DMatters June 2022 Issue
DIVING DEEP INTO DESIGN
with Dr Joseph Wong, Executive Director of HKDC
Many great designs and innovations begin with the wanderings of “imagine if…”, be it the electric automobile which enhanced the sustainability of transport or the smartphone that revolutionised communication in ways we would never have foreseen. Imagination may be the seed of creativity, but to turn ideas into impactful innovations and solutions, design and co-creation are key. To take a closer look at how all these elements weave together to create a better future, Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) is presenting a line-up of events themed around “Design for Sustainable Community” as it marks its 20th anniversary this year.
Imagination may be the seed of creativity, but to turn ideas into impactful innovations and solutions, design and co-creation are key.
Celebrations kicked off with the “DFA Awards Exhibition: Design Redefines Our Times” held at The Mills in May, honouring established and emerging designers, and outstanding projects that have been pushing boundaries to contribute to the betterment of society in Asia and beyond. Another highlight is the exhibition “Dream Big Think Small” at 7 Mallory Street by Design Spectrum from now until 17 July, which invites the public to explore myriads of ideas in which designers gauge the possibility of the imaginary, giving it substance, and making it part of society.
For two decades, HKDC has been known to curate and organise international design conferences and prestigious industry awards among others, but the real value lies in the dynamic connections and vibrant communities we create. There’s no better time than now to revamp our Friends of HKDC Membership Programme, which will soon be relaunched next month. We are eager to unite like-minded corporations and individuals who believe in the power of human-centric design, and your support continues to be the driving force behind our mission.
View of the Shougang Olympic Site from Chang’an Avenue (Photo by Prof. Zhang Li).
The Big Air Slope and Building A of the Oxygen Factory under construction, December 2019 (Photo by Samuele Pellecchia of Prospekt Photographers).
As an avid sports fan and tennis player, I am drawn to two ingeniously designed arenas that remind me of a quote of Sir Ken Robinson, the well-known British educationalist, author and creativity expert, “Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement”. The first is the Big Air Shougang at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, with a feature story on our brand-new design knowledge platform bodw+. Transforming a hundred-year-old steel mills into the world's first permanent Big Air venue for freestyle skiing and snowboarding, and adopting new green technologies, it is a living testament of how sustainability can come in many forms and mountains are not the only place to ski.
Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement.
The Hangzhou Asia Games Park adopts many eco-features, and serves as a mix-used area for not only sports events but also leisure and entertainment for the local people.
The park is set to become a fixture of daily life in the neighbourhood, support continued urban growth, and make for a more sustainable and resilient city.
Imagination continues to unfold with the 2022 Asian Games Park in Hangzhou, designed for the largest international multi-sport event after the Olympics. The park adopts many eco-features and this mix-used area serves as an urban sponge that absorbs, filters and reuses stormwater runoff. The mastermind behind this future-proof sports village is no other than the founding principal of Archi-Tectonics, Prof. Winka Dubbeldam, who was our speaker at Business of Design Week 2021. As she puts it, the park is set “to become a fixture of daily life in the neighbourhood, support continued urban growth, and make for a more sustainable and resilient city”.
Whether it is breathing new life into an industrial heritage or planning spaces with the future in mind, these architectures are going to serve their purpose long after the games. They are not only going to inspire many more designs that foster co-creation and sustainability, but also spark the imagination that lives in us all.
In this issue, we will appreciate the works of DFA Awards 2021 winners at our 20th anniversary kick-off exhibition, and meet the curator of Design Spectrum’s “Dream Big Think Small” exhibition, who will take us on a journey to navigate between dreams and reality. I hope you enjoy reading this issue, get inspired, go where your imagination takes you and accomplish great things.
Dr Joseph Wong
Hong Kong Design Centre