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Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses2015 ➔ Like Life Itself: Blurring the distinction between fiction and reality in the Four Broken Hearts Transmedia Storyworld


Related people/organizations

Anezka Sebek (thesis advisor)
Barbara Morris (thesis advisor)
Nicholas Fortugno (thesis advisor)
Chris Prentice (thesis advisor)
Muhammad Babar Suleman (designer)
Parsons the New School for Design. Design & Technology Dept. (sponsoring body)


May 13 2015


Designer's statement: Based on critical inquiry as well as creative practice, this paper proposes an approach for creating a fictional storyworld that can be experienced ‘like life itself’ and is, therefore, a more intuitive transmedia experience. The theory is practically illustrated through the creation and documentation of an original storyworld titled ‘Four Broken Hearts’ (FBH). Transgressing the boundaries of the real and the virtual, the temporal and the spatial and the personal and the political, Four Broken Hearts (FBH) is a hybrid storyworld encompassing film, live performance, location-based experiences and social media. The project is scheduled for its festival premiere this June and is currently a work-in-progress undergoing initial user testing. The story of FBH is being told by taking each of the classic elements of fiction – character, setting, exposition, climax and denouement – and bringing them ‘to life’ in the medium that conveys them to the highest degree of mimesis: characters are built and explored through social media, setting is experienced through location-based storytelling, the backstory is fleshed out using film and the climax is performed as an immersive drama. By taking advantage of what each medium does best while complementing the other mediums, the lifelike transmedia experience in FBH allows audiences to explore the storyworld across many different platforms while still tying it all together within a cohesive narrative. This paper articulates the media relationships underlying the project’s conception and presents an investigation of the project’s narrative outputs produced so far. Project Website: Demo Video:



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