DMatters March 2022 Issue
DIVING DEEP INTO DESIGN
with Dr Joseph Wong, Executive Director of HKDC
A city should reflect the needs of its society—and good design is how we make that happen. It should be seen and used everywhere in a city to benefit and inspire as many people as possible. This year is a very special and exciting year for Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC). We are celebrating our 20th anniversary. It has been uplifting to see how far we have come, and how we have fostered the positioning of Hong Kong as a true Design City—and we know the best is yet to come.
A city should reflect the needs of its society—and good design is how we make that happen.
Our anniversary theme is ‘Design for Sustainable Community’, and we cannot wait to get started. Our work this year will highlight how co-creation, and the weaving together of human effort and values, can create impactful designs. We want to make design more accessible than ever before, reaching larger audiences and engaging local communities to expand its positive influence.
We continue to advocate that everyone should think like a designer and participate in the design process, so that design thinking can be part of the daily fabric of our lives, and not something you can only experience in a museum or gallery. The idea that design should be inclusive and accessible to anyone was a hot topic of discussion at Business of Design Week (BODW) 2021. As Steve Leung, founder of the Steve Leung Design Group said, “We hope that design is not limited to a few people, but for everyone.”
Design thinking can be part of the daily fabric of our lives, and not something you can only experience in a museum or gallery.
For this year, we are rolling out year-round, multi-format content on our new design knowledge platform bodw+. Our BODW CityProg last November, as a lead-in for our anniversary, was themed “20s: Reflect・Refresh・Reset”. Centred around ‘change’, it comprised a new initiative: “Design !n Action”. The initiative includes a career discovery programme for primary and secondary school students, Design Explorer; and OpenHouse!HK to enhance local tertiary design students’ understanding of the industry. The number of participating designers and companies was very encouraging. By cultivating young people’s understanding and pursuit of good design, we will have the power to grow our design city in the years to come.
In January, BODW CityProg collaborated with Unleash! to organise four student workshops for the "Design Explorer” programme.
Ronald Lu & Partners, an architectural firm involved in the development of Victoria Dockside in Tsim Sha Tsui, shared their vision on the design and development of commercial public spaces with students.
I have been captivated by how design can offer people a new perspective on and appreciation for the spaces of their city, with a few projects catching my eye for how they preserve heritage while building a positive future. MAD Architects founder, Ma Yansong, did this beautifully in the project “Gantry crane” in Chongqing, and Tiffany Dahlen from MAD Architects was one of our BODW 2021 speakers. The 430-metre-long complex “Gantry crane” comprises interconnected elevated buildings, inspired by these cranes. The design integrates the port, the city, and shopping and entertainment districts, and allows the public to fully experience the diversity of the area against the backdrop of the Yangtze River. “People can feel the kinetic energy of the city here, but also imagine the public spaces of the future,” says Ma Yansong.
People can feel the kinetic energy of the city here, but also imagine the public spaces of the future.
One thing is for sure, if we are to truly co-create a design city, we can’t do it alone. We will need cross-discipline collaborations, participatory design in more sectors and better educational experiences to inspire the next generation of designers. In this issue of DMatters, we see this in action. We explore the Unleash! forum at the Learning and Teaching Expo (LTE) 2021 (where education experts exchanged ideas for enhancing learning experiences) and recap the fantastic collaboration between Design Incubation Programme (DIP) designers SOMEWHERE NOWHERE and W Hong Kong (think themed hospitality experiences and Instagrammers’ paradise)!
We will need cross-discipline collaborations, participatory design in more sectors and better educational experiences to inspire the next generation of designers.
Stay tuned for more celebration activities for our 20th Anniversary year, and I look forward to sharing more inspiring updates soon.
Click here to read the full issue of DMatters March 2022.
Dr Joseph Wong
Hong Kong Design Centre