Backstories is an online documentation platform for sharing design projects.

The platform shares good practices of video documentation of design projects. By doing so it can support making this type of documentation.

A backstory is the background story of a design project. When only the outcomes of a design project are shared, a huge amount of valuable information, ideas and insights are left to be forgotten. For example, the intention of a design team can change throughout the project because of specific insights; team members can hold different ideas about specific issues; insights can go lost when members leave the team; new projects can grow out of finished ones; … We use the name backstory to refer to this type of ‘immaterial’ information about a design project. The goal of sharing backstories is to inform people but also to enable them to build further upon processes and insights gathered in a project.

Sharing these backstories are especially of relevance for design projects that are situated in complex settings and concern social issues, health issues, cultural issues and so on, and often are conducted in collaboration with others (designers, artists, researchers, policy makers, patients, cultural organisations, etcetera). All participants have a personal vision on the design project and foresee specific challenges. Backstories are a way of revealing these perspectives in a dynamic way, illustrating disagreements as opportunities rather than emphasizing consensus.

The development of this documentation platform is part of this phd research.

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Backstories is initiated by the research group Social Spaces at the Media, Arts & Design Faculty (associated with LUCA/School of Arts). This project is funded by Kunsten en Erfgoed and by OPAK (LUCA). Backstories is developed in collaboration with FabLab Genk.