DIP Designers Enriching the Cultural Landscape
DMatters March 2023 Issue
Every business begins with seeds of ideas, but whether or not the seedlings grow strong depends on the follow-through with needed support. Hong Kong Design Centre’s Design Incubation Programme (DIP) has been nurturing local creative startup talents and design entrepreneurs and connecting them with the wider design communities. In a city with such a vibrant mix of cultures and ideas, these homegrown talents show how design creates cultural values and makes them sustainable in different forms, bringing an impact to Hong Kong and beyond. Let’s get to know three DIP designers and their recent projects which explore the relationship between design and culture.
Deep Food: Edible Experiences for Thought
Cindy Chan and Heinrik Ng are the co-founders of Deep Food – a creative studio that deploys multi-sensory food design and edible experiences to promote art and culture.
Founded by Cindy Chan and Heinrik Ng, Deep Food looks to spark thoughtful discussions through interesting dining experiences. They see design as a recipe for a cultural brew, giving their works a contemporary relevance and progressive vision while applying local elements and cultural roots. ‘Hong Kong's unique cultural mix is significantly manifested through its food, and such a blend has always been our inspiration as we innovate with food and edible experience.’
Hong Kong's unique cultural mix is significantly manifested through its food, and such a blend has always been our inspiration as we innovate with food and edible experience.
Deep Food exhibited the ‘Yuen Yeung Map of Hong Kong Streets’ at 2022 Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture (UABB), bringing a taste-oriented experience for the public to explore the diversity of local communities.
In its project ‘Yuen Yeung Map (of Hong Kong Streets)’ for the 2022 Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture, Deep Food curated a sensory experience for participants to explore the city’s urban landscapes with each featured street represented by one taste. For the project name, the designers deliberately chose ‘Yuen Yeung’, a famous food icon of the city, to reflect ‘the diverse culture of Hong Kong streets’.
Deep Food believes Hong Kong’s East-meets-West multicultural heritage has given the city an edge, offering creative practitioners a fresh perspective to respond to global creative movements. ‘These possibilities are realised through multi-disciplinary collaboration among performers, craftsmen, producers, journalists, artists and decision-makers, which we treasure much in our creative practice.’
The Hong Kong Type Foundry Ltd: Reviving the Beauty of Chinese Characters
Julius Hui, Founder of The Hong Kong Type Foundry Ltd, is passionate for revitalising the Chinese typeface design to enhance the reading experience.
With a passion for revitalising the Chinese typography and offering a more pleasant reading experience through font design, Julius Hui, the founder of The Hong Kong Type Foundry Ltd, launched the Ku Mincho™ R font set. His brainchild is a new generation of Ming-Ti design, balancing the aesthetic of Chinese characters and the rhythm of reading. ‘I drew inspiration from the formal-looking, reader-friendly, yet very lively street signs that shape Hong Kong’s visual culture. This new font is a result of my daily immersion into the city’s culture.’
The Ku Mincho™ R font set is a new generation of Ming-Ti design.
As Hong Kong seizes the post-Covid momentum to rebuild the economy, Julius sees great opportunities to promote its visual culture to the world as an international city. ‘Hong Kong’s local culture is one of a kind. I will continue to design new fonts serving the needs of the city, and hopefully take them to other countries.’ And Ku Mincho™ R is already making its way to the Japan market.
Hong Kong’s local culture is one of a kind. I will continue to design new fonts serving the needs of the city, and hopefully take them to other countries.
YAT PIT Fashion Limited: A Reimagined Chinese Wardrobe
Created by fashion designers Jason Mui and On-ying Lai, YAT PIT Fashion Limited has a vision to create a new expression with classic Chinese clothing that would not look out of place in everyday wardrobes, weaving together traditions and cultures.
The label’s AW23 collection ‘Seek Harmony by the Way of Yat Pit Tea’.
In the label’s AW23 Collection ‘Seek Harmony by the Way of Yat Pit Tea’ launched in Paris, the duo infused the idea of dyeing with Pu’er tea and inserting tea leaves into their works. With the featured ‘Tea Shirt’, customers were invited to engage in the dyeing process. ‘We hope to relate the wearer to the garment, evoking the beauty of the tea ceremony and connecting the nature and humanity.’
As for the designers’ role to turn Hong Kong into Asia's cultural capital, Jason and On-ying think ‘it is important to inspire and to break traditional codes, thinking outside the box while staying inside it – staying true to one’s own design philosophy.’
It is important to inspire and to break traditional codes, thinking outside the box while staying inside it – staying true to one’s own design philosophy.
We can’t wait to see a future shaped by design and creativity, as these DIP designers accelerate their efforts to establish their own identity and cultivate their own ways of further enriching Hong Kong’s cultural identity.