In “Communicating Design: Object Stories,” an annual workshop I conduct with students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design program, we talk about how writers communicate design and how much writing and design have in common.
Then we surface the rich backstories behind everyday objects. Students bring in objects of personal significance and write about them from personal and journalistic perspectives. The former communicates a much different tale than the latter, even though both pieces are about the same object. We also experiment with formats to play with the constraints and opportunities afforded by essays, for example, versus Instagram captions.