Annusia Balan

MA 22/23

I am a multilingual design researcher from Singapore. 

I grew up with English as my first language, Tamil & Malay as my home languages and Mandarin my ambient language. Since young, I have been fascinated by the ease shared languages broke barriers between gender, class and race (my grandmother spoke hokkien - a Chinese dialect, my father studied Malay and my mother taught Tamil). 

I care deeply about the impact of language in any design process. The ways in which we talk about our users influence how we understand them and their place in a project. Users are after all human beings conditioned by the contexts in which we live.

I am interested in shaping our communication to and about users within the design process through a lens of kindness and the politics of care. My work as a design researcher acknowledges the needs of forgotten users - people whose voices have been written out of the system. 

Final Project

The relationship between language and culture is subtle yet complex. Languages are a crucial source of culture and identity for individual communities and the larger societies that they are a part of, shaping how they think about ourselves and others.

Can service design address a problem that has been the concern of sociolinguists and educators? 

WIP project 2022