DMatters June 2023 Issue
In Cross-disciplinary Design - Towards a New Perspective
Design revolves around our human experiences and the interconnectedness of the world we inhabit.
As our environment rapidly evolves, impacting us on ecological and societal levels, the dynamics between humans and the world no longer follow linear paths. Instead, they grant each individual a unique identity through which they can express themselves.
Amidst this changing landscape, creativity across disciplines becomes paramount. Hong Kong, a dynamic city where East meets West, provides an ideal platform for generating fresh ideas and fostering multidisciplinary collaborations, and attracting designers from around the globe who come together to address the ever-changing demands of our world and the expectations placed upon designers.
Embracing Cross-Disciplinary Design - Where East Meets West, Innovations Blend with Traditions, and Multilayered Culture Fuels a Diversified Talent Pool in Hong Kong.
At Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC), we understand that design is not confined to a singular realm. It means keep exploring new materials, techniques, concepts and directions in the intersection of disciplines. In our pursuit of delivering values in an ever-changing environment, we embark on a journey that pushes the very boundaries of design itself.
Back in January this year, eight of our Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP) and Design Incubation Programme (DIP) designers were invited to participate in the ‘Ear Up Music Festival 2023’ and craft outfits for eight indie music units, presenting an innovative audio-visual experience that inspired new forms of artistic expression by intertwining music, fashion and modern styles.
Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP) and Design Incubation Programme (DIP) designers were invited to participate in the ‘Ear Up Music Festival 2023’ and craft outfits for indie music units. In the photo: FIP Designer Jason of YMDH (middle) and indie music unit Ragpickers.
As fashion needs to evolve in a cross-disciplinary manner, HKDC’s latest exhibition of Design Spectrum ‘The Full Gamut’ celebrates the creative convergence of various design disciplines, including communication design, environmental and spatial design, fashion and accessories design, product and display design, social and inclusive design, inviting the public to observe the changing design landscape of fashion trends and impacts.
HKDC’s latest exhibition of Design Spectrum ‘The Full Gamut’
While cultural understanding is the foundation for collaboration, HKDC’s BODW trip to The Netherlands in March this year provided participants opportunities to exchange ideas and enrich our collective knowledge. It is also with gratitude that we announce The Netherlands as the year-round partner country in 2023 to cultivate a continuous exchange of cross-disciplinary design brilliance together.
BODW trip to The Netherlands in March 2023
Incorporating design into the product development process to generate human-centred and substantial values to the economy and society.
Cross-disciplinary design transcends mere aesthetics. It delves deep into various aspects of life, touching products, systems, services and experiences. It encompasses problem-solving, user experience, functionality, and extends to social-cultural impacts. Moreover, it embraces contemporary technologies, adding values and enhancing our daily experiences.
Let's take a closer look at two exemplary projects from AiDLab. The first, led by Dr Jeanne Tan’s team, is an illuminative textile that responds to contactless gestures, changing colours as it interacts with its environment. The second focuses on the development of footwear with ergonomic design. By utilizing machine learning algorithms, it accurately predicts foot-insole interface pressures, ensuring optimal fit, comfort and protection. These inventions have the potential to commercialize and bring convenience to the disabled, elderlies and diabetic patients for rehabilitation.
Developed by Dr Jeanne Tan and her team at AiDLab (Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design), the patented intelligent textile system is the world’s first contactless gesture recognition illuminative textile that changes colour via hand and body gestures. (Image Source: Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design)
Cross-disciplinary design could also mean a broader sense. The collaboration between Good Lab and the Drainage Services Department at Shek Wu Hui Effluent Polishing Plant and Peripheral Area serves as a prime example for co-designing a better place with the community, as it has not only expanded the capacity of sewage treatment to meet the ever-growing demand, but also taking ‘co-use’ and ‘community connection’ into consideration. As the project fosters community involvement while addressing sustainability challenges, the integration of the plant into the surrounding environment adds aesthetic value and tackles the social-commercial needs of the densely populated area.
Good Lab launched a series of engagement activities including in-depth interviews and street booths to learn about local residents’ way of life as well as concerns revolving around the proposed expansion. (Image Source: Good Lab Foundation Limited)
In this issue of DMatters, we gain firsthand insights on cross-disciplinary design from the curators and designers of Design Spectrum's 'The Full Gamut' Exhibition and step into the captivating local fashion scene as we have conversations with 3 emerging fashion designers from FIP . Through their stories, we explore the transformative power of design and its profound impact on shaping our world.
With everything we covered this issue, we aim to uncover how cross-disciplinary design revitalizes Hong Kong's textile industry, propelling it towards a sustainable future for generations to come.