Designers look back to go forward
‘Retroinnovations’ creations by young talents in Hong Kong honour and reinterpret traditional craftwork.
29 November 2019
Critical to any product, system or service, design is woven into the fabric of much Hong Kong business. Giving both professionals and the public fresh insights into this expansive field, Designinspire will run at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 5 to 7 December.
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), DesignInspire will showcase outstanding designs and award-winning projects, as it provides creative solutions for the design industry. The three-day event is open to both trade and public visitors; admission is free of charge.
As a prelude to DesignInspire, the “RetroInnovations” exhibition will run until 1 December (Sunday) at the Gallery by the Harbour at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Traditions and modern creativity
The HKTDC commissioned 26 young local design talents from various disciplines − including architecture, product design and accessories/fashion design − to create a series of contemporary installations under the theme “RetroInnovations”, paying tribute to the city’s cultural traditions by reinterpreting them.
While preparing for the show, the designers experienced the essence of traditional culture and craftsmanship from the masters who helped make Hong Kong what it is today. Architect Ming Ho said: “Traditional craftsmanship has been through a lengthy period of evaluation and accumulated wisdom, which can inspire today’s designers to explore new creative directions.” Designer Benny Lee said he “draws inspiration from local traditions” and wanted to use traditional craftsmanship to build a connection between his artwork and the audience.
Visitors to the exhibition are invited to interact with the installations and experience the ingenious way that cultural traditions have been reimagined into modern design pieces.
DesignInspire set to open
The third edition of DesignInspire runs under the theme “Co-create Sustainable Cities”, aiming to promote the sustainable development of the urban environment and highlight the importance of preserving traditional culture.
The “Hong Kong Creative Force” pavilion, sponsored by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), is a campaign to raise public awareness of local creative talents. Young Hong Kong designers are given the opportunity to promote their innovative creations to local and overseas visitors, using the platform to connect with the local business sector and international markets. The pavilion will showcase the design projects of 131 designers and 12 local institutions, featuring art installations that take inspiration from Hong Kong’s traditional handicrafts.
A series of interactive events will be arranged for visitors during the event to promote design and innovative thinking. They include various talks plus STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and design workshops. Visitors can also buy design products from a pop-up store at the event.
Urbanovation showcases innovation
With the support of the Innovation and Technology Commission (ICT) of the HKSAR, the “Urbanovation 2019” pavilion examines how innovation and technology merge with design and art to shape sustainable commercial development and an improved urban life.
The pavilion gathers 25 collaborators with a focus on three areas. “Experimental Business Solution” features five multi-media interactive experiential installations that demonstrate how technology can be integrated into the design experience to fulfil business needs; “STEAM Education” showcases creations from young Hong Kong young talents using education tools that foster participatory and interdisciplinary learning in STEAM; and “Smart Living” gathers 16 home gadgets with innovative concepts such as Internet of Things (IoT) functions.
This year, DesignInspire will feature Titan the Robot to entertain visitors. The Transformer-like Titan – a highlight exhibit from the United Kingdom – is built using advanced robotic technology and artificial intelligence, with its agility enabled by state-of-the-art joints and mechanisms.
International exhibits inspire creativity
DesignInspire has brought together the latest designs and innovations from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Italy, Japan, Poland and Taiwan. In addition, a series of interactive events will be organised during the event with the aim of promoting good design and innovative thinking. They include various talks along with STEAM and design workshops. Visitors can also buy design products from a pop-up store at the event.
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