This is my latest thought, until now this is what my research is about..
National Identity is a complex entity; a complexity that is manifest through such elements as ethnic groupings, language and cultural practices. This PhD project is investigating the ways in which communication design contributes to the communication and experience of national identity through a particular focus on Malaysia. Inevitably, through different mediums – digital or print – visual communication plays a significant influence in stimulating society’s culture and identity. Marketing and advertising both play an important part in perpetuating the construction of nation’s notion of it’s identity, by projecting an image of the country both to itself and the external world.
This PhD is exploring how the roles and contributions of graphic designers inform through the production of design artifacts (e.g comics, newspaper’s and magazine’s advertisements) a nation’s identity. This will be done through a specific focus on communication design’s contribution in shaping the construction of Malaysian identity between 1957 and 2007. This is the period of the first 50 years of Malaysia’s independence. Derived from practice-based research methodology, three main design projects have been undertaken to explore this hypothesis.
In this GRC, I will be presenting a case study of Lat, a Malaysian highly influential visual communicator and a national icon, to discuss about visual communicator’s role and it’s influences in relations to the construction of Malaysian identity.