Hong Kong Design Centre Annual Awards 2010

Recognising Exceptional Designs and Outstanding Achievements

· 650 entries competing for Asia’s premier design awards
· World leaders achieving business success through good designs
· Four young talents awarded HK$1.5 million sponsorship to achieve their dreams

3 December 2010 ─ Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) today announced the winners of five annual awards, including the Design for Asia (DFA) Award, the Design for Asia Student Award (DFASA), the Design Leadership Award (DLA), the World's Outstanding Chinese Designer (WOCD) Award, and the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards (HKYDTA). Winners will receive the prizes at today’s Award Presentation Ceremony and HKDC Annual Awards Gala Dinner.

Hong Kong Design Centre aims to raise awareness amongst business and the public about the value of good design as an essential component in business success, as well as for a sustainable, higher quality of life for all. Design competitions are acknowledged as important tools in promoting design awareness and in helping to develop creativity. In this context, Hong Kong Design Centre has organized various award schemes each year.

“These annual awards – comprising Design For Asia (DFA) Award, Design Leadership Award (DLA), World’s Outstanding Chinese Designer (WOCD) Award and Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (HKYDTA) – allow a practical reference for us to better appreciate the how and why behind contemporary design excellence. By way of pinpointing the trajectory of Asian design, our awards help steer designers, industry practitioners and others onto a more pertinent and meaningful direction,” said Victor Lo, Chairman, Board of Directors, Hong Kong Design Centre.

Design for Asia (DFA) Award
The DFA Award sets to honour companies and designers from around the world that have achieved business success through good design that reflects, or has an impact on, the Asian lifestyle. Launched in 2003, the DFA Award has emerged as one of the most important platforms in Asia for design professionals across the globe to get inspired for excellent designs.

This year’s DFA Award has drawn about a record 650 entries from countries across Asia, continental Europe and America, and such unprecedented quantity of entries reflects that the award has achieved considerable recognition over the years, and is highly regarded by both local and international design professionals. The submission entries cover 18 categories including industrial/product design, communication design, environmental design as well as fashion and accessory design, featuring a wide range of design types and creative work.

As many as 108 awards have been announced today, including 9 Grand Awards; 3 Special Awards for Culture, Sustainability and Technology respectively; 9 Gold Awards; 16 Silver Awards; 23 Bronze Awards and 48 Merit Awards (winners list details).

Characterized by creativity, style, aesthetics and functionality, many of the award-winning entries have integrated eco-friendly concepts. Entries include what comes to be known as the world’s most nature-friendly school, a self-discharge battery that can be charged up to 1500 times, cling film that can be used and cut into custom-made sizes, and small tools in the shape of a green leaf. These submissions all lead to the same conclusion, i.e. sustainable development and environmental protection are no longer a matter of fashion, but have become the fundamental elements to achieve excellent business operations and design. Protecting the environment is one of the key challenges we are faced with in this century, and the DFA Award recognises the forward-thinking ways of Asia’s best designs and provides an encouragement that propagates greater enhancement of design and lifestyle.

Design for Asia Student Award (DFASA)
The Design for Asia Student Award is a newly-added award to promote cross-border collaboration, boosting the creative thinking of design students and their works. Among the 150 submissions received from 40 universities and design institutes across Asia, 13 of them were shortlisted for the final competition. The selected teams were invited to present their entries on 1 December to the judging panel comprising distinguished local and international experts in Hong Kong. Hoshi Masaaki from Japan’s Tama Art University was named the winner. The winning entry, Tokyo Next Design Project '08 & Graduation Works, is a joint project between Onishi of Asakusa and the Product Laboratory of Tama Art University. Based on the existing technology, the design team, led by Hoshi Masaaki, developed a new type of structural cloth called "GRIDABLE.ad" which opens up many new usage opportunities beyond the traditional screen material.

Design Leadership Award (DLA)
Globalisation has led to an unforeseen and unprecedented level of international competition among businesses. The key towards successful business no longer lies in cost-effectiveness but in the art of good design. When combined with strong corporate leadership, a strong design can help a company maintain their competitiveness or advantage through promoting sustainable development. The Design Leadership Award serves to recognise notable corporate leaders who have achieved outstanding business success by supporting the use of good design. This year, Sir James Dyson has been named winner of the award.

Sir James Dyson is an industrial designer popularly known as the founder of Dyson Ltd, an international multi-billion dollar business selling industry-leading vacuum cleaners, fans and hand dryers. Revered as the quintessential archetype of the design-led businessman, Dyson’s visionary approach continues to remain driven by invention, ingenuity, design and perseverance.

