r Th

es

is

his of journ a po ll th ey te e w su nti dis ith c a p a be h as l rela laye holis tte th ti d r c e on co tic c ho oc sh nte on ice ea ip, nts ce . n m an p na od oth and tion rra el, er th an tive B e d wo mo eir ha sp s’ w ing uld de a s th ati be l , a ith seri m o e l fr in a co re in pote am a la es o e rg f a th ste formntia work er ‘mic e r l c va city and atio to g , the onc roria m oc n th et e an tio od ea a ac city ptu al n ro d n pri in a , bo el allon m the ss o nc est th ro w d th ip e le h in s els lle wit divis s. T etic, type for a . Als ro s h sp h g visi in thion e g ati of rea , c b re co tors e ‘c etw ate al an onteter n r e d a it n s wtents re liky’, th en thand the t of hy of ely e le e d hea mati se ss is vi d p pa istr lace pa to d re tric er c rt ic ra ra la of icu ts wmen te w b tio ts n d a la t to dis rly ithin and istr etwe s ic vi tr im exh ew ict, po the org ts. en a T rt w th a of ibit, m e vi an ho niza his t. o le c are ontemuc re g sito On is tion r c h e to in spnts like nera has e ou in lin to k thace a b loo l pic a chtside g ki tu , sp ethe ose visi ook, ng re ance ati r o ‘d tors b at of u th th al is relar be tric are t sin e ta e tio ar a ts’ mo ce ble n. no tha re they th th t a lik ec er on ity La typ re c ely e m es lose m co od ndm po nte el ark of r sta rta n of nd nt t th sta s, in ou or at is gin the tsid me c b g ODE e o anin y a , wo ase S f a gfu nd uld of dis l e in it be tric no se t. L ugh lf an to dm ark s

ne

ic

dw

ith in

ten r t fr om a Aim ora to to cle r arl ya nd as a m pe (sh pati es rsua ap al m s ag sive e, e u ly co ediu lor, m sin co m g lig m ht) un

5 M

rh etor

TH

E3

PE

ica te la (w ngu ritt ag s en e arghou ,o um ld b ra l) en e a tati ttra rs/g ve cti to ve, ue an aro sts au us die in nc g a e o nd lis f ten ers /re ad ers

Bo th RS

UA SI

VE

AP

PE

AL m S a co y be n m nec use o ti d to re g on to h th en be elp e e era tw xh l is ee und ibit su n d ers as es istr ta a w tha icts nd an Cit ho t are or the d le. pa are as ‘s y m relaclari vi o ted fy op lion ofte pac dels e n es of n a s or form wit can sp re st eff ac a. W an ula hin also sp d e e ha ct th s d hich s w ted a ac be o it e’ s th of e un min of thhin s sm ey th a a use e spders tes ese largaller th ta tw e a fo ce nd e r in r w in o o ty itse hic T navi and g thther pe s h h g th pro lf. If the ere atio e me vi will a n en sito th vide the city re, in . tal r e d m m im ext for mistric od fac ap e p e th ressrnal ore ts a l ca t, 4 w e re n sm oth ion spacmove la ma ays rg n o e e, fro aller r ha f a ‘la it wmen er a ifest n m n a t d un a nd , w byr ill c th d de ce are he inth au an rsto rta ’ se lim n od in p it the or g the lab as oin edly dis rid. giRy Rin th t, it ac tric On e: ca ce ts pin D, th, n b ss are e ed iSlawhe n el D m oR oD el.

vis

ito

Summary

s

sh s

o ve

s

.

Theory

Key Elements

Chapter Contents

3


INTRODUCTION

DEFINING THE FIELDS

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

THE 3 PERSUASIVE APPEALS


11-19

INTRODUCTION/ Staging To stage

Staging practices Staging defined Rhetoric Doing rhetoric Rhetorical theory

20-43 22 30

SUMMARY/

44-61

INTRODUCTION/

Descriptive Narrative Expositional Argumentative

50 52 54 56

SUMMARY/

62-109 INTRODUCTION/

Logos Appeal to the intellect Pathos Appeal to emotions Telling a story Narratology Ethos Appeal to authority Authenticity Real vs. Fake The authentic self

SUMMARY/

66 80 96


THE 5 CANONS

CONCLUSION APPENDIX


110-157 INTRODUCTION/

Invention Stasis 114 Basic questions of stasis Arrangement 126 Style Virtues of style overview 134 Correctness Clarity Evidence Propriety Ornateness Virtues of style conclusion Levels of style Memory 152 Delivery 154

SUMMARY/

158 166 bibliography image sources illustration and icon sources

168 170 172


INTRODUCTION



10

Integrated Design

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

INTRODUCTION

EXORDIUM (INTRODUCTION) Even before I began to study architecture, I was amazed at how full of awe and wonder certain spaces could make me feel. Museums of natural history and quaint local libraries were abundant in the outskirts of Toronto where I grew up, and these were the places that mystified me most. I wanted to take part in making such places possible and more frequent. Textures, lights, and materials combined with the colors and shapes of the content inside. The way a darkly painted room- dimly illuminated through a retracted skylight- managed to convey the story of evolution, stuck with me longer than any of the texts I had read in school on the subject. The creation of this kind of space was a noble pursuit. And it was what I would imagine myself doing with a passion. After gaining an MSc. in architecture, I could happily say that I was able and ready to start pursuing that goal... partially. My architectural education opened before me a new sphere of tactile and spatial sensitivity till then unknown, but I realised that I was missing something in my education.

That’s when I enrolled ( to my parents’ dismay ) into my second master’s degree- this time in Integrated Design at the Köln International School of Design. For me, it was a great choice since it proved to be exactly what was missing: a chance to explore and understand the way the world, (and people) work outside of design while using design. And after many twists and turns along the way, I was able to comprehend what I was missing since finishing architecture ,that had left me brighter and bolder, yet strangely wanting. Good space wasn’t just about the materials of the walls or the flow of the rooms. Great interior space was about the relationship between it and what was in it- including you . It’s also about how you, as the visitor, react to it. How attracted or repulsed, frightened or enlightened it made you feel. And so I knew if I wanted to make truly good spaces, ones that were also accessible to my friends who weren’t so intrigued by ionic arches or masterful brickwork, I would have to turn to psychology and social sciences, to grab from critical analysis, and ethnography and steal here and there from new fields like exhibition and service design, all while never leaving Mies van der Rohe or Frank Wright far behind.


THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

Master Thesis

11

NARRATIO (BACKGROUND) I’ve attempted to do all those things, and determining whether or not I’ve been successful is a critical task I leave to you, my fellow reader. But before I let you get to it, I need to ask a critical question: When you’re sipping your Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Starbucks do you instinctively respond to the homey layout and dim lighting by snuggling into one of those large leather chairs? (presuming you have done such a thing. If not, why not? All your friends are doing it. Go do it now) Do you feel a slight tingle when you breath in the delectable smell of coffee beans wafting from the counter, or the creamy and rich colors that surround you? How do yo feel about the sepia photos portraying the first ever venue in Seattle when the brand was still nothing but a single corner shop known only to local connoisseurs? I’m not saying it’s bedazzlingly captivating , but to me, it’s convincing. The space with all its attributes and contents, appeals to me emotionally, logically, and credibly ( the coffee less so.) It does its best to persuade me that It’s about the second best place to write my thesis when I need a change of scenery, and that it does have a history and culture that I can be a part of. Ultimately, it

succeeds . You did get that Chai Latte in the end, didn’t you? I’m aware that not everyone would respond the same way to the space of Starbucks I do, but It’s impossible to ignore the statistics. They overwhelmingly point to the fact that people are persuaded by the Starbucks and the Hollisters of the world. And if the sheer numbers of these branded coffee shops is not enough, then perhaps the number of reserach papers published on the subject might. But it’s not just true for commercial spaces. For example, city museums like those that almost every German city has, attempt to do the same. And yes, I use the word attempt here with great deliberation. I’ve gone into many such a museum with more enthusiasm than I’ve come out with. Many simply do not meet expectations. Meekly organized, with no coherent ‘roter Faden’1, little thought placed on the materials or sounds, and seemingly no thought put into how I as the visitor would emotionally or intellectually understand being in a historical museum. A living story of the past embodied in space. What could be more fascinating? And yet it fails on a number of accounts. It fails to argument, arouse, or attract my 1

Roter Faden, meaning ‘red string’ refers to the uniting thread of a concept that is present through out.

CASE-STUDY NO 2

CASE-STUDY NO 3


12

Integrated Design

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

PARTITIO (DIVISION)

confidence in its validity. In other words, it fails to persuade. This bring us to a key question: How can the space with content of a commercial coffee venue be more persuasive than that of a historical treasury? What makes it so? And where can I, as a designer, find the resources to aid me with the design of such a space? This line of questioning brought me to the art of persuasion in speech, also known as rhetoric. Rhetorical theory has such a long practice and academic history, that it was in fact one of the mandatory classes for ancient Greeks and Romans. (Herrick, 2015) We still use much of their theories to analyze written and oral rhetoric today. Logos, pathos and ethos are the so-called rhetorical appeals, established by Aristotle in 4th century Athens. They’re a triadic concept of what makes an argument convincing; it has to appeal to the logic and emotions of the audience as well as the credibility of the speaker, thought Aristotle. This is just one of the frameworks rhetorical theory carries in its pallet. But what about spatial rhetoric? If the design and

organization of contents in space can be convincing – communicating to the visitor a message if you will – then why not look at it through the lens of rhetoric?


Master Thesis

What I suggest is that there is a possibility to view staging through the lens of rhetoric where staging can in fact be seen as a type of rhetorical practice, where the designed space becomes a text the audience/visitor reads. Understood analogously, it’s possible then to think about some of the frameworks present in rhetorical theory as referring to designed space. This is a huge leap, but it enables a new and (although perhaps fragile) necessary framework that could guide the design practice of staging. Ultimately, it would be possible to link tools and methods from different design fields to the rhetorical framework. Tools like user journeys from service design and scores used in theater and cinema could play a role in building a resource for work in staging. In the end, of course, all of this would have to pass the test of experience and put into use in the real world in order to be proven. Otherwise, it was just an academic exercise. So I urge any and all designers reading this to question, be critical and if you have the chance, to try it out! Validation in design comes through practice, and this is one of the future hopes I have for the concepts and frameworks you are about to read.

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

13


Integrated Design

14

CONFIRMATIO (ARGUMENT)

The arguments meant to prove my case are dispersed throughout the following pages. All of them hinge on the following statments- attmepting to prove the the following hypotheses:

1.

Staging can be seen as a type of rhetorical practice, where the designed space becomes a text the audience/visitor reads.

2.

It’s possible to ‘translate’ the basics of written/oral rhetorical frameworks into one for the staging practice.

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

REFUTATIO (COUNTERARGUMENT) Ultimately, this is a thesis in spatial design and not in linguistics or literature. Therefore using frameworks that work with the latter and translating them for the former runs a certain risk. The contemporary definition of rhetoric has come to encompass a type of communication through all symbolic-meaning systems; Not just language. Yet it’s hard to argument for a rhetoric of space because space works with mediums like light, color, shape, sound, to communicate. Symbols ‘made up’ of these mediums have disperse meanings, which are not precisely agreed upon. This thesis is not an attempt at confining the meanings that different forms, sounds and materials can signify- all such attempts being a priori a lost cause. Rather it is supposed to outline a way of thinking, if we agree with the premise that communication via these mediums is possible, and that our duty as designers is to understand how it happens, channelling that communication for the greater good.


Master Thesis

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

PERORATIO (CONCLUSION)

Here are some questions a good rhetorical opponent might give to counterargument this thesis: ‘‘Not all spatial design is rhetorical. Some of it might be designed to communicate. Sure, but not all communication is persuasion. This argument is perfectly valid- I don’t claim all staging is necessarily rhetorical. But it is a framework that claims staging can be understood as such if it helps us understand key phenomena better, or design better spaces. It is not a foolproof one-size-fits-all solution. It might be necessary to view staging strictly from a curatorial, educational or user experience perspective, forgoing other ways of framing the problem. And, if the results meet the design intent in the end, then it’s perfectly alright. The option of using rhetorical frameworks for staging is one of the possibilities, but it is not the only one and it does not stand opposed to other frameworks. Through the rest of this book I’ll attempt to prove just how viable and effective an option it is.

‘’You believe that by persuading, basically coaxing your visitor into doing or believing something is an act of greater good?’’ This brings us to the moral dilemma that is the ever surrounding aura of rhetoric. This stems from the idea that rhetorical speech is synonymous with amoral enticement or a form of deceit. (Herrick, 2015) Although it can, and certainly has been used for such means, it isn’t a defacto duplicitous practice. Like any knowledge tool, it can be used for both moral and amoral purposes. We’ll talk more about that in our chapter on rhetoric and rhetorical theory.

With the mountain of data we receive getting ever bigger, and our attention spans ever narrower, places and spaces that are able to filter and provide us with meaningful information are necessary. Spaces that clearly and concisely speak to their audience; spaces that embrace rhetoric. Designers, always the pioneers, test and struggle, tussle and toil with the immense pallets that make up the media at their disposal. Sometimes it’s necessary to stop and take a step back, considering the very way we think about design, and pick out a different set of spectacles with which to view the challenge. Who knows, we might even be persuasive enough to get our visitors to buy the same pair of spectacles!

15



DEFINING THE FIELDS

INTRODUCTION/

STAGING - TO STAGE STAGING PRACTICES STAGING DEFINED RHETORIC - DOING RHETORIC RHETORICAL THEORY

SUMMARY/


18

Integrated Design

INTRODUCTION In this chapter, we’ll set the foundation for our understanding of the two main concepts: staging and rhetoric.

TACTICS OF PERSUASION


DEFINING THE FIELDS

Master Thesis

STAGING VS. RHEOTRIC Both staging and rhetoric are fields of academic thought with a heavy focus on pratice.

Staging is a much more flexible term, since it was adopted for this thesis to signify a grey zone of spatial design and has not been heavily discussed in theory or in practice. It’s still new enough to not have a set definition. So we’ll define staging in a way that will allow us to further make connections between the practice of spatial design and rhetoric. We’ll get some help by examining neighboring design disciplines. Rhetoric has a strong tradition rooted in ancient Greece and Rome, therefore there isn’t much opportunity to explore and ‘play’ with what rhetoric means. Or, at least, not when we consider ancient rhetoric, long ago established by the greats like Cicero and Aristotle. We’ll make a basic sketch of ancient rhetorical theory present in introductory textbooks on the subject, alongside a commentary on how it could relate to space. Gaining an overview of this kind will allow us a better understanding of the new framework for staging this book brings to light.

