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Asia’s leading annual design event, The Business of Design Week (BODW) returns to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for another informative year from 28 November to 3 December, 2016.
The conference gathers pioneering designers and creative executives from across the world and different disciplines to share their insights and stories, and to explore new ideas and trends in design, business, technology and branding.

With an illustrious reputation as the influential centre of American architecture, the ‘Windy City’ in Illinois has long been associated with landmark buildings. As BODW’s 2016 partner city, its ‘ChicagoMade’ slogan will be a theme at this year’s forum. Numerous Chicago architecture and creative experts will offer their insights on design and architectural topics from urban renewal to public space usage.


A prime example is the Chicago Riverwalk, a contemporary urban planning project on public land started in 2001 and completed this year. Its new waterfront has redefined the downtown core integrating a scenic new pedestrian walk with its historic neo-classical skyscrapers. Carol Ross Barney, Design Principal of Ross Barney Architects, the head design firm for The Chicago Riverwalk, will speak on the topic on the first day plenary this year. She will share her architectural insights and experiences on sustainability issues and working on public space. In the same plenary, Carlo Ratti, Director at MIT Senseable City Lab and Founder of Carlo Ratti Associati, will discuss his interactive vision of architecture that senses and responds.

This year’s Brand Asia Forum theme is ‘Brand & Innovation’ and Tencent’s Corporate Vice President Julian Ma will be the keynote speaker imparting his thoughts on growth trends and strategies of Tencent’s map, vehicle connectivity and autonomous driving business. 


Two retail experts from prominent brands will enlighten with their expertise. Rowan Lodge, Head of Retail Design and Development at Aēsop, and  CEO of Spanish shoemaker Camper, will lead the discussion with their branding genius and experience.

In addition, Raaja Nemani, Co-founder and CEO of Bucketfeet, the Chicago label specialising in artist-designed casual footwear, will elaborate on his effort in turning art and creative design into economics.

Hong Kong illustrator Victo Ngai, who will appear in the Communication & Design session, produces works of vivid colours with fantastic imagery. She will detail her inspiring story from dreaming in Hong Kong to achieving success in the United States. Plus, Wesley Grubbs, Founder and Creative Director of San Francisco’s Pitch Interactive, will detail his data visualisation work in infographics.

The Product & Design session features Scott Wilson, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Chicago-based MINIMAL, a design firm known for its innovative product design. He will share his expertise in product development and technology integration. Joining him are Nicol Boyd and Tomas Rosén, who will explain the importance of simple and practical design and why they launched Office for Product Design.


Those curious about the potential of 3D printing should check out the Tech & Design session. Speaking is Netherlands’s Gijs van der Velden, Co-founder and Chief Managing Officer of groundbreaking robotic 3D print tech firm MX3D, who has used 3D printing technology to create bicycles and bridges.

For the new Workspace & Design session, South Korea’s Younjin Jeong will elaborate on URBANTAINER, the famous Seoul shopping mall ‘Common Ground’ created entirely from shipping containers.

Food-lovers can also whet their appetite for the new session titled Food & Design, featuring Martin Kastner who is on the Future Laboratory’s list of the 100 most influential individuals in contemporary design. His company Crucial Detail collaborates with Chicago’s top chefs to create innovative tools and utensils.


To find out more about BODW 2016 visit

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