Lost in Translation
Empowering working women's voice through graphic design
Team –
Individual Project
Tools –
Adobe CC
Timeline –
10 weeks
Project Overview
“Lost in Translation" is my attempt to elicit a discussion surrounding this topic in a form of zines that is composed of ten individual stories of working women collected through interviews juxtaposed with found-image collages, which are reinterpreted visual representations of the stories.
Problem Space
Women's unpaid housework is not recognized enough
For my senior year project, I wanted to explore the definition of "work" and what it means to women who often are situated to balance work and housework. Since housework is currently unaccounted for in GDP excluding the economic and social value of preparing, cooking food and maintaining the household, I wanted to surface women's contribution to the society in a unique and meaningful way.
Research Synthesis
Interviews with women in my community
Hoping to get a more concrete understanding of the struggles working women face in the East Asian society, which is the culture that I most closely resonate with, I decided to first conduct a brief phone interview with my family members – my mom, my grandmother, and my aunt.

However, the stories they told me resonated with me so much that I decided to use their story as a core material for the project. Their story encouraged me to look for online community, such as Facebook groups, online forums, and blog posts to collect stories that not only represent East-Asian women’s experience but also the experiences of women in other regions of the world.
Concept Exploration
Using mundane objects to enhance storytelling
Reading and collecting these stories, I realized that there were certain objects, spaces, and actions that were repeatedly mentioned i.e. kitchen, pan, preparing food, picking up kids. I wanted to explore ways to incorporate these as dominant aspects of my project either as representative visuals or through adapting Korean traditional amulet, which takes the form of red ink scribbled on yellow rice paper, playing on fact that amulets are thought to defeat or protect the wearer from bad spirits just like I would like to defeat and crush the social stereotypes that undervalue houseworks carried out by working women.
Final Design
Emphasis on keywords that were extracted to create the graphic collage
For my senior year project, I wanted to explore the definition of "work" and what it means to women who often are situated to balance work and housework. Since housework is currently unaccounted for in GDP excluding the economic and social value of preparing, cooking food and maintaining the household, I wanted to surface women's contribution to the society in a unique and meaningful way.
Takeaways
As an individual who was raised by a working mom myself, this project was an opportunity for me to reconnect and pay homage to the strong women in my life, my mom and my grandmother, who had made tremendous sacrifice for their family despite the hardships. Throughout the making of the project, I was able to foster a deeper understanding of the culture and stigma around working women, especially among the women in East Asian countries.