Putting it into the framework of stasis (see page 117), this chapter asks the following questions of definition: What shall we call this spatial practice we’re referring to? How shall we define it? How shall we define it in relation to rhetoric?

19


20

reference to case study

STAGING / 1.Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Köln,GERMNAY By Atelier Brückner

WALL


21

reference to case study

CHAPTER NAME


Integrated Design

22

‘TO STAGE’

DEFINING THE VERB The primary topic of this book, the one which all the arguments, frameworks, explanations and models will revolve around, is the act of staging as it relates to the practice of designing spaces with communicational intent. So let’s start by defining it. In its verb form, ‘to stage’ can mean a dozen different things. The dictionary1 definition further helps us understand what the act of staging involves: a) represent, produce, exhibit b) write, direct, or produce, as well as c) plan, organise, carry out. So to stage is to produce (plan, organise and implement) something for public viewing and effect. Although this definition is correct, to build up a theoretical framework around this concept, we need to define better which of its aspects are key for us and why. In the next chapter we will be doing just that, while contemplating the different existing design fields that help us in this undertaking.

1

provided by dictionary.com

TACTICS OF PERSUASION


DEFINING THE FIELDS

Master Thesis

STAGING PRACTICES

EXHIBITION DESIGN, INTERIOR DESIGN AND SCENOGRAPHY ‘‘To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master’’ -Milton Glaser (American graphic designer) Staging is primarily understood as an artistic endeavour within the dramatic arts1, as if in ‘to stage a play’, the concept of staging, defined in a way that it’s relevant for the field of design outside of the dramatic arts, is a fairly new concept. Therefore it requires we first establish a fundamental springboard from which to develop ideas further. This is not an easy task since, being a field that is still new and developing, not much has been written on the matter and most publications tend to be a series of best practice case studies based more on heruistics than on theory. Still, the idea of persuasive staging design can be linked to a number of design fields that engage in the act of staging to a certain degree. Its’ worth digging deeper into their fields and taking from them insights and relevant frameworks that we can later implement into a new one. We’ll take a look at three design fields, and one newly coined ‘field of study’ respectably: Exhibition design, Interior design, and Scenography.

1

A simple google search of the term and the books writen on the subject will be enough to prove this point.

More often than not, the small amount of current publishing that attempts to define a theory of staging though practice (Kossmann.dejong., Atelier Brückner ) dubs it ‘EXHIBITION DESIGN’. This is understandable, since most of their projects involve developing exhibitions for museum spaces. The problem with using ‘exhibition design’ as an umbrella term is not in its relevance to the practice of staging communicative spaces. Rather, it’s that it cannot encompass the vast opportunities for which a staging design framework and mindset could be relevant. Exhibition design usually refers to museum environments, but it can be seen more and more often in commercial environments or environments for leisure and recreation (Hotel Bazar in Rotterdam). Spaces like Hotel Bazar are undeniably staged, Each wall within each room was chosen with careful consideration of the effect to be achieved. And yet could we call it exhibition design, even though it’s presented as such2? The Venn Diagrams of Staging and Exhibition design overlap, but we can’t say they are one and the same since it considerably broadens the

2 Exhibition design firm Kossman.dejong. included this project in their publication entitled Engaging Spaces; Exhibition Design Explored.

23


24

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Integrated Design

number of projects traditionally attributed to exhibition design. Perhaps it’s useful to gain a better understanding of what a professional in the area of exhibition design does. The Design institute of Australia defines exhibition design as follows: ‘‘Exhibition designers design and organise the construction and installation of trade exhibitions, permanent shop displays, museum exhibits, and interpretive displays.’’ This definition emphasises exhibits and displays as the main fields of work for this type of designer, and Hotel Bazar is neither. The alternative solution would be to call it interior design, the art or job of planning how the rooms of a building should be furnished and decorated (WM definition). Could it be argued the Hotel Bazar project falls more under this category? The Design institute of Australia defines the activities of an interior designer as follows: ‘‘Interior designers plan and detail commercial and residential building interiors for effective use with particular emphasis on space creation, space planning and factors that affect our responses to living and working

environments.’’ The definition for Interior design is simply too broad to be equated with staging design because it doesn’t focus on clear and explicit communication with the user. Interior designers do think about ‘atmosphere’ and ‘mood’ of space- and I’ll be using certain elements from the theory of interior design to supplement that of staging design. Still, with interior design, the goal is not so much to communicate within the environment as it is to achieve a certain quality within it. Being something more than exhibition design, but less than interior design in terms of scope, staging design is hard to pinpoint on the professional map of design fields. Practitioners who tread these waters themselves try to define what they do using some combination of the words ‘space’, ’interpretative’ , ‘narrative’ and ‘design’. Of the many international design buros that deal with exhibition design, Stuttgart based Atelier Brückner stands out amongst them not only for their exemplary projects, for which they have received over 200 awards, but also for their publications in this nascent field. The writing by Atelier Brückner is of great relevance to the topic of staging and will be


DEFINING THE FIELDS

Master Thesis

often quoted in this book. Seen as one of the pioneers and innovators on exhibition design, much of their thought will be taken as referential concepts, although a new and unique framework will be built on its foundations . The most recent of the buros publications is the title ‘Scenography’. Within this publication, ‘staging’ and ‘stage’ are used, but more so to enlighten the term the buro’s founder, Uwe Brückner, coined- scenography. It encompasses what the buro sees as their field of work- ‘‘With emphasis on process, the perforative and the constructed, formerly segregated genres of design-practise reconnect to staged gestures of spatiality.’’ Scenography is a term taken from the theatre arts, where it designates the art of perspective representation especially as applied to the design and painting of stage.3 ‘‘The scope of scenography soon included many forms of spatial design both in cultural and museum institution and in the commercial and industrial area. From the end of the 1990s onwards, this went hand in hand with a tendency to theatricalise public space. The term ‘’staging’’ experienced astonishing 3

popularity and became a magic word for all possible designed happenings, spaces and events.’’ - Scenography, pg 17 Atelier Brückner appropriate the word for their own means, using it to designate the art of staging in a nontheater or dramatic arts setting. They refer to the practice of scenography as ‘staged gestures of spatiality’. Although they do not completely equate staging with scenography, claiming that the latter is used in a much wider context (‘’all possible designed happenings, spaces and events.’’) In that sense, Scenography claims to be more ‘spatial’, more focused as a term on the design of and within space than staging. It’s very important also to note what distinguishes scenography from an artistic endeavour. The spatial designer aims for elucidation, resolution and clarity. Orientation and Insight are stated as the primary goals and criteria based on which to judge a project. And this is where it gets particularly interesting. When we speak of offering orientation and insight we mean presenting the user/ visitor a new perspective, and at the same time convincing that user/ visitor that this perspective is valid and that they should adopt it.

