Barcelona: First Ever Partner City for Business of Design Week

(Hong Kong, 14 September 2015Asia's leading annual event on design, innovation and brands, Business of Design Week 2015 (BODW 2015) this year welcomes Barcelona as its first ever Partner City. A cultural capital renowned for its creativity and rich artistic heritage, Barcelona is a hub of community-driven smart design.

On its 14th anniversary, BODW brings the world's most outstanding design masters and influential business figures to Hong Kong. It is organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) and supported by Create Hong Kong, with an aim to inspire the regional audience on creative thinking and design management, and to provide a valuable platform for idea exchange and business cooperation.

The BODW 2015 kick-off press conference took place this afternoon at PMQ, Hong Kong’s exciting urban stage for creative happenings and home-grown design by local designers. The press conference is graced by the presence of Mrs Janet Chu, Assistant Head, Create Hong Kong; Ms Madrona Marcet, Director, South China, Hong Kong and Taiwan of Invest in Catalonia; Mr Victor Lo, Chairman, Hong Kong Design Centre Board of Director; Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director and Miss Elina Lee, Director, Partnership, Marketing and Communications.

Dr Edmund Lee, said: "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Barcelona to BODW 2015 as our first ever partner city. Partnering with a city rather than a country puts our focus squarely on this year's programme embrace of community and culture. Design in Barcelona is both community-driven and forward-thinking, but never at the cost of the city's rich traditions."

He continued, "Hong Kong and Barcelona both value the power of design in creating business and societal values. It is a timely juncture to explore how good design contributes to cities of the future. We are excited to explore new possibilities and expand our horizon. We also look forward to working closely with our community collaborators PMQ, partners, and our stellar line-up of world-class speakers sharing their insights and project experience from Hong Kong, Barcelona and from around the world."

The great creative talent of Barcelona, a city worldwide recognised in different fields ranging from design, architecture and urbanism, gastronomy or sports, will be vividly captured through stories of projects, brands and personalities, including among others:

The story of Antoni Gaudi's iconic Sagrada Familia will be presented by Dr Jordi Fauli, Head Architect. Snapshots of Barcelona’s rich modern heritage will be viewed through the lens of beloved football club FC Barcelona, cutting-edge fashion brand Desigual and others. Inspiring speaker from Barcelona, Marti Guixe, CEO & Designer, Concepts and Ideas for Commercial Purposes, known for his unconventional approach to design fusing diverse disciplines into one creative force.

Outside Barcelona, BODW is welcoming renowned international speakers from a diverse range of fields. These include David Butler, VP, Innovation and Entrepreneurship of The Coca-Cola Company (US); Mark Waites, Co-founder of leading independent creative agency Mother London (UK); Sonja Zagermann, Swiss Editorial Designer and recipient of multiple book design awards (Switzerland); representatives from London-based design collective Assemble (UK); and Alejo Verlini, Co-founder & Head of Design of Bluesmart, a U.S./Hong Kong start-up revolutionising the travel experience.

Mr Agusti Colom, newly appointed Councillor of Barcelona, said: "For Barcelona, it's a great honour and challenge to be the first partner city of the BODW. It will also be an occasion to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between both cities. We understand Design as a strategic tool with significant social and economic impact, helping make our companies more competitive, increasing the sustainability of our neighbourhoods and improving citizens' quality of life and wellbeing."

This year, HKDC will also host the DFA Awards 2015 presentation ceremony at PMQ for the first time. As HKDCs flagship programme, DFA Awards recognises outstanding designs with Asian perspectives, and celebrates design excellence from established designers and emerging talents from Hong Kong and across the region. The series of DFA Awards includes DFA Lifetime Achievement Award (DFALAA), DFA Design Leadership Award (DFADLA), DFA World’s Outstanding Chinese Designer (DFAWOCD), Design for Asia Awards and Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (HKYDTA).

From now on until 30 September 2015, BODW is offering a 50% early bird discount. Register at to take advantage of this special offer.

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About Hong Kong Design Centre

Design for Society is the major undertaking of Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC). HKDC is a non-profit organisation and a strategic partner of the HKSAR Government in developing Hong Kong as an international design hub in Asia. Since 2002, HKDC has been on a public mission to (i) champion strategic and wider use of design for creating business value and community benefits; (ii) promote and celebrate design excellence; and (iii) educate the professions and the community to be resourceful champions for sustained developments through design and innovation.

About Business of Design Week

The Hong Kong Design Centre has been the organiser of Business of Design Week (BODW) since 2002. It is an annual international event aimed at promoting design and strengthening ties between the design and business communities. Each year, BODW attracts design and business elites from around the world to Hong Kong. The world's attention is drawn to current design issues through various exhibitions, international forums and outreach activities tailored to provide designers, business leaders, educators, SMEs and the public with communication opportunities to build strong business and commercial development. It is a world-class platform for the exchange of ideas, and an internationally renowned annual design event. 

For further media enquiries, please contact:


Toni Chan
Tel: +852 2501 7936
Clare Chan
Tel: +852 2501 7960

Hong Kong Design Centre

Jacky Chan
Tel: +852 3793 8478
Wendy Wo
Tel: +852 3793 8472

Photo Reference:

Photo 1: Officiating guests at the BODW 2015 announcement press conference (from left) – Ms Elina Lee, Director, Partnership, Marketing and Communications, Hong Kong Design Centre; Ms Madrona Marcet, Director, South China, Hong Kong and Taiwan of Invest in Catalonia; Mr Victor Lo, Chairman, Hong Kong Design Centre Board of Director; Mrs Janet Chu, Assistant Head, Create Hong Kong and Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director, Hong Kong Design Centre

Photo 2: BODW 2015 announcement is supported by Hong Kong Design Centre Board of Directors (first from left) – Principal of Hong Kong Design Institute & Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee), Mr Leslie Lu, (second from left) Mr James Law, first from right) Mr Eric Yim, (Back row from left) Dean of PolyU Design, Prof. Cees de Bont, Executive Secretary of Hong Kong Federation of Design Associations, Ms Grace Lau, Chairman of Interior Design Association, Mr Antony Chan, Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association, Ms Janet Cheung, Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong Designers Association, Mr Ron Leung, Executive Director of PMQ, Mr Victor Tsang, Creative and Programme Director of PMQ, Mr William To

Photo 3: Co-organisers, Main Sponsor and Strategic Partners at the BODW 2015 announcement event – Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Create Hong Kong, Hong Kong Design Institute & Institute of Vocational Education, TUVE Hotel, Invest in Catalonia and Friends of Catalonia