Design Exchange between Hong Kong and Melbourne

Eight emerging Hong Kong designers were warmly welcomed in true Melbourne Style through DXHK-MEBOURNE, the first lead-in programme of Hong Kong Design Centre’s (HKDC) Business of Design Week (BODW) which HKDC partner with Creative Victoria and Melbourne is the partner city this year.

DXHK – MELBOURNE aims to kick-start the exchange and open up dialogue with Melbourne starting from the younger generation. Under the theme of “Pocket Worlds – where Big Things Happen in Small Spaces”, the Designers, from fashion, product design to fashion accessories, have displayed their work at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) design store as part of the internationally-acclaimed Melbourne Design Week in Melbourne, held in March 16th-April 2018.

Furthermore, this talented group of Hong Kong based emerging designers have also join the inspiration trip to Melbourne in Mid-March. The inspirational trip comprised studio tours set up by Design Institute of Australia (DIA) and visits to Trout, Tait, Porcelain Bear, Ownworld and The HUB General Store.  Workshops and educational exchanges also took place at SWINBURNE DESIGN FACTORY in Hawthorn and RMIT Design Hub, along with guided tours at The Melbourne School of Design.

The Designers were inspired to meet with so many talented individuals, influencers and educators across five days, a schedule that involved interviews, with press and industry leaders as well as attending a diverse range of socially engaging events. 

Let’s hear from these young HK designers how Melbourne inspired them:

Chan Po Fung | Playback Concept | playbackconcept.com
I feel that there is a strong sense of community amongst the professional design scene here in Melbourne”

Polly Ho | Loom Loop | loom-loop.com
“The surroundings and the Australian lifestyle have such a big influence on the design landscape here. Melbourne is a colourful city. The big blue skies, so many plants and greenery and the sunrise and sunset. All these elements have such a big influence, and as a designer, I find this quite rewarding to have such an experience, amongst such a diverse landscape.”

Joe Kwan | Anicorn watches | anicorn-watches.com
“I felt that the National Gallery of Victoria provided an excellent platform for us Hong Kong designers. Not only were we able to profile our designs and present our Hong Kong talents, but we also achieved a sense of cultural exchange by viewing the depth of Australian design talent also exhibited at the gallery.”

Ricky Lai | Open Quote | openquote.com.hk
“I love the design scene and to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first trip to Melbourne. I found this trip truly inspirational and so interesting. People are very friendly. We have visited many design studios, galleries, exhibitions and events, which were all amazing. I will integrate this valuable cultural experience into my next collection in Hong Kong.”

Max Lam | Max Lam Designs | maxlam.com
“I’m impressed that Australian integrates design into every aspect of their lifestyle. It’s a big part of their lives as you can observe on any given Sunday. They enjoy visiting the galleries, exhibitions and other outdoor activities. Indeed, you get a sense of this educational and intergenerational sharing, experience for art, design and culture in Melbourne.”

Nelson Leung | Nelson Blackle | nelsonblackle.com
“It is a great place where I can really work on developing my brand and my new collections. The cultural diversity, the food, art and design… Melbourne is such a melting pot, and to me I feel the environment is very inspirational. It’s a city which is alive and full of colour, with so many unique design elements to be able to draw from as a designer.”

Jackie Luk | Project J | project-j.com
“Melbourne feels like a European city to me... filled with optimism and colour. I admire such differences. I was inspired to create a special collection to capture the spirit and prosperity of Melbourne. It really is a unique city, and you get a sense of style and design in every aspect of this dynamic city.”

Raft Wong | Rcube | Rcube-design.com
“The most powerful impact to me was the sense of space… When I arrived, I couldn’t believe the amount of large open spaces; even in the central business district... so many large spaces everywhere. The other thing that was interesting to observe was the different types of materials and textures everywhere. From concrete and natural stone to wood and glass used in all different styles of architecture and environment.”

Activity information


Funded by CreateHK, DeX is a pilot design exchange programme to uphold the mission of HKDC to establish Hong Kong as a centre of design excellence in Asia, and to strengthen our strategic partnership with Belt & Road and the Asia-Pacific region. DXHK - MELBOURNE is the second leg of the project that two participating cities: Bangkok (ended in January 2018) and Melbourne (ended in April 2018). Comprises an international showcase at Melbourne Design Week together with a 6–day trip for the young designers to gain in-depth design and cultural exchange with their Australian counterparts, to test the market and develop business network in Melbourne, as well as to bring back valuable inspiration and experience to benefit the local creative industry.

Disclaimer: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organizers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Communications and Creative Industries Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.