Storytelling and Möbius Strip


“Stories are just as integral to the human experience as design.”

Daniel PinkA Whole New Mind

Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, says that storytelling is the most powerful way of communicating. Throughout history, storytelling has glued families, tribes and cultures together. Today, storytelling has moved into the business world and several values of a good story has been identified, for example, a good story sells more products, it makes the product more unique and easy to identify  with. Facts and figures do not moves us.  But the words ” Once upon a time. . . ” emotionally engagesus. Story telling is also important in science and many scientists use stories to explain their results to a wider audience (it is a debated question regarding how this approach should be used in scientific reports).

But stories may also helps us to see the world from a different perspective. It is easier to show someone the value of an idea by telling a story than to get them to change their opinion by presenting facts. The more emotionally connected we are, the more the story changes and influences us.

Yet we rarely think about how we tell a story. Can we use different objects to tell it?  Below is a different approach to story telling.

Vi Hart has made two videos using  Möbius strip.  The first 7+minute video took two months to make and watching it is visual joy. And a very direct experience – it feels like you are telling the story.

The satirical novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions was written in 1884 by Edward Abbott and he used a fictional two-dimensional world to explore the social hierarchy of Victorian society. Vi Hart uses hand-drawn illusions that constantly changes as the story is told on the Möbius strip, which is a closed curve. If an ants walks along the length on this strip, the ant would return to the starting point, and the ant would have gone on both sides of the paper without ever having crossed an edge.

What other objects can be used in storytelling?

Image: Mighty Optical Illusions


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