Fascinated by design and engineering at an early age, the young Dyson designed his first product, the Sea Truck, in 1970 while still studying at the Royal College of Art. Building on the foundational achievement earned by the Dual Cyclone 01, the world’s first bagless vacuum (achieving notable success in the UK), Dyson would later establish his eponymous company as a purveyor of real engineering innovation, and audaciously expanded the business from the UK to the rest of the world. Today, Dyson’s products can be found in over 45 different countries.

Consumer innovation in other areas includes the Contrarotator washing machine, the world's first washing machine to operate with two counter-rotating drums (spinning in opposite directions), Airblade hand dryer which can dry hands in no more than 12 seconds and the Air Multiplier fan, a fan without blades.

For Dyson, the commitment to inspire a new generation of designers and engineers serves a crucial priority. The annual James Dyson Award was founded as a means for cultivation by asking students from around the world to engineer solutions to everyday problems. Past contenders have included such designs as fold-up scales, a new kind of hammer, and an iron you can wear like a glove.

World's Outstanding Chinese Designer (WOCD)Award
The World's Outstanding Chinese Designer (WODC) Award aims to promote distinguished Chinese designers who have inherited the excellence of Chinese traditional culture and achieved international recognition. Industrial designer Eric Chan has received the award in recognition of his great achievements in the design field.

Eric Chan graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1976 with a degree in Industrial design. He then traveled to the US for further studies. His New York-based consultancy, ECCO, is an established and widely revered firm best known for success in addressing the needs of multinational companies in every major consumer segment. Chan, who often incorporates groundbreaking – in one form or another – new ideas to his subjects, has designed more than a dozen bestselling chairs, mobile phones, washing machines, office furniture, in-vehicle interactive voice-command systems and numerous others. The design philosophy behind ECCO looks beyond being style driven and iconic, to pursue opportunities that incorporate elements of social responsibility, ecological sensitivity, and cultural connectivity.

Chan’s work has been collected as the permanent collection by museums worldwide, including the London Design Museum, the Museum Die Neue Sammlung in Germany and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. ID Magazine named Chan as one of the 40 most influential designers in the US, while Business Week hailed him “one of the new breed of ingenious American designers that is making the world take note”.

In recent years, Chan has focused his concerns on expanding the contemporary vocabulary of Chinese design. In 2007, Chan teamed up with Herman Miller to research and design a modern, ergonomically-sound armchair made from bamboo. Combining traditional craft with computerized techniques, the groundbreaking chair stirred Chan’s desire to probe further the means to heighten design from his native heritage, which now forms a crucial part of Chan’s strategies.

Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards (HKYDTA)
Commenced in 2005, the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards (HKYDTA) is introduced to support and cultivate local up-and-coming designers, sponsoring them to take part in overseas studies or work attachments to broaden their international exposure. Over the past four years, nearly 30 award winners had benefited from this scheme, such as Prudence Mak, Baldwin Pui, Leo Lei and Ken Hui, who were able to study or work in world-famous institutions, including Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and Domus Academy in Milan.

“The Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (HKYDTA) has served a vital platform, in tune with the Design Centre’s core philosophy, to identify and provide financial support for young designers in their pursuit for creative and intellectual development. Upholding the idea that there will always be some aspects, regardless of how talented one may be, that can be improved, this award aims to broaden the perspective of Hong Kong’s new wave of designers,” said Dr. Edmund Lee, Executive Director, Hong Kong Design Centre.

This year, four prizes were set up under the HKYDTA. Two practising designers, Michael Leung, who works as guest tutor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Matthew Hui who specializes in knitwear design, won the DesignSmart Young Design Talent Award. Each will receive HKD$500,000 to undergo overseas work attachment for no less than 6 months. For the design graduates category, Octo Cheung, a graduate in fashion design, has been named winner of the PolyU School of Design Talent Educational Award. Clara Ho, who graduated with a degree in advertising deign, won the HKDI Young Design Talent Educational Award. The two winners will each receive HKD$250,000 to further their design-related studies overseas. Practising designer Yeung Chin, design graduates Stephen Fan and Leo Chui also received the Special Mention Award in recognition of their outstanding performance.

The HKYDTA is made possible by funding from the Government, as administered by Create Hong Kong of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau. Sponsorships for the 2010 awards have been generously provided by Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Design Institute.

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