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Narrative space & space narrative

Narrative space and space narrative are two very confusing concepts. Previous researchers often disassembled these two concepts into two sub-concepts of "narration" and "space", and then discussed the composition, classification and meaning of space, as well as the method, strategy and construction between space and narration. This makes the two concepts of "narrative space" and "space narrative" refer to each other. In fact, there is a clear difference in understanding between these two concepts. Obviously, the central word of narrative space is "space", and "narrative" is a limitation and description of "space", which is essentially a kind of space. The central word of space narrative is "narrative", "space" is the technique and method of "narrative", so that space narrative refers to a kind of narrative.

Design process_film space extraction

Design process_concept model

The space narrative as a method, is connected with the five previously extracted spaces to get the initial concept model. It is worth mentioning that through the connection of these spaces, we can see that there is a narrative extension between them. Each space contains a conflict which provides the necessary conditions for the development of the narrative in the next space.

Final outcome_overview

Final outcome_explosion expression

The method used in the final design is to show the emotional changes of the movie at different periods through different visual exploration angles. The choice of colour is also based on the emotional tone that the film wants to show at different stages, such as the tenement house with warm yellow tones, the hotel with dark red curtains and wallpaper, and the cold green tone which indicates the fruitless relation between the two protagonists. Ultimately, This final space model uses six themes to show the emotional changes in In the Mood for Love and the connection between narrative spaces(collective space, re-enact space, struggling space, desire space, silence space, memory space).

Final outcome_visual exploration

Significance_the closed-loop relationship between interior design and film

The narrative space and the space narrative in film realm are equally applicable in the field of interior design. In conventional space design, narrative is usually used to realise the design concept. The designer first possesses or is told a strong story background, and then arranges the narrative of the space based on this premise. The consequence of this is that the customer experience deviates from the designer's intention. Human behaviour is unpredictable, so when a strong narrative path appears in space design, compulsory guidance will hinder people's exploration of space narrative. Comparing the narrative methods used in film, we can see that the generation of narrative in narrative space is more like the materialisation of human inner emotions. A single static space has no narrative function before human intervention. When the camera is used as a medium to explore this space, space and time are connected, and this space gets the dimension of time in the camera, that is, the fourth dimension of space. Then, human intervention makes time in the space have meaning. When this intervention constitutes a complete story structure and can have the function of retelling a certain story, the narration is produced. This space is narrative, not because it is guiding the narrative, but it can support it. As one space becomes more than one, the connection between spaces (space narrative) becomes extremely important. If one narrative space tells one story, then the role of space narrative is to combine these small stories into a big story based on a background and make a certain connection between the spaces. Returning to the interior design in the real space, because of the space requirements of the era of mechanical reproduction, the space gradually moves towards a single pursuit of function and practicality, and the connection between the spaces is weakened. The principle of the use of space in film realm can play a complementary role here. Through the film, real space and fictional space are intertwined, and the unpredictable functions and emotions of the space in use appear here. They serve as additional functions of the space to make the space image full. From the perspective of space demonstration, the lens replaces the human eye to provide people with a new visual angle to explore the space. In the end, these efforts made in the movie space returned to the original prototype in the real space, and proposed new possibilities for the prototype in the real space. This forms a closed-loop from reality to representation to reality. The efforts made in real space and film space are actually to make this closed-loop more complete, which constitutes an interesting cyclical relationship, and further highlights the blurring of the boundary between reality and representation, The possibility of future collaboration between interior designers and filmmakers becomes possible.

Significance_the meaning of narrative in film realm and its connection to interior design

Film space provides inspiration and thinking for interior design. The comparison between the two still remains at the narrative function, that is, how narrative space and spatial narrative affect space. If the narrative in the space is to be raised to a theoretical level in the field of interior design, what needs to be considered is the narrative meaning contained in the space. Still taking the film as an example, the narrative feature of the film is more to stimulate the audience's imagination of the development of the plot through the narrative fragments displayed by itself, by directly connecting the beginning and the end of the story and omitting the process. In In the Mood for Love, Su accidentally receives a letter from Mrs. Chow from Japan, confirming the fact that her husband has an affair. Su asks Chow Mo-wan on the phone: Guess what they are doing now? Then, the camera immediately turns to the hotel room, Su looks at Chow and turn to leave. This episode undoubtedly gives the audience space to think about what happened during this omitted process. Here, the audience's imagination space plays an auxiliary role in the narrative of the film. The audience completes the story through the clues given by the film and their feelings. Finally, what appeared in their minds was a complete space, which was a combination of film space and imagination space. The subjective initiative of the audience plays a role here, they participate in the understanding and construction of the film narrative through their own cognition, which is also the meaning of the film narrative. Understanding the meaning of film narrative is helpful for thinking about the meaning of interior design narrative. If the final narrative effect of the film is a combination of the display part on the film screen and the audience's imagination, does this combination also affect the narrative effect of interior design? For example, “space 1” and “space 2” are two independent spaces. When these two spaces are connected in the sense of narrative, they create an overlapping space “space X” in terms of spatial relationship. As the intermedia of “space 1” and “space 2”, whether “space X” will have a possibility that as the extension of the narrative to offer people a place to imagine the relationship between “space 1” and “space 2” based on their own experience and cognition of narrative? “space X" can be regarded as a platform for the externalisation of people's imagination. Based on the fragmented narrative provided by “space 1” and “space 2”, people's subjective thinking participates in the narrative process through “space X”. The meaning imposed by the designer on the space recedes into the background not only by putting the public in the position of the critic but also by the fact that this position requires no attention.