Bored with his ad agency gig and the uninspiring work he was producing, Ji Lee – now Creative Director of Google Creative Lab – decided to take matters into his own hands in 2002. The result was the ad-spoofing Bubble Project, in which Lee placed blank speech bubbles on ads around New York City. The masses responded and the project went viral, gaining Lee recognition and ultimately forwarding his professional career. Here, Lee talks about how he created, financed, and marketed the project single-handedly.
Born in Seoul, Korea, and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Ji Lee studied design at Parsons School of Design. He currently works as the Creative Director at Google Creative Lab in New York and teaches design at School of Visual Arts. In the past, Lee has worked as the branding director at Droga5 and art director at Saatchi & Saatchi. Ji Lee is the founder of the widely publicized Bubble Project and the author of two books: Talk Back: The Bubble Project and Univers Revolved: a 3-Dimensional Alphabet. Lee has given numerous lectures, including Harvard University, MIT and MoMA. Lee’s work has appeared in ABC World News, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Guardian, WIRED among others.