Jen Yoohyun Lee - PhD. Design and Narrative

0 Projects


PhD Researcher

Jen Yoohyun Lee


PhD Title

Curating infrastructure for small stories: Socially engaged practice towards emboding the constant reshaping of location-based community


socially engaged practice, small stories, location-based community, community context, community organization

Research Abstract

As the unforeseen pandemic disturbs the livelihood and forces us to change our boundaries, the organization of location-based community is reassessed. How can community-specific narratives and socially engaged practices be better aligned for bottom-up community organization? In order to understand the social mechanism of narratives and art practices specific to communities, the idea of “small stories” becomes crucial. Small stories are small talks happening in fleeting moments, which are not freestanding, nor can be seen as a self-contained unit of narrative. It is through these particular characteristics of small stories that the ways of embracing the process of negotiation in art practices can facilitate the re-structuring of communities.

Research Methodology

This study pivots around research through design (cf. Frayling, 1993), where a series of three studies involving action research, participatory action research (PAR), and reflective practice take place. This is to identify and investigate the relationships and dynamics of location-based communities, narratives, and socially engaged practices.

Results / outcomes

1. Translation of process of negotiation through small stories analytical lens into participatory design process

2. Development of conceptual framework of small stories-oriented socially engaged practice

3. Design of a toolkit for socially engaged practitioners to profoundly engage in bottom-up community organization process


BFA (Hons) - Pratt Institute
MA (Merit) - Goldsmiths College, University of London


Mr. Peter Hasdell  (Chief Supervisor) Gerhard Bruyns (Co-supervisor)

Specialization / Interests

Socially Engaged Practice, Social Design, Counternarratives, Bottom-up community organization

Date of Completion

August 2021