One of my favorite documentaries is Objectified by Gary Hustwit. It is a brilliant look at design and how we gain meaning from objects. I often like to think about objects from a rhetorical perspective. I first saw this documentary at my thesis advisor’s house this past year. Some instructors, grad students, and undergrads gathered at his place and we munched on burgers and watched the documentary.
It was great to watch it among friends. We discussed what we saw afterward. I think design and rhetoric can be seen as similar. One cannot exist without the other. Rhetoric and discourse are employed when something is designed. Rhetoric is used to initiate, plan, and explain a designed object.
When I think about all the manufactured items that exist, I can see how rhetoric influences everything. It is in everything. Rhetoric is universal and allows us to understand the world to a degree. This is what I took from Hustwit’s documentary.
I recommend it to any scholar of rhetoric.