DMatters September 2017 Issue

Expanding the market for good design: Go glocal

2017 is a specially fertile year of design promotion for Hong Kong, echoing the 20th anniversary of establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. “Confluence.20+”, a roving exhibition by HKDC has depicted some latest developments in the city’s increasingly vibrant creative ecologies through the works and projects by 20 design talents. The exhibition, after Milan, Hong Kong and Seoul, will soon appear in Chicago. In late August, “20…..43 Business of Hong Kong Design”, by FHKDA, opened the middle stop in Shenzhen after Suzhou and Shanghai, before Hangzhou and Wuhan. It has showcased a total of 43 cases from different disciplines and forms of collaborations between creative and industrial sectors in Hong Kong and the Mainland of China. CENTRESTAGE by HKTDC featuring more than 210 fashion brands from 22 countries and regions this month, offers the spotlight for local fashion designers to meet international buyers. While local designers, be they rising stars or veterans, are getting more exposure on a bigger stage, DFA Awards will also be presenting trophies and recognition to good design projects, creative leaders and talents from all round the world for design projects completed in Asia during the Business of Design Week to be held from 4-9 Dec. Thanks to the funding support of CreateHK, the list goes on…

By means of outbound exhibitions and international events, the public and friends from around the world would be able to experience more about Hong Kong’s creative vibe and design across creative, cultural, artistic, technological and commercial contexts. Such active international exchange and business of design exposure help to unleash even bigger market for good design from Hong Kong as we embrace opportunities as presented by, for example the Belt and Road and Smart City initiatives. While we strive to expand the market for good design, let’s not forget to foster more good design in the city, placing the well-being and needs of people, users and citizens at the centre.

Anicorn Watches created by two local design-preneurs is a motivating example. Its kinetic designer watch with rotating concentric discs was successfully funded within 24 hours on Kickstarter last year and the brand is still well-received by local and international media, retailers and consumers.  Anicorn  is a young brand that speaks about its core philosophy on contemporary and sustainability. While we encourage more people to buy local designs, we need a design competence for more leaders and people to deploy design strategically and innovatively to solve problems. To shape change, we need more people from young ages to learn creative thinking through design and to build strong muscles for empathy and collaborative synergy. As a design demonstration project, the Mong Kok Post Office has received more than a facelift when user insights were deployed to strategically enhance postal service delivery efficiency and user experience.

 Investing in design is investing a new Hong Kong future. HKDC is a committed publicly-funded design promotion agency to advocate creative leadership, design thinking and good design. In order to grow the market for good design, we also need to have heightened sensibility to science, art, culture and technology, and be agile and adaptive.

Click here for DMatters (September) full issue.