Bukas: Material Messages for Filipino Migrant Workers and Their Transnational Families

Analyn Yap, Huaxin Wei, Kenny K. N. Chow

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents findings from a design research project that looks into the phenomenon of communication and expression in the diasporic family relationship, particularly between Filipino domestic workers and their kin. The research also looks into material culture and the meaning of the “balikbayan box” metaphor as a design prompt, leading to the creation of design guidelines and a concept development for Bukas, a tangible product linked with a mobile interface that facilitates meaningful daily communication for migrant Filipina workers and their families through a material artifact. The design inquiry consists of immersive human-centered qualitative methods including semi-structured field interviews, cultural probes, and participatory workshops to deepen the understanding of the stakeholders’ mindsets, behaviors, and expressive needs. These methods reveal migrant workers’ latent needs for self-identity expression and communication. The research endeavors to explore migrant workers’ self-identity and results in a coexisting spectrum of values consisting of positive achievements and negative feelings of sadness, from which we posit a set of criteria and develop a design concept that tests these guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractivity and Game Creation
Subtitle of host publication9th EAI International Conference, ArtsIT 2020, Aalborg, Denmark, December 10–11, 2020, Proceedings
EditorsAnthony Brooks, Eva Irene Brooks, Duckworth Jonathan
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-73426-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-73425-1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST
Volume367 LNICST
ISSN (Print)1867-8211
ISSN (Electronic)1867-822X


  • Augmented reality
  • Domestic intimacy
  • Family communication
  • Materiality
  • Migrant worker
  • Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)
  • Physical artifacts
  • Routines
  • Tangible interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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