ENGR3240 Tell the Story of What You Make

How do engineers creatively engage with multiple audiences and stakeholders for their work? Telling stories is critical for anyone who makes things: communicating technical work to non-experts, creating persuasive arguments for technology adoption, or projecting a future with better engineering in it. This course will cover how stories are built and how to craft your own, exploring communication design in multiple forms of media: print, images, film, music, and more. The course includes excursions to experience location-specific visual representation, multiple individual communication experiments, group collection of media, and a culminating project in which students will tell the story of one of their own projects.

We'll look at how music videos, cereal boxes, advertisements, grocery shopping, infographics and even people's outfits (just to name a few) can inform how you might build an effective story about one of your own projects.

This course is organized into 3 main sections: Introduction, Questions and Project.

Introduction: The first 4 lessons and associated assignments will act as a warmup for the class. They will help to develop a common language, encourage students to look more closely at the things around them, introduce critique into the class and set the tone for the course moving forward.

Questions: The majority of the class will look at visual communication as it relates to 7 questions which cover core understandings about design. These questions build a basis for a complete critique of a design and also provide a structure on which we will explore specific elements of design such as image, type, context, organization, etc. The questions are 1)Should we do this?, 2) What is the message?, 3) Who is the audience?, 4) Who else is doing this?, 5) What is the concept?, 6) What are the elements?, and 7) How is it organized?

Project: The last quarter of the course will be used by students to create a visual project that communicates the story of something that they have made. Parameters for thew project are decided on by the class but will include initial exploration rounds, multiple rounds of designs, in-class critique and a final deliverable visual artifact.