Digital Product Design
Neologisms, or newly-coined words, and Internet slangs are a major presence in Korean society both online and offline. Shin-jo-uh, which is Korean for “neologism”, exists in various types such as abbreviations, acronyms solely using consonants, rotation or inversion of words/phrases, compound words borrowing from other languages, and pictographic representations. For the most part, neologisms being generated in Korea linguistically play and use the alphabet more as a form of creative self-expression. There have been mixed opinions about this ongoing language phenomenon. Those in favor of neologisms claim that it’s expanding the capacity of language and is a natural circumstance that society must accept. On the contrary, some argue that it cuts off conversations and communication between generations and most importantly, destroys hangul, the Korean alphabet.
For my thesis, I created lugnah, a tool that celebrates the playful usage of Hangul letters and invites people to rediscover the written language beyond its conventional, linguistic function. lugnah offers two alternatives (products) to play: physical string pouches which include a random mix of consonant and vowel blocks and an online, interactive play-space (using Figma). To compile all the mass-generated neologisms that result from the visual arrangements people produce after playing with lugnah, a “lugnah dictionary of neologisms” will be published both as a digital ebook and a small, hardcover book.
The final deliverables include the following: lugnah’s visual identity and branding collaterals, lugnah product designs, and a potential lugnah pop-up workshop event.
This is lugnah, hangul reimagined.