DMatters January 2018 Issue

Steer towards liveability
From time to time, DMatters gets the chance to cover stories of many design practitioners and advocates, and recently we talked to a few DIPs (incubatees under Design Incubation Programme at HKDC) and alumni. All of them passionately share their visions, plans, stories and commitment as design-preneurs. Nevertheless, when we talked deeper, we get to know better of their gaps of knowledge, obstacles and challenges faced. “You’re still young” would seem an easy get-away. Maybe it’s time to ask, “how can we better support design-prenuers and foster enterprising creativity as a movement or even as a culture?” And when we say “we”, it means you and us.

Not long ago, DMatters wrote about Chief Executive’s strong support in her Policy Address towards development of creative industries and design, and HKDC’s tremendous efforts in advocacy along with others. Executive Director Edmund Lee describes design as serious business, and creative and intelligent endeavours essential for problem solving, human-centred innovation, economic wealth and societal wellbeing. HKDC is in the business of cultivating design thinking and good design. Efficiency and effectiveness aside, we also need to build strong muscles for empathy, placing wellbeing and the needs of people, users and citizens at the centre for good design.

Not only will more funds be injected into the CreateSmart Initiative for current and new initiatives supporting development of creative industries and design, the strong policy support has created immense opportunities for society leaders, policy and decision makers, business executives, professionals across sectors, industrialists, educators and all from young ages to embrace design thinking and good design.

The good news is heard, but God is in the details. Vision and plans aside, it is always the meticulous execution that counts. Chairman Eric Yim remarks, “There’re 5 pillars supporting HKDC vision and mission, and we would challenge ourselves to think laterally and differently in every aspect.” For example, by CONNECTing nearby countries like ASEAN members and Belt & Road, we will aid design service export from Hong Kong. Hence, expansive network and favourable business environment are needed as we NURTURE more young design-preneurs. In fact, this will also help to expand the market of good design for the broader creative and design communities. Going forward needs new mindset and knowledge, HKDC, through its Institute of Design Knowledge and other programmes, will continue to ADVANCE policy and decision makers, executives and practitioners through the lens of design and innovation. To CELEBRATE good design is not just about presenting awards, we plan to arrange experience visits drawing upon our intelligence gained through DFA. Through retailing of some of the DFA winning items, we will also expose more people to good design.

In the year ahead, the highly acclaimed flagship programmes like BODW and KODW will be further differentiated to enhance their impact. KODW will be more learning-oriented through theme-based forums and workshops; whilst BODW will remain a platform to enlighten all on how design creates value and impact across brands, services, fashion, economy, living, culture and the city. Having Melbourne as the official partner of BODW 2018, “liveability” would naturally be spilled over to KODW 2018. Apart from having a one-day forum on “Design. City. Liveability” and a half-day forum on Design for Public Sector, we plan to have a series of workshops inculcating design into education, healthcare, public space activation, services for social care & wellbeing, and ventures & entrepreneurship etc. Do save the date for KODW 2018 (11-15 June).

Design is an integral part of our city, economy, culture and living. DMatters, with an aim to ENGAGE society at large with the innovation and design culture, will embrace programming in various formats like exhibition, salon and publication to expose us to future-oriented mindset and new knowledge throughout the year. Please stay tuned.

Before long, for auld lang syne, my dear, wishing you all a lively year ahead! Let’s co-shape a creative city that values design!

Click here for DMatters (January) full issue.