14 March 2012
Driven by Design
The Fashion Visionaries Exhibition is an event highlight of Hong Kong Design Year
“We’re promoting the big D. We’re not talking about product aesthetics,” said HKDC Executive Director Edmund Lee. “We’re thinking about our approach to address business or environmental issues to provide better services.”
“A City Driven by Design” is the theme of the year-long promotion, which involves both the private and public sectors. It will feature such events as the Fashion Visionaries Exhibition, Toys Paradise – Creativity and Toy Culture of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture.
Master Talk Series
One of the most-visited public spaces in North America, Millennium Park attracted some 3.65 million visitors in 2010, sparking a new way of thinking about the use of public outdoor space
“We want to understand how such a frequently visited park in America has been integrated into the environment. We can learn a lot from a master architect and planner,” Mr Lee said. “People who visit Millennium Park go not just to enjoy nature but also culture. So the whole thing is integrated.”
Hong Kong Design Year targets professionals and others looking to raise their understanding of design’s impact on the economy, the environment, culture, education and society in general.
“It’s not a question of are we ready to capture the opportunities presented by the creative economy,” Mr Lee said. “We are already in the era of the creative economy. The main gist of the creative economy is the ability to create value across professions and disciplines.”
SMEs Benefit from Design
|Edmund Lee, Executive Director, Hong Kong Design Centre|
“If you forever view design as a company expenditure, then you will keep it at the working level,” Mr Lee said. “But if you acknowledge the strategic use of design within the organisation, then you see value coming in – just as other companies have, including Apple, Cathay Pacific, Li & Fung – which is all about designing the logistic system and workflow efficiency.” Mr Lee also cited the Octopus, the Hong Kong smart-card system as another example of a local innovation that has become an integral part of the community.
“The differentiator between why some products and services create long-lasting value to people is that the companies have taken a holistic approach.” To illustrate those themes, the HKDC recently undertook a pilot project redesigning the Mong Kok Post Office to improve operations and its user-friendliness.
A pilot project redesigning the Mong Kok Post Office was undertaken to improve operations and its user-friendliness
Such projects will be highlighted at a public forum later this month. Local designers, including Prudence Mak, Creative Director of Chocolate Rain, will take part in the event, which will highlight design’s importance to the community.
Taking Design to the Market
Professor Tak Lee (left), Associate Dean (External Relations), School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and Dr Timothy Jachna, Associate Dean (Academic Programmes) School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The Design Institute for Social Innovation will serve as a “third space for certain projects to be realised that would not otherwise come to reality,” according to Dr Timothy Jachna, Associate Dean of the PolyU’s School of Design.
“Good ideas that are perhaps not ready for commercialisation – these are the kinds of ideas that we want to nurture, to help develop into something that can be lifted into commercialisation,” Dr Jachna said.
Inspiring Get Inspired
|The Design Institute for Social Innovation, designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, is expected to be completed next year|
Mr Lee said overseas input, a crucial advantage of Hong Kong’s creative landscape, helps local designers find new inspiration. “We expose our local designers to broader applications, to enrich their resourcefulness and expose them to more business opportunities.”
Mr Lee said the centre will continue building on the momentum of Hong Kong Design Year long after 2012. “We want this to be a memorable year and help cultivate a design vision in the community.”