The Webster Merridian online dictionary

.

definition for scenography

‘‘However, whereas art has largely

25


26

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Integrated Design

liberated itself from and left behind the bourgeois common sense notion of conveying meaning, scenography pursues the criteria of meaning constitution- with artistic means. Whereas the work of art purports to be enigmatic and ambiguous, scenography bring about elucidation, resolution and clarity, Where art irritates and is disturbing, scenography is concerned with orientation and insight. The scenographer is an author of designs.’’ -Scenography, pg 5

from Atelier Brückner’s own corpus of projects: THE RAUTENSTRAUCH-JOESTMUSEUM, completed in 2010 in Cologne, ‘encourage the visitor to recognise the equal rights and equal value of different ways of life.’ Whereas the the EXPEDITION TITANIC exhibition design in Hamburg aim is to ‘build up emotions in the visitor and then take them captive in order to produce dismay, just in the way of a successful play…[for] the fate of these people and the ship, and the hybrid that led to the demise of both, to affect people deeply.’(atelier-bruekner.com)

Let’s take a look at 2 examples

We see at the aim of each


Master Thesis

DEFINING THE FIELDS

STAGING DEFINED of these projects is, of course, to display, clearly and concisely, relevant artefacts and information so as to educate the visitor. But this is not the only, or even the most important aim of the staged spaces. The designers goal in both cases was to emotionally and intellectually move the visitor to a new understanding of facts and events. Like a good orator, these spaces seek to, using different types of argumentation, persuade the visitor to think, feel and act differently than before they entered the premise. This is significant because it allows us to better and more precisely define the types of space we are dealing within stage design, as well as what their criteria for good design pieces are, beyond the aesthetic and functional. With an accent on the concept of designing persuasive spaces, ones that are meant not just to appeal to the user but to arouse their emotions and argue a case, the seeds for our new framework have been sown.

Staging designates the design and organisation of persuasively communicating within the medium of physical space. The ‘design objects’ of staging, that which is formed and moulded, are elements in everyday public or semi-public spaces. These spaces vary from restaurants, to museum exhibitions, and retail outlets to offices. And the communicative media vary from physical to digital- in the form of materials, colors, lights, and even audio clips. Therefore the functions and use of staging vary highly, but what binds them is an undeniable design resolution to signify unambiguously and persuasively a message to the user/visitor using the medium of space.

27


RHETORIC / 2.CICERO BEFORE THE SENATE (1913)-HANS SCHMIDT


Master Thesis

DEFINING THE FIELDS

29


30

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Integrated Design

DEFINING RHETORIC Like any other complex term, there are a number of possible ways to define rhetoric. One of the most popular and often heard is that rhetoric is the art of persuasion. (Toye, 2013) Although seemingly clear and simple, this definition can arouse mixed feelings. When thought of in this manner, rhetoric can easily be perceived as ‘deceptive’. This is an unjust simplification of a framework that can be used for many things. This does include- but not exclusive to -‘empty talk’. “Language that is intended to influence people and that may not be honest or reasonable.’’ The fact that this simplified view of rhetoric is the dominant one is confirmed by this dictionary definition. This view was first perpetuated by Plato in his seminal work Gorgias, where he makes clear his pessimistic view on rhetoric, at least as it was practiced by some in ancient Athens. But viewing rhetoric purely in this light today is unreasonably narrow. It is in conflict with the potentials of rhetoric to be used as a neutral tool. Contemporary philosophers and academics have come to reevaluate rhetoric:

“Entire dominion over all verbal pursuits. Logic, dialectic, grammar, philosophy, history, poetry, all are rhetoric.’’- Wayne Booth By this it’s meant that rhetoric organizes and gives structure to the other arts and disciplines. This is because rhetoric is, among other things, the study of how we organize and employ language effectively, and so it becomes the study of how we organize our thinking on a wide range of subjects. (Herrick, 2015) Rhetoric surrounds us every day and everywhere. Even when we dispute about whether or not we should get a tattoo with our parents, or when we to try to convince a person we’re courting of the best version of ourselves. At their base, all these normal, daily things are forms of rhetoric. ‘’Our lives as members of human communities are inherently and inescapably rhetorical. It may even be the case that individual conscious thought often is rhetorical in nature.’’ (Herrick, 2015).


Master Thesis

DEFINING THE FIELDS

Therefore definitions like George Kennedy’s seem more suitable for a contemporary understanding of the concept:

what the history teacher is trying to do is convince us of a socially and culturally agreed upon organization of events.

“The energy inherent in emotion and thought, transmitted through a system of signs, including language, to others to influence their decisions or actions.’’George Kennedy, a scholar writing on the history of rhetoric.

The second key point that Kennedy makes is that rhetoric is not reserved to language but can involve any sort of sign system. This includes visual sign systems as well, such as facial gestures and drawings. If we consider Kennedy’s definition true, then all the media that can be found in space (material, shape and form, light, and sound ) can form signsystems that interact with each other with the ultimate goal of influencing beliefs, decisions and actions.

If we take Kennedys definition of rhetoric as a base, two things come into focus. First is the idea that rhetoric is intrinsically about influencing the decisions of others. Every time we argue to our friends or try to convince them to go eat out at a particular restaurant, we are engaging in its use. Although its often thought that rhetoric is reserved for professionals in order to win a case or function, like lawyers or politicians, rhetoric is in fact something we all often use. Not only do we often use it, but we also might not be aware of when we do or when others are using it in order to persuade us. Even the matter of education has a rhetorical character. Although teachers and other educative authorities are seemingly telling us facts and neutral information, what they choose to tell us is still selective, as well as the way they choose to present it. Essentially,

31


32

Integrated Design

At some point it might seem that we have gone too far in our generalisation of what rhetoric can be. It is not possible that it is all communication, everywhere; this renders the concept useless. In order to pinpoint some key distinguishing qualities we encounter different types of media of expression, we look to the book By James Herrick History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction, an often used and cited textbook on the matter. Herrick extracts 5 features: 1. Rhetoric Is Planned. 2. Rhetoric Is Adapted to an Audience. 3. Rhetoric Reveals Human Motives 4. Rhetoric Is Responsive. 5. Rhetoric Seeks Persuasion. We’ll look into each with greater detail, and we’ll try to understand the relation every feature has with the practice of staging. Rhetoric/ Staging Is Planned This simply means that a rhetorical text, or at least some part of it, was thought out beforehand. An orator or designer primitively considered different things like : which arguments

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

should I put forward? And what resources are given to me considering the topic and the audience? This sort of preparation or planning is in fact integral to design. Brainstorming, sketching, and iterating ideas are all essential preliminary parts of the creation process without which the quality of the end design would suffer. Even designs that are meant to be ‘improvised’ or concluded on the spot have some, if not more, preparatory steps made by the designer to ensure a certain quality of outcome. We can safley say that planning is a requirement of both rhetoric and staging. Rhetoric/Staging Is Adapted to an Audience Rhetoric should be created with the audience in mind. This was one of the primary stipulations of Aristotle’s theory of rhetoric. He was one of the first to consider that the beliefs, values, and principles of the audience, as well as their knowledge and opinions of the subject, must be taken into account in order for there to be a rhetorical discourse at all. Otherwise, the rhetor is talking to an empty wall, and although that could be a useful intellectual exercise, it doesn’t hit the mark of good rhetoric. We could then conclude that good rhetoric is one that forges a bridge between views of the rhetor and those


DEFINING THE FIELDS

Master Thesis

of the audience. As a definitive principle for staging, this could not be stressed more. “It’s for someone , not just about something ” (McKenna-Cress, 2013) The idea of user centricity and human-centered design is currently a trending topic, and its creeping into other areas of design, including product design, UX, and service design. Whether or not to consider your audience when you’re designing is becoming a redundant question. With staging this is also true on different levels. Staging designers have to know their audience demographics, as well as what they (potentially would) think, feel and do in order to make the maximum impression, which is the ultimate goal. Rhetoric/ Staging Reveals Human Motives Human motives include a wide range of goals, desires and commitments that drive the designer and the brief. These goals could be general such as ‘ educate the general public on safe sex’ or less so like ‘ make sure teens understand the importance of using protection’. Rhetors address audiences with a goal in mind, and the audience should be able to derive that goal from the text (interpretation of that goal is of course a topic in itself).

