20062020
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Personal profile

Research interests

Yunah Lee's research interests are focused on the key themes of modernity, modernism and national identity in design and material culture and engaged with how these ideas have been developed and materialised within a national design context and translated and appropriated across cultural and national boundaries. 

East Asian Modern Design

Yunah’s recent research focus is on the development of East Asian design and design history since 1945. As a co-steering member of two AHRC Network Scheme projects, ‘Translating and writing Modern Design Histories in East Asia’ (2012-14) and ‘Fashion and Translation: Britain, Japan China and Korea’ (2014-15), Yunah has taken her research in the areas of Korean graphic design and fashion, investigating how modernity in Korean design emerged from the interactions with Euro-America, while being characterised by inter-regional interventions within East Asia, and how Korean designers and critics engaged with global innovation and creativity during the course. She is interested in building connections and networks with academics and practitioners working in the area of Korean design as well as Asian design. 

British Modern Design and National Identity

Yunah’s doctoral research, titled ‘Selling Modern British Design: Overseas Design Exhibitions by the Council of Industrial Design 1949-1971’ focused on the series of overseas design exhibitions organised or participated in by the Council of Industrial Design between 1949 and 1971. Through the reconstruction of these exhibitions, the research positioned the CoID’s exhibitions in the context of British government exhibition policy and national publicity and reviewed the notion of good design and commerciality in the period of 1950s and 1960s. Through careful inter-reading of texts and images, Yunah analysed and reconstructed the contents and styles of exhibitions and re-evaluated the principles and style of good modern British design promoted by the CoID. Yunah’s study revealed that a constant tension existed between traditional images and heritage, dominant and popular representation of Britishness, and the contemporary and modern aspects of Britain idealized by the CoID in its own design exhibition, therefore, contributed to debates about the diverse aspects of British identity and its representation through design exhibitions. 

Retail design: department store

Yunah’s research titled ‘Design for Profit: Barkers, Derry and Toms and Pontings during the Interwar Period’ dealt with the role of design in retail business. Through looking at changes in architecture and displays of three department stores in London during 1920s and 1930s, the study pondered upon the slogan of ‘design as a marketing tool’ and how identity and modernity was represented and perceived in various visual tools in retail design. The application of the Art Deco style to exterior and interior space and the new marketing campaigns, especially the use of posters, was interpreted in the theoretical frame of modernity and Modernism in British architecture and design during the interwar period.

Scholarly biography

After studying the history of East Asian art at Seoul National University in Korea, Yunah completed her doctoral research on twentieth-century British modern design and national identity, titlted, ‘Selling Modern British Design: Overseas design exhibitions by the Council of Industrial Design 1949-1972’, at the University of Brighton. She has been teaching in the History of Art and Design programme at the University of Brighton since 2004.

She has been a co-member of two AHRC-funded research projects aiming to investigate the development of design history studies in China, Japan and Korea and to build a network of scholars and institutions in this field. Yunah has published her research on Korean design and design history in various academic journals and, in 2014, co-edited a special issue on ‘Transnational Modern Design Histories in East Asia’ with the Journal of Design History. Yunah is primarily interested in the social and cultural meanings of design and material culture in the modern and post-modern era within a national context, as well as the cross- cultural fertilisation of ideas and styles, notably between Euro-America and the East Asia. Yunah  lectures in the history of design and art. Her research investigates the development of modern design in Korea, exploring the role of design in the process of modernisation and nation-building and engaging with critical debates on nationalism, globalisation and transnationalism.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Brighton

30 Apr 200117 Feb 2009

Master, University of Brighton

28 Sep 199930 Oct 2000

Master, Seoul National University

2 Mar 199420 Feb 1998

Bachelor, Seoul National University

2 Mar 199025 Feb 1994

External positions

Visiting International Professor

4 Mar 201930 Jun 2019

Visiting Professor, Saitama University

1 Aug 201230 Aug 2012

Visiting Lecturer, Norwich University of the Arts

28 Sep 201130 Jul 2012

Specialist Lecturer

1 Sep 201030 Jun 2013

Correspondent in Britain for Korean art magazine

2 Mar 200028 Feb 2001

Keywords

  • DS Asia
  • Design
  • Design education
  • Design history
  • National identities
  • Modernities
  • Exhibitions
  • Modernism
  • NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
  • Craft
  • Fashion and dress history
  • Interior design
  • national identities
  • modernities
  • identity representation
  • DAW Central Europe
  • 20th century design
  • modernism
  • design policy
  • exhibition

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

national culture Social Sciences
national economy Social Sciences
dialectics Social Sciences
modernity Social Sciences
promotion Social Sciences
plastic Earth & Environmental Sciences
East Asia Arts & Humanities
Design History Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2006 2020

Design and Modernity in Asia: National Identity and Transnational Exchange 1945-1990

Lee, Y. (ed.) & Rajguru, M. (ed.) 2020 (Accepted/In press) London.

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Eyes and Minds of Korean Graphic Designers: Transnational Development of Korean Graphic Design from 1945 to 1990

Lee, Y. 2020 (Accepted/In press) East Asian Design History Reader : 1945-2000. Kikuchi, Y., Lee, Y., Kang, I. & Wang, W. (eds.). Vol. 2

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

East Asian Design History Reader: Modernities and Formation of the Inter-East Asian Design, 1900-1945

Lee, Y. (ed.), Kikuchi, Y. (ed.), Wang, W. (ed.) & Kang, I. (ed.) 2019 (Accepted/In press)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Fashioning tradition in contemporary Korean fashion

Lee, Y. 1 Oct 2017 4, 2, p. 241-261 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
national culture
national economy
dialectics
modernity
promotion

From Nowhere to Everywhere: Design in South Korea

Lee, Y. Feb 2017 Frankfurt

Research output: Other contribution

Activities 2000 2019

Korea National University of Arts

Lee, Y. (Visiting researcher)
4 Mar 201930 Jun 2019

Activity: Visiting an external academic institution

Modern Living in Asia 1945-1990

Lee, Y. (Participant), Rajguru, M. (Organiser)
10 Apr 201711 Apr 2017

Activity: Conference

Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference

Lee, Y. (Participant)
17 Mar 2017

Activity: Conference