Lost In Translation

  • Aishwarya Agarwal

Bigger Picture : Social Design; Collaborative Practices Brief set by Central Saint Martins, UAL Lost in Translation is a project that aims at triggering awareness about language barrier issues and language bias that surround us. With an increase in globalisation, many students and individuals find themselves studying and working abroad. Often, their accents and native languages differ from that of the country/city they migrate to. Language barriers lead to hampered communication which further leads to the sufferers facing mental health issues, social isolation, discrimination, intensification of cultural barriers and deterioration of the workplace/university atmosphere. “Language hurdle has nothing to do with the actual intelligence or ability to grasp the concept behind what you’re trying to say.” (International Student: A Vulnerable Population by Mark Sherry, Peter Thomas, Wing Hong Chui) This became the inspiration behind our project “Lost In Translation” which aimed at aiding language barrier issues by candidly removing the stigma attached to “languagism”. As a team, we believed in the importance of delegation and planning. Therefore, the first thing we did is divided tasks and developed a step by step approach. We decided that our target audience would be university students and young individuals around London as research shows youngsters are most vulnerable to these issues. We wanted to provide empathy to the sufferers whereas instil empathy in the others. We decided to research using surveys, interviews, social experiments and user testing of ideas. The idea was to build a campaign that could be playful and at the same time impactful. We decided to build a creative campaign to raise awareness by selling merchandise that would incorporate witty slogans and playful aesthetics. This would help refresh stagnant mindsets while providing confidence to the sufferers. The proceeds of selling the merchandise would go to Local Giving Community which is a charity that runs the Community Language Support Services. We also decided to create a service ie a website that could provide information about our goals, aims and also sell the merchandise.