Sometimes the staging designer is personally motivated to address an issue in space, and sometimes that goal is given in the brief. Either way, without an overarching goal as to what is to be transferred and achieved with the audience, the staging loses its ‘lighthouse’ and risks being assessed as unreadable and meaningless or just plain bad. Rhetoric/Staging Is Responsive Being responsive means that the rhetorical text is situated. If not a response to a previous text, than it’s a response to a current situation. Rhetoric is made to be a response to a set of circumstances, including a particular time, location, problem, and audience. An example would be when a famous YouTube persona creates a video critiquing and analysing the language used by Donald Trump- the highly controversial republican candidate for the 2016 US presidential election.1 As a trending topic, the YouTuber knows that it will gain traction and he uses it to express his political as well as social views. Not only that but he uses his skills in rhetorical analysis to show the audience how language can be utilized and therefore has an educational agenda as well.

1

This refers to the nerdwriter1 youtube video titled ‘How Donald Trump answers questions. A greatly recommened piece!

33


34

Integrated Design

In staging, the connection between circumstances and what is being staged might not be as clear. Often it is a topic of interpretation and analysis. The practice of staging exhibitions in museums has its own theory which often addresses these topics called curation. Staging and curation have much in common as practices, in that they are both concerned with the arrangement and expression of content. But whereas clear communication with the viewer is primary in staging, it’s not necessarily the leading principle in curation. Staging might not always be responsive in the way that rhetoric is, but i would argue that in order to create a good result, designers need to be more aware of the context within which they are dealing with their content. This could mean being more aware of how the content is portrayed in different media (in cinema for example), or the ways in which the audience might have otherwise been in contact with the subject matter earlier.

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Rhetoric/Staging seeks persuasion Finally we come back to that controversial term that seems to be at the heart of the ethical debate on rhetoric. Seeking persuasion means that all of rhetoric aims to alter the audience’s views in the direction of the speaker. Besides having motives for why he’s advocating something, the rhetor has the additional motive of getting his audience to agree and adapt his arguments as their own. Staging necessarily has the same motives. Audiences are encouraged to accept and appropriate the content and what it was staged to signify. Sometimes that means seeing commercial products as part of human history. MINIcooper as not just a car, but a cultural symbol that helped define an era of alternative and liberal thinking. Sometimes it means persuading the audience to consider the personal and emotional aspects of an atrocity such as the Holocaust, rather than just as a historical fact. In any case, the motive of persuasion is an essential part of staging, just like it is of rhetoric. Keeping this feature in mind when we as designers try to tackle a new project is important because it helps us focus on what is important to show and what isn’t. If it isn’t relevant and persuasive, perhaps it should be rethought, rearranged or removed.


Master Thesis

To be able to adequately understand the theory of rhetoric and eventually ‘morph’ it into a theory of staging, we need to go back to its roots, and that means classical rhetorics. The ancient Greeks built a foundation on which later the Romans elaborated. The writings on rhetoric of Plato, the Quintilian, and Cicero - to name a few- are enlightening and helpful to the extent that they remain relevant today. In fact, recent books have been written on the subject of ancient rhetorics 1and no university courses on both speaking and written composition is complete without at least a mention of some of the the Greeks and Romans such as Quntillian. As important as these musings are for us today, they were even more important for the ancients since, to quote Richard Enos “Ancient Greeks considered rhetoric to be a discipline, accepted it as part of their education and, particularly in those cities that were governed by democracies, saw it as practical for the workings of their communities.”

1

’Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students’ (Crowley 2004) is an excellent example of this, and we’ll be refering back to this publication continuously.

DEFINING THE FIELDS

Around the 4th century BC, Greeks came to call the theory and practice of public oratory rhetoric of rhetorike. (Crowley 2004) They understood rhetorics to be key to practicing a functional democracyanother Greek invention that we readily adapted. It could be argued that the plethora of different terms and taxonomies conceived by the Greeks and Romans is extensive to the point that its unnecessary. It might seem that they were ‘’obsessed with labelling language’’, perhaps in order to gain more control over it. (Toye, 2013) It is in any case valuable to study and understand the elements of rhetoric as described by the two most influential authorities on the matter- Artistotle and Cicero. Of particular relevance are Aristotle’s 3 Appeals and Cicero’s 5 Cannons. Famed Orator and US president Winston Churchill himself once stated that these categories were the ‘’scaffolding of Rhetoric’’. Not only can they be the ‘’scaffolding of Rhetoric’’ but I argue here that they are viable to be the ‘’scaffolding of Staging’’. First we’ll define and explain them as they stand in rhetorical theory. Then we’ll expand on their relevance for the staging designer, and how he/she can implement the framework to practical projects in their separate chapter (See chapter The 3 Persuasive Appeals pg 62-109 and The 5 Cannons pg 110-157 ).

35


36

Integrated Design

Cicero is best remembered for his 5 Cannons of Rhetoric, which were stipulated in his work ‘De Inventione’. The cannons present a practical way to divide different rhetoric into units - convenient for both analysis and synthesis of texts. (Toye, 2013) Although Cicero himself has said that he was not the first to mention the cannons, since they were the most widely used categories, he was the one to systematize and elaborate on them in such a way that made them practial for use. The 5 cannons are as follows: 1. Invention ( Inventio) “The discovery of valid or seemingly valid arguments. “ 2.Arrangment (dispositioi) ”The distribution of arguments thus discovered in the proper order. “ 3. Expression/Style (elocutio) “The fitting of the proper language to the invented material. “ 4.Memory (memoria) “The firm mental grasp of matter and words” 5.Delivery (pronuntiatio) “ The control of voice and body in a manner suitable to the dignity of the subject matter and the style.”

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Invention largely consists of coming up with appropriate arguments for a given situation. Sometimes that also requires asking oneself what is the actual issue here? (Toye, 2013). There are two important categories that help with invention, and they are stasis and topoi. Stasis is a ‘‘series of standard questions that helps rhetors decide what they themselves believe is fundamentally at stake.’’ (Toye, 2013 pg 38) Topoi or topics, are ‘ a series of ways of looking at problems in order to generate arguments’ Since these categories are specific to the creation of written and spoken argument, we’ll have to look at other more design oriented disciples for help on invention. But the concepts of what stasis and topoi stand forasking fundamental questions about what is being argued, and using a set of ‘argument-generation ’tools’ respectively- are helpful as ways of thinking about what a good staging process requires. Arrangement is concerned with the ordering of things. Arrangement is fundamental to how an audience will receive a communicated message. Arrangement in space is different than in language of course, so we’ll have to look to architecture to better understand arrangement as it


Master Thesis

DEFINING THE FIELDS

pertains to space.

change without starting from 0.

