The Unheard Archive
Underrepresented Voices of Design in South Korea
The Unheard Archive is the outcome of an oral history project initiated by Zara Arshad in May 2019. This project entailed reflecting on graphic design practice in South Korea today via conducting interviews with numerous locally-based graphic designers. It draws particular attention to the experience of women designers, those engaged or working with marginalized communities (e. g. LGBTQ+ and physically-disabled groups), emerging designers, and other underrepresented voices in design history.
The Unheard Archive website is a storytelling platform—an online catalog, rather than a repository of oral history materials. It offers just a sense of some of the conversations that have taken place between the researcher and narrators.
Materials from each interview session (comprising audio files and transcripts) are in the process of being prepared. These resources will eventually be deposited at an institution that will make them available for public use. This will include material from interviews conducted with the following designers: Lee Jaeyoung, Lynn Kim, Shin In-ah, Yang Meanyoung, Kim Somi, Woo Yunige and Sunny Studio.
The Unheard Archive was created by Zara Arshad, a researcher, curator and design historian. Arshad has previously held roles at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), Design History Society, Beijing Design Week and Icograda Beijing. She is currently a PhD researcher at University of Brighton/V&A.
– Poster designed by Sunny Studio for Shin Ji-ye, 2018 Seoul mayor candidate and representative of the Green Party.
– Park Ji-sung (left) and Park Chulhee (right) of Sunny Studio.
– Drag workshop for a local queer parade. Credit: Lee Kanghyuk.
– #MeToo #WithYou’ signs at Doing Cafe (2019). Photo by Zara Arshad, taken during a research trip to Seoul, which entailed investigating new ‘safe spaces’ for women. Many of the stops I made are listed in this article by the New York Times.