The Self Design Academy (EN)

Self Design Committee (2020)

Noam Youngrak Son

To design oneself is partly to design the digital representation of oneself. One of the most obvious ways of doing this is through manipulating our facial images and videos by the use of face filters. Face filters enable us to digitally become something else, beyond the boundaries of person, gender, race, age, species. Noam Youngrak Son experimented with this by using the face filter Becoming Noam (2020), which applies their facial image on the face of other people. It provides them an opportunity to act or to make statements as the artist themselves, who in their turn can reproduce and spread themself online.

Your digital identity may not only be owned by yourself but shared among a wide range of people who can access the face filter. The self becomes polyvocal and self-design becomes a collective task with distributed agency and responsibility. The users of the face filter could be considered as a committee, an organisation of multiple "themselves" to make various political decisions that one encounters while portraying themself online. Self-design, which seemed like a black box, becomes more transparent and democratic through this process.

various face filters like masks engaging in conversation

About Noam Youngrak Son 

Noam Youngrak Son is an Eindhoven-based designer. They inscribe myths for the underrepresented in various mediums, from books to performances to 3d printed sextoys. They are excited about the unexpectedness that a well-designed fiction can open up, and the critical political discussions that it may cultivate. They use their capability as a designer to visualise and materialise the setup for the technological & ecological bodies that one inhabits to play a role in their fiction.

Noam refuses to define their gender as exclusively male or female. In other words, Noam socially, culturally refuses to be neither male nor female. Noam refuses every norm of gender-binary. Noam’s identity as a queer person of color is one of the axes of their design practices.

They’re currently enrolled at Design Academy Eindhoven. Since September 2018, they’ve been running a self-publishing project: d-act magazine. D-act magazine is a quarterly publication that features their own design projects. The most recent issue of d-act magazine is being sold in five different cities internationally.