BODW CityProg: Spark the Design Imagination all over Hong Kong

Design is closer to everyday life than we may be aware of — from skyscrapers to toothpicks, what doesn’t involve a certain level of design? Alongside the star-studded Business of Design Week (BODW), the Hong Kong Design Centre has kick-started the brand-new BODW City Programme (CityProg) to invigorate local creative communities and businesses and engage the public with the power of good design. It connects a number of brands, enterprises, organisations and institutions to present happenings and activities at 10 anchor sites in 5 of Hong Kong’s districts and an overwhelming list of satellite events and shopping offers. As a citywide celebration of good design, BODW CityProg showcases local design forces at different levels and sows the seeds for cultivating a design spirit in different districts and communities. While some programmes have already been rolled out, let’s take a look at some highlights.

With its history, culture and creative communities, Wan Chai and its potential as a dynamic design district make it a well-founded location as the base of CityProg.  Its design programmes with Melbourne, the partner city of BODW, are certainly the most captivating of all. Melburnian multimedia interactive designer Nimrod Weis  and his team ENESS restaged their famed Sonic Light Bubble in Wan Chai. This 6-metre-wide bubble-like public interactive sculpture is a fusion of art, design and technology. Equipped with LED lights and sensors, it interacts with viewers’ bodily movements through light and sound. If you have recently been to Central, you may have already noticed the 14-metre-tall inflatable sculpture Golden Monkey dangling on the facade of H CODE on Pottinger Street. Created by artist Lisa Roet from Melbourne, it takes the form of the endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys to prompt reflections on the relationship between urbanisation, design and nature.

The 10 anchor sites spread across Wan Chai, Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan, To Kwa Wan and Fo Tan, are joining hands with community-based cultural spots to radiate design energy citywide. Through creative markets, community design projects, design workshops, guided tours and exhibitions, they appeal to local tastes and trends to help local designs step out of the industry realm and become part of our city’s everyday life. In the first week of December, we have seen a diverse array of programmes taking place at 7 Mallory Street, Wontonmeen, Play Depot, Star Street Precinct and Fo Tan Artists Co-op. 7 Mallory Street showcased the work of over 90 Melbourne-based fashion designers as well as the “FASCINATION STREET”, fashion showcase of Design District Hong Kong (#ddHK), organised by HKDC FASCINATION STREET is a street fashion parade featuring emerging local fashion designers’ new collections  using materials exclusively sourced in Sham Shui Po. The programmes at other anchor sites like Blue House, D2 Place, JCCAC, Foo Tak Building and Centre for Heritage Arts and Textile are still taking place and will carry on until the end of December or extend to January of next year.

CityProg also motivated the design communities in their districts to roll out more than 200 exciting satellite events, a raft of special offers at creative design boutiques and educational programmes such as design competitions and creative events for families. Regardless of your age and background, there is something for everyone. It is time for the spirit of design to take root in our communities. This December, besides enjoying the Christmas vibe, seize the chance to participate and experience how design can shape our quality of life!