Style is unavoidable. Even when someone claims to ‘not have a style’ or have ‘minimal style’ , this is also an expression of style! Cicero elaborated on this cannon with what is dubbed the ‘virtues of style’, or what the awareness of good style has to offer the rhetor. The virtues are as follows: correctness, clarity, evidence, propriety, and ornateness. Besides the virtues, it’s important to note the levels of style. They break down into 5 steps which signify how elaborately used a style is.

Delivery has a profound effect on how the message is received. Tone of voice, posture, hand and facial gestures all constitute delivery, and they all speak volumes without uttering a word. The same counts for the delivery of a finished design. Planning for the execution in the end is just as important as it is in the concept phase at the beginning. We’ll look into some of the practical aspects of interior design to help us better understand the execution of delivery in staging.

Memory was more important in ancient times than it is today for orators, since we have technology to help aid us with remembering. Still, something in a speech is lost if the rhetor is not ready to improvise with the array of information he holds in his head. A number of uncalled for circumstances might necessitate him to take on plan b or c or adapt an old speech to new audiences. In the case of staging which involves a whole team of people working both together and separately, memory is more of a symbolic term for the sketches, ideas and documents that serve as go-to references for planning. A ‘collective design memory’ could be something that is always available to go back to when parts of the project need to

37


Integrated Design

38

Rhetoric was, for Aristotle, “the faculty of discovering the available means of persuasion in any setting.” (Crowley 2004) Aristotle set out to present a systematic treatment of the art of rhetoric, and, by most accounts, he did just that. In his seminal work ‘Rhetorics’, he introduced the 3 appeals necessary to create a successful argument. 1.logos- the appeal to reason, 2.pathos- the appeal to emotionand 3.ethos- the appeal to authority or character.

CASE-STUDY NO 1

Although arguments can be made on the basis of just one, a truly persuasive argument will involve all three. Here’s an example. If an advertising for the Kölnische Stadtmuseum (Cologne City Museum) was to create an advert to convince tourists to visit its temporary exhibition. It might state that the exhibit was curated by a celebrated ethnographer and historian, therefore appealing to ethos. It might also state facts about the exhibit’s success, like that 80% of visitors have ranked it ‘the best exhibition in the NRW’

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

or that it’s had double the amount of visitors that visit the Dom ( Cologne’s most visited tourist attraction ) on a give Sunday. This would be an appeal to reason or logos. And lastly, the ad might also exclaim how ‘it’s an experience you’ll never forget’ and one that ‘is bound to touch both your heart and your mind’, in an attempt to make an appeal to emotion or pathos. Through the lens of logos, pathos and ethos, we can analyse rhetorical text. Searching for statements that belong to these categories can enlighten our understanding of the author’s intent on our psyche. It can also help to keep us on track by reminding us of the different ways in which a text can reach out to an audience, be it a written or spatial one. Just as with most learnings, the Romans adopted and adapted the best of what the Greeks had left behind. Rhetoricians such as Cicero (106-43 B.C.), the greatest orator and rhetorical theorist of Rome, and Quintilian (A.D. 35-100), Rome’s most famous and successful teacher of rhetoric, wrote extensive treatises on and developed methods of teaching rhetoric. These writers were so successful in this regard that their methods of teaching rhetoric were employed in Europe right up until the time of the American Revolution. (Herrick, 2015)


Master Thesis

In rhetoric kairos is “a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved.�1 Kairos is, for Aristotle, the time and space context in which the proof will be delivered. Kairos stands alongside other contextual elements of rhetoric: The audience, of the psychological and emotional makeup of those who will receive the proof; and to Prepon, which is the style with which the orator clothes the proof.

DEFINING THE FIELDS

Some elements of the rhetorical situation include2: 1.Exigence: What happens or fails to happen? Why is one compelled to speak out? 2.Persons: Who is involved in the exigence and what roles do they play? 3.Relations: What are the relationships, especially the differences in power, between the persons involved? 4.Location: Where is the site of discourse? e.g. a podium, newspaper, web page, etc. 5.Speaker: Who is compelled to speak or write? 6.Audience: Who does the speaker address and why? 7.Method: How does the speaker choose to address the audience? 8.Institutions: What are the rules of the game surrounding/ constraining numbers 1 through 7.

1 Quote from Kaironomia by Eric Charles White

2 list taken from http://rhetorica.net/kairos.htm

39


40

Integrated Design

SUMMARY Having discussed both rhetoric and staging, we can clarify their relation by seeing what these two fields have in common, as well as how they differ.1:

1 Take a look at Herrick’s 5 features on page 26 for a list of features rhetoric and staging share.

TACTICS OF PERSUASION


DEFINING THE FIELDS

Master Thesis

staging

&

rhetoric

are created with intent from a designer

orator

Aim to clearly and persuasively communicate a message using a spatial medium (shape, color, light)

language (written, oral)

Both should be attractive, arousing and argumentative to an audience of visitors/guests

listeners/readers

41



THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

INTRODUCTION/

NARRATIVE ARGUMENTATIVE DESCRIPTIVE EXPOSITIONAL

SUMMARY/


44

Integrated Design

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

INTRODUCTION This thesis talks about a new holistic way of understanding the practice of staging. It provides a general framework through which most, if not all, specific cases can be viewed. This framework is based in linguistic rhetorical theory, placing an accent on the idea of communicating persuasively. Still, there can be and are nuances in the intent of communication in different cases of staging. Sometimes the goal will be more to entertain than to educate, sometimes it will be to raise awareness, other times to gain loyalty (something that brands often aim to achieve). Therefore, there could be a great similarity between the staging of a café and of a museum, if both of their aims was to communicate certain facts (on different or similar topics) . And yet there could be a huge difference between 2 museums, if one was primarily meant to immerse a visitor in an exotic culture narratively, or to ,clearly, yet effectively, state the values of a brand history. Still, they are often clumped together in the category of ‘museums’ even when their communicational purpose is fundamentally different.

This is why it is important to create a taxonomy that attempts to move away from the traditional one (presented in full in the next chapter). This traditional taxonomy is detrimental, since it favours a conservative, more traditional problem framing and therefore the planning and design of staged spaces. If we had categories that favored intent over content type, wouldn’t the staging of a museum that was meant primarily for descriptive purposes be conceptualized and planned differently than one for explanatory purposes? What about a café or a hotel? This is why a taxonomy based on the purpose of communication, rather than the type of content exhibited, or the architectural typology of the space, is necessary (although all of these factors still play a key role in design as kairos).


Master Thesis

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

THE TAXONOMY OF STAGING Being a new field based on practice with not much theoretical backbone, it’s difficult to find a straightforward answer to the question: How can we categorize different types of staging? And based on what criteria? Looking to exhibition design, a neighbouring practice, we can gain an overview of the standard taxonomy exhibition designers use to conceptually classify their projects. One common taxonomy of exhibitions based on the nature of the content, is that of commercial as opposed to cultural exhibition. Even though they differ in the nature of their content and in the spaces in which they are housed, both have a goal to communicate a story from start to finish (Locker, 2010: 11). With commercial spaces this implies a story about a brand where all spatial communication is oriented to clarifying the brand message and values. With cultural exhibits, the story can revolve around history, heritage, conservation, education or any other aspect of a particular collective culture. Within these categories, the classification is usually about the type of space the exhibit is held in. This means a difference in architecture, scope and size.

