In December Fused headed over to Hong Kong for the Business of Design Week 2015 (BODW). Presented by the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) the annual flagship programme on design, innovation and brands brought together over 75 international design professionals, studios and business leaders from around the globe.
The event was held from 30 November to 5 December at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the vibrant Police Married Quarters (PMQ) complex and drew to a successful close after a week of thought-provoking programmes exploring business, design and cities of the future and BODW’s first-ever Partner City Barcelona.
The week offered a vital stage for creative dialogue spanning illuminating and stimulating talks, exhibitions and award ceremonies celebrating the best in creativity and covered all aspects of design and where it might be heading in the 21st Century. BODW’s eclectic programme of speakers, from across the globe, joined together to showcase a vast amount of inspiration and offer insight into their design and business success.
From designers creating cultural and architectural marvels, photographers and artists to innovators in technology and urban planning, the inspirational speakers shared their concepts, working processes and experiences.
BODW 2015 was presented under the theme ‘Design. Cities. Future.’ which firmly placed the spotlight on how great design is contributing to our cities. Barcelona comprises a rich legacy, as well as a forward-looking nod toward modernistic design, and BODW 2015 saw speakers from Barcelona, Hong Kong and around the globe offer stimulative discussion of community and culture within the realm of innovational design and business growth.
This year’s events included over 75 business leaders and creatives speaking on design, innovation and brands including Hong Kong architectural designer Andre Fu and Spain’s Javier Mariscal whose vibrant and colourful work spans a wide range of mediums, ranging from painting and sculpture to interior design and landscaping.
Alongside other noteworthy speakers; London visionary and designer Ross Lovegrove, Chelsia Lau of Ford Design Lounge, Mark Waites of advertising agency Mother London, Chinese photographer Stefen Chow, Norwegian landscape architects Snohetta and Dutch architectural photographer Iwan Baan.
Leading international sculptor Jaume Plensa commented: “BODW 2015 was an exceptional experience. There are few other such opportunities to meet a wide range of figures from diverse professions and learn about the relevance of design to their field, be it fashion, sculpture or technology.”
For its 14th year, BODW encouraged designers and businesses to explore the way in which creative endeavours and co-creation can transform cities and cultivate entrepreneurship and presented an unrivalled experience for design luminaries, creative visionaries,business leaders, SMEs and students to exchange ideas and insights into the creative industries.
As well as an impressive list of speakers, a gala dinner was also held with an entertaining programme which combined Chinese drummers, a contemporary Spanish football themed dance piece performed by Gelabert + Azzopardi and Malaysia’s answer to Adele; pop singer Sheila Amzah.
Event highlights included…
deTour, a vibrant festival running parallel with BODW and held at The former Police Married Quarters buildings. Now known as PMQ, the space is a hip food, fashion and design emporium. Derelict for a decade the premises, built in the 1950s, have now taken on a new lease of life with the deTour event celebrating young talents, emerging designers and artists.
It included the thought provoking ‘Poverty Line‘ photography exhibition by by Stefan Chow which attempted to show what it means to be poor by taking photos of daily amounts of food you can buy if your income lies at the poverty line. The work explored the question: What does poverty mean in different countries? With each photograph denoting the food choice a poor person will have in a particular country. The food was then presented as a straightforward still life on top of local newspapers from the same day the food was purchased at public markets.
As well as deTour, PMQ is also the place to shop for cool Hong Kong labels such as BlkSheep Empire’s imaginative take on classic footwear design, signature East meets West aesthetic of G.O.D (the Goods of Desire store) which sells a wide range of products including furniture, lighting through to fashion and the store of Hong Kong’s leading fashion designer Vivienne Tam.
The DesignEd Asia Conference, organised by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design, Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Design Centre brought together design scholars and professionals to share wisdom, opinions and experiences on design education.
The Roca One Day Design Challenge, a competition aimed at students and young professionals under 30 years old who are starting out in the design and architecture industries, saw participants tackling the challenge of creating original solutions and innovative concepts related to the bathroom space in just one day.
Hong Kong is firmly on the international creativity circuit. A major driving force of this is the BODW event with its aim to communicate, collaborate and stimulate dialogue and relentless optimism centred on developing openings for the design and creative professions and to step up exchanges and discussions between East and West.
The hours spent in the auditorium were dynamic with many questions being asked by an audience comprising of students, aficionados and the curious, all ready to take the opportunity to question the considerable names on the cosmopolitan podium of design and architecture. An unmissable masterclass for any design practitioner, urbanist or anyone inquisitive on the role design has in our cities, homes and work places.
Next year’s partner city is Chicago. For more information visit www.bodw.com