Artist, explorer or co-creator? A narrative analysis of designers' career stories

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


There has been a call for better understanding of the role of narratives in identity development. Simultaneously, there has been a marked rise of design in organizations, and the roles and official spheres of influence of designers is shifting. Although studied since the 1960s, design cognition research has depended largely on data from design students and individual professionals. As a result, we know little of the identity work designers engage in. To inform both design research and identity research in more general, we conduct a narrative analysis on the interviews of 26 professional designers employed by a design agency and working in different locations in North America. We find Bakhtinian literary genres and chronotopes to provide a useful framework for analysing these designers’ identity narratives. The results show how conjunctions of time and space often serve as organizing centers for the fundamental narrative events and produce meanings that shape the narratives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication34th EGOS Colloquium
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean Group for Organizational Studies
PublisherEuropean Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS)
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventEuropean Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium - Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: 5 Jul 20187 Jul 2018
Conference number: 34


ConferenceEuropean Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium
Abbreviated titleEGOS


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