45


Integrated Design

46

CASE-STUDY NO 9

The following is a rough outline of what a standardized taxonomy of exhibition design might look like: a) cultural -museum galleries -visitors centres -heritage attractions -historic sites/ architecture -landscape interpretations -art installations b) commercial -leisure attractions -retail interiors -trade fairs -brand experiences -themed attractions -world expos Another concrete taxonomy can be found in the book Basics of Exhibition Design, where spaces are divided into: expos, commercial exhibitions, museum galleries, heritage and art and leisure. This is not a very good division since the criteria are not clear, and some categories, such as art and leisure, are wider and can encompass others, such as museums which are in a category on their own. But we can still see the tendency to separate commercial from other ‘cultural’ types of exhibit. And although separating cultural from commercial spaces might seem logical, it can be called into question with exhibitions that are both culturally and commercially

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

relevant. Those like the Star Wars Identities exhibition in Cologne, or the OLYMPUS Photography Playground display and use content that is meant to be bought by an audience (story paraphernalia on one hand, and cameras on the other), and yet they use the format of a museum with interactive installations. Starwars content is a part of contemporary culture, and although it might not be common to see pop culture in a museum setting, it doesn’t make it any less valid than a historical museum housing medieval garments. But the clear delineation between cultural and commercial is not the only problematic aspect of this taxonomy. The sub-categories are not very helpful for designers that want to build for today. They often do overlap, and are used interchangeably. For example, a retail interior can also be a branded experience, such as the case in the Niketown New York. Historic sites can also house museums, such as Bernard Tschumi’s Acropolis museum, a building that sits on top of the archaeological site in Athens. For a new way of designing staged space, one that takes into consideration to whom the content is being displayed and for what purpose, a different division is necessary. For new models of taxonomy, we look to written rhetoric.


DEFINING THE FIELDS

Master Thesis

WRITING & STAGING Strong parallels can be drawn between communication using written language and communication using space. In both cases, the author is attempting to send a particular message to the reader (receiver). Creative writing and staging bear a strong correlation even though their media differ, their intent and the result of that communication can be very similar. For example, an author of a book can choose to be descriptive using particularly poignant adjectives and adverbs in order to set a mood and excite the reader. The same can be done in a space, using different means such as light, colour and texture. (See space as language for further info). Even though there are many differences, making parallels can be useful in order to conceptualise and better understand the lessertheorised-about medium: spatial design.

CREATIVE WRITING TYPES A particularly useful taxonomy is that of the TYPES of writing. Most college writing classes will recognize four different types of creative writing, also known as the rhetorical modes. Writing types differ in their purpose, features and language. 1 The four main types of writing are: descriptive, narrative, expositional and evaluative. Let’s look into each: Descriptive writing is used to create a vivid impression of a person, place, object, or event. What it’s supposed to manage to do is set a mood so that the attention of the reader is caught and so that he can more vividly empathise with what is being described. Narrative writing, on the other hand, is used to entertain the reader by telling him/her a story in time and space. Narratives consist of a succession of events in chronological order and often include characters in a setting coming across a problem or conflict that eventually resolves. Narratives can be simple or complex, but often follow a narrative structure that organises the events which it tells of (see narrative and narrative spaces). Expository texts have the purpose of explaining and usually consist of a logical, cognitive analysis featuring facts and figures. Evaluative/argumentative texts aim to show a subjective judgment or evaluation in order to answer a problem. They are meant to be written in a way that tries to convince the reader that the position of the writer is the correct one.

1

Marshall, E (1998), The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, pp. 143–165, ISBN 1-58297-062-9

47


48

Integrated Design

DESCRIPTIVE/ 3. Starbucks Coffee Dazaifu Tenman-gū, JAPAN by Kengo Kuma and Associates, 2012

TACTICS OF PERSUASION


Master Thesis

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

CREATIVE STAGING TYPES

DESCRIPTIVE STAGING

How then, do descriptive, narrative, expositional, and evaluative types of writing relate to the different staging forms? It’s not very difficult. When thinking about the purpose, function, and features of each of these forms of staging, to place them in the proper spatial ‘type’ container, based on the descriptions we gave.

Where the setting up of the mood is key, and creating a certain ‘feeling’ is what makes it successful, we’re talking about DESCRIPTIVE STAGING. Places like restaurants, bars, and hotels use descriptive staging to create a particular setting that will distinguish them from others and keep visitors coming back because they enjoy spending time in that setting. They aren’t necessarily encouraged to do anything other than enjoy themselves and feel a certain aesthetic appreciation for the staged setting.

49


50

Integrated Design

NARRATIVE/ 4.New Acropolis Museum athenes, greece by Bernard Tschumi Architects

TACTICS OF PERSUASION


Master Thesis

NARRATIVE STAGING NARRATIVE STAGING comes into play when the author or curator wants to entertain the audience, and one of the best ways to do that is through a story. Certain ‘events’ are organised in sequence to allow the visitor- in this case the character of the story to experience those events in a narrative manner. Places like amusement parks, brand museums, and heritage sites often employ this type of staging. There are different aspects to narrative staging and not all of them have to be enforced to the fullest in order to successfully tell a story in space. We’ll take a closer look at this in a later chapter.

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

51


52

Integrated Design

EXPOSITIONAL/ 5. Museum of Spirits, Stockholm, sweeden by FORM US WITH LOVE

TACTICS OF PERSUASION


Master Thesis

EXPOSITIONAL STAGING When the key purpose of staging is to get information and facts across clearly and in adequate detail, then EXPOSITIONAL STAGING would be employed. This type of staging is more than familiar in places like national history and science museums, or different types of exhibitions where educating the audience is key.

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

53


54

reference to case study

ARGUMENTATIVE/ 6.store exterior dublin, ireland by //

WALL


Master Thesis

ARGUMENTATIVE When we want to convince the audience of a particular message, then PERSUASIVE STAGING is the best way to go. It’s meant to appeal in different amounts to our reason and emotions, nudging us to the side of accepting -if not a whole ideology or lifestyle- then perhaps just a product, idea, or conception. Although not solely, this type of staging is extensively used for retail, fairs and other types of commercial and political promotion through space.

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

55


56

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Integrated Design

TYPES TAXONOMY VS. INTENT TAXONOMY We could argue that the lines between these are not all that clear-cut. Brand museums try to persuade us to their ideology through space while at the same time sharing their chronological narrative and creating a very descriptive mood. Or the science museum that stages a prehistoric scene in a room where you could walk around , listening and touching objects that, although communicating the facts about how this period looked like, also draw you into the prehistoric narrative of a mammoth hunter and his wife. Of course, different types of staging can be used within the design of a single exhibit, and often are, just like different types of writing are used within one form. But they are not relevant in equal amounts, and one type will usually be dominant. If a spatial exhibit exists mainly to educate its audience, it will greatly differ from the space meant to be leisurely enjoyed, even though both will have used descriptive staging, for the latter of these spaces, these descriptive aspects take over the rest, while for the former it will be a means of attaining an educative end. This is important to understand because sometimes, when given a brief that involves the TYPE of space (the standard taxonomy)- what the client means to achieve with the exhibit, the designer will automatically jump to a conclusion about the INTENT (the

rhetorical taxnomony), and the other way round. There are countless ways to approach the spatial expression of a topic, and choosing the best way to do so. The strategy relies as much on what and where there is to exhibit as what you wish to achieve with the audience.


