DMatters December 2017 Issue

Good design brings good business. What’s next?

The famous quote by Thomas J. Watson Jr, president of IBM, is just right to prelude this edition of DMatters. “Good design is good business”, which holds good from the time when mainframe computer was invented to an era when everybody bonds and aptly recognise it as good design. So what’s good design?

Before turning into a potential good business, a design that is aesthetically attractive and conceptually innovative is good but not good enough. Design, after all, solves problems, improves lives and creates meaning to users and impact to society. A piece of good design is made by people and for people - what design thinking is all about.

The award-winning Singapore Changi Airport has been an example of good design in architecture, but it has been expanding and evolving. In a recent visit to its new Terminal 4, the team has re-imagined future services and airport operations based on user insights and experience. They have studied user behaviour in and out, and integrated digital and smart technology throughout the travellers’ journey in transit. It is a case in point to demonstrate good design that embraces efficiency, effectiveness and empathy.

Being asked about “good design”, Italian artist Jacapo Foggini remarks, “I recognise that designers nowadays should focus on a goal instead of consuming time and efforts following thousands of different paths.” He who inherited his family business has discovered the versatile nature of methacrylate, then began his creative practice with such material. His ideology in transforming a family legacy is the mindset indispensable to future’s heritage. Architect couple, Massimiliano and Doriana Fukas, share a strong commitment to design in societal wellbeing. “Architecture is something that belongs to the city, to people, to everyone. When we work on a project, we can improve the sustainability of our cities with actions that concern mobility and environment as political, social, intellectual and economic aspects, creating a geography that puts together economy, landscape and human being.”

Vincent Lim and Elaine Lu, New York-trained architecture and interior designer duo, regard good design as an emotional enabler, which “should trigger the sense.” Dubbed as “Designer of Emotions” for producing many Olympic-grade shows and concerts, Marco Balich echoes, “It’s all about becoming emotional as well. I want to give people chances to dream, to smile and to share their inner feelings.” The above verbatim definitions of good design suggest that both good business and good life come hands in hands. Foggini, the Fukas, Lim & Lu and Balich are among a global line-up of 100+ speakers at Business of Design Week 2017, on the partner country theme of “Italy - Make a Difference”.

HKDC’s annual major programmes BODW, DFA Awards and FASHION ASIA 2017 are around the corner. While audiences will look forward to sharing of many “good design being good business” successful cases from around the world, there are concurrent events in town like DesignInspire by HKTDC and deTour by PMQ for the public to engage design in fuller extent. This year, we have more partners joining the BODW x deTour satellite events where we will connect the public with brands that cherish design.

With that said, our quest for and promotion of “good design” does not stop there. Apart from letting you read from email and the web, we are launching a new DMatters platform this month to extrapolate the effect of good design, not only to business but to our living. If you wonder what Alan Chan, Lu Lu Cheung and over a dozen designers attend the idea of “good design” in living, please visit “Good Life. Good Design” exhibition at HKDC Studio @PMQ.

Hope to see you in our citywide “design festival”! We wish you a fruitful design week and merry holidays ahead!

Click here for DMatters (December) full issue.