DMatters November 2019 Issue

For centuries, the United Kingdom has been a world pioneer in design, innovation and technology. Its world-leading industrial and technological prowess was first celebrated in the Great Exhibition of 1851. A century later, the hugely popular 1946 Britain Can Make It exhibition established the standard of good design, planting the seed of design consciousness in British minds. Today, alongside the global rise of digital technology, the UK has successfully transformed itself into a knowledge economy with a thriving creative sector and trendsetting consumer market.

Design is ingrained in Britain’s DNA. The great cultural nation has been keen on exporting its’ creative talents and outputs through initiatives such as the recent Great British Design campaign. This year, our Business of Design Week (BODW) is excited to have the UK as the Partner Country. As Asia’s leading event on design, innovation and brands, BODW gathers over 70 design and business visionaries from the UK and other parts of the world, including from Hong Kong and across Asia. Under the theme of “Design the Future, Create Tomorrow” the event hosts wide-ranging forums and panels to explore the latest trends in creative mindset and the use of design thinking, branding, communication, immersive experience, product design, digital technology, spatial design, architecture, culture and city life.

© Elena Heatherwick
Thomas Heatherwick CBE
courtesy of Michael Moran for Related-Oxford

Coming to the 18th edition, BODW continues to be a one-of-a-kind international platform for business and creative leaders to network, exchange ideas and explore new business opportunities. The exciting speaker line-up starts with Thomas Heatherwick CBE, one of the most acclaimed British designers of our time. From New York’s latest landmark Vessel to the 2012 Olympic cauldron, his designs are praised for solving problems with ingeniously innovative yet practical solutions. While he has been commissioned to lead the design for Google’s new London and California headquarters, we can anticipate truly leading-edge design insights from him.

© Mark Cocksedge
Jay Osgerby OBE
London 2012 Olympic torch

Behind the success of UK design is a strong spirit of cross-disciplinary collaboration. It is the key in many of our speakers’ achievements. Take Jay Osgerby OBE, who co-founded leading British design firm Barber & Osgerby with Edward Barber OBE in 1996. The duo has continuously worked together for more than two decades and have frequently been commissioned by public institutions and galleries. Their most notable commissioned work is the London 2012 Olympic torch for which they impeccably blended technology, ergonomics and symbolism. Alongside Jay Osgerby, Alex Hulme, Director of Barber & Osgerby’s branch company Map Project Office, will also join BODW to cast light on British products’ design vision.

At a time when disciplinary boundaries are ever blurring, BODW acts as a launchpad for collaborations between design, business and the public sector. The cherrypicked speakers, excelling in wide-ranging design disciplines, are bringing to Hong Kong the insights of sparking global phenomena. Fabien Riggall, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Secret Cinema, revolutionised cinemagoing by combining immersive theatrical experience and film screening. Artist/designer Morag Myerscough coloured different parts of the UK, from London to Aberdeen, with her signature energy-filled palette, graphics and installations to create distinct community identities and transform public spaces.

Prof.  Chanjoong Kim
photo by kim yong kwan
Paul Smith flagship store

In addition to a stellar list of British speakers, BODW scouted across the globe for forward-looking design and business experts. Among them is Prof. Chanjoong Kim, Principal of Seoul-based architectural studio THE_SYSTEM LAB. The Harvard-trained architect designed the Healing Stay Kosmos which won the Wallpaper *  Design Award for Best New Hotel, and designed the iceberg-shaped Paul Smith flagship store in Gangnam, Seoul. Also trained at Harvard, Thai architect Amata Luphaiboon masterminded a broad range of landmarks in major Thai cities with his Department of ARCHITECTURE Co., one of the fastest-growing architectural firms in Thailand.

André Fu
St Regis Hong Kong Hotel

Launched since 2002, BODW aims to connect local and Asian designers and industries with creative game-changers all over the world, fostering new inspirations through the exchange of knowledge and ideas. It also serves as a world-class platform to showcase local and Asian forces and projects, such as André Fu, the forward-thinking designer of the new St Regis Hong Kong Hotel; Ed Ng, one of the conceptual designers of the Opera Theatre at Hong Kong’s revered cultural-retail destination, K11 MUSEA; Michael Young, Hong Kong-based British industrial designer who works with famous international brands and Chinese companies including Haier, Zens and CIGA; Mike Hill, Co-Founder and CEO of Magnetic Asia, the company behind Hong Kong’s Clockenflap; Victor Wong, local artist-inventor of A.I. Gemini, a robot artist who produces Chinese ink paintings; and Joe Kwan, Co-founder and Designer of Anicorn Watches, an eminent local brand whose collaboration with NASA created a 1-minute sold out record.

BODW 2019 is organised by Hong Kong Design Centre and co-organised by Hong Kong Trade Development Council with Create Hong Kong as the Lead Sponsor. It is your top opportunity of the year to grasp the latest trends in design, business and technology and network with emerging and established design professionals and business executives from different industries and sectors. Whether you are a designer, business executive, educator, entrepreneur or public sector worker, BODW and its spin-off events are unmissable. Tickets are running out fast, get yours now!

With the results of this year’s DFA Awards just announced, we will take a deeper look at some of the winning projects in this issue. We will also preview 2 upcoming citywide design programmes, BODW CityProg 2019 and the new creative tourism projects of Design District Hong Kong’s (#ddHK). Last but not least, we will listen to some local designers who joined the DX Tour share their fruitful learning from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Click  here  to read the full issue of DMatters November 2019.

Further readings

BODW 2019 latest programme and speakers

Thomas Heatherwick’s TED talk: Building the Seed Cathedral

Design Week interview with Barber & Osgerby

Dezeen interview with Fabien Riggall

Eye Magazine interview with Morag Myerscough

An interview with Changjoong Kim (Korean, with English subtitles)

An interview with Amata Luphaiboon