Master Thesis

THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

57


58

Integrated Design

SUMMARY Having discussed both rhetoric and staging, we can clarify their relation by seeing what these two fields have in common, as well as how they differ.1

1 Take a look at Herrick’s 5 features on page 26 for a list of features rhetoric and staging share.

TACTICS OF PERSUASION


THE 4 RHETORICAL MODES

Master Thesis

staging

&

rhetoric

Can be categorized by criteria of primary intent of communication

When the purpose is to create a vivid impression or particular ‘mood’, this is Descriptive staging

Descriptive writing

When the purpose is to immerse the audience in a story-like progression, this is Narrative staging

Narrative writing

When the purpose is to explain clearly and state precisely, this is Expository staging

Expository writing

When the purpose is to gain the audiences conviction, this is Evaluative staging

Evaluative writing

59



THE 3 PERSUASIVE APPEALS

INTRODUCTION/

LOGOS PATHOS ETHOS

SUMMARY/


62

Integrated Design

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

INTRODUCTION So far we’ve established the relation between staging and rhetoric as means of communication with persuasive intent geared towards a particular audience. The medium through which that communication is established does differ, but many parallels can be drawn, and we’ve managed to translate criteria for differentiation from the written rhetorical types to a classification of staging types. We can now dig deeper into the theory or rhetoric, finding the ways which classical thinking about the art can help us brainstorm and design for space. We’ve scratched the surface of rhetorical theory in a summary in chapter 1. In this section, we’ll expand on Aristotle’s musing on rhetorical theory. In chapter 2 of his seminal book entitled ‘Rhetoric’ , Aristotle gives his answer to the question ‘what does the art of rhetoric teach, and what does a student of rhetoric study?’ (Herrick, 2001). He identifies three entechnoi pisteis or the artistic proofs.

‘‘Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible.’’ –Aristotle 1356a 2,3 The artistic proofs are also know as the three modes of persuasion. They are meant to present strategies by which successful rhetoric is achieved. They are: Logos (logical reasoning), an appeal to reason. Pathos (the cause of emotion), an appeal to emotion and Ethos (human character), an appeal to character and credibility We’ll take a look at each proof separately, and see what they could mean in relation to spatial design.


Master Thesis

THE 3 PERSUASIVE APPEALS

63


64

LOGOS / 7.Musée d’ethnographie de Genève, Genève, Switzerland, BY ATELIER BRÜCKNER

Integrated Design

TACTICS O


OF PERSUASION


66

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Integrated Design

THE THEORY OF LOGOS The word logos presents a complex Greek term that can be translated in many ways. It can mean word, as well as thought expressed in words, intellect, or rationality generally. Aristotle used logos to describe the proof available in words, arguments ,or speech. Logos is situated in the rhetorical text itself, unlike pathos, which was created in the audience, and ethos, which is established by the speaker. The study of logos was closely related to the study of logic, but it wasn’t identical in Aristotle’s view, since he saw it as being more concerned with the ways people commonly reasoned and the decisions made about public issues rather than a systematic study of proper reasoning. (Herrick, 2001) When an architect thinks of the ‘logic of space’, it usually relates to the function a space should fufill in order to enable certain movement or use. A kitchen is ‘logically designed’ ,for example, when there is enough space and elements to enable food preparation, storage and cooking. We call the architecture that was designed with thoughts about its use primarily in mind as functional. It’s important to consider the spatial configurations of elements and rooms

in staging since this effects how well the audience receives the intended message. If someone visiting a history museum, for example, is surrounded by a sea of artifacts in one large hall-like space, that seems to bear no relation other than their period of origin, he/she might have a hard time understanding what the message of the staging is. This does not mean that this particular ‘open’ configuration is always wrong. In the example of Musee d’Ethnographie de Geneve, the artifacts are purposely semi-chaotically distirbuted in order to encourage visitors to make associations themsleves. There are many different and valid ways to configure content and space, but it’s important to consider which option fits the intent of the design best (see the 4 rhetorical modes). A set of theories and techniques used to analyze spatial configurations is called spatial syntax. These theories can be highly complex and are often used to think about large scale spaces, such as planning in the urban environment. In order to gain an understanding of ‘spatial logic for staging’, we’ll stick to the basics of spatial syntax, and the mind maps that visitors create in order to be able to navigate through space.


Master Thesis

THE 3 PERSUASIVE APPEALS

SPATIAL SYNTHAX

Spatial syntax is an analysis of the way space is organised. In staging, it has a huge impact on how the visitor receives the content and how he/she links that content together. Talking about spatial syntax makes sense when the quantity of content is large and the complexity of the message to be communicated great. Narrative staged spaces rely heavily on spatial syntax since the manner the visitor progresses through the sequence of events or ‘story’ is determined by what kind of movement and perception the space allows, discourages, or enables. By organising the sequence through which the visitor potentially views certain content, the visitor has a chance to go through a journey, where the sequence can be more or less strictly defined. A loosely defined path should not be mistaken for carelessness on the part of the designer. In fact, staging a space with a less constricted path for the visitor can be harder to get right then a very rigid one. Why? Because the exhibit risks losing its clarity as well as the engagement of the visitor, who has to make decisions about where to go next as well as decode information from the content on display. A less rigid path can be more challenging but ultimately more

rewarding if staged correctly and with care for the visitor. We should keep in mind that the more complex the staging problem ( the greater amount of content, the more elaborate the surroundings, the larger the venue and amount of visitors), the more complex a solution it will require.

67


68

TACTICS OF PERSUASION

Integrated Design

SPATIAL STAGING MODELS Trying to analyze and describe the possible spatial syntax of different types of staging is a daunting task. A large number of examples needs to be surveyed and syntax maps developed for each, after which a conclusive number of patterns or general maps might emerge. A whole thesis could be written exploring this subject alone. But since the goal of this book is to lay down the foundations for staging design based on rhetorical theory, we’ll limit ourselves to observing 5 museum cases. I share with you here the visual syntax analysis of each, as well as the patterns or models that came out of the analysis. I’ll be describing ,in more detail, the characteristics of each model, and when it makes most sense to employ which. The models are as follows: The Journey The Ocean The City The models provide a framework through which staged spaces can be analysed and their benifits or deficiencies pinpointed. They are also a way to think and ideate about staged spaces that still need to be designed.

I repeat that this is by no means a conclusive list, and that it should be taken as a example of how a basic logos analysis can be done for staged spaces. The results would vary based on the criteria by which we chose the cases to look at, as well as what we would need the models for. It’s up to the eager stager to adapt the process and use it to find models of their own!


Master Thesis

69

THE 3 PERSUASIVE APPEALS

B A B A

C

B A

C


THANK YOU FOR READING THE EXCERPT. IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ MORE, FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH: SEND.ALEKS.STUFF@GMAIL.COM

PERSUASION TACTICS OF STAGING


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.