Business of Design Week 2018 (BODW) returns this December. The event has been organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre since 2002, here’s a taste of what's to come
Asia's design event of the year, Business of Design Week 2018, is back and marching to the theme of Think. Collaborate. Create. Once again, BODW will bring some of the world's most outstanding design masters and influential business figures to Hong Kong. The event provides a valuable platform for business and creative leaders to exchange ideas, network and explore new business opportunities.
This year BODW is teaming up with the City of Melbourne, Australia, which was voted the world's most liveable city for seven consecutive years, from 2011 to 2017, by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The week-long event will see some 70 plus keynote speakers from Melbourne and across the globe gather in Hong Kong to share, converse and interact.
Debuting this year is the BODW City Programme, a creative-community activation scheme featuring festivals and happenings in and around Wan Chai and other districts in Hong Kong. As an extension of the main BODW event, it aims to foster collaboration between local designers, businesses and brands, and will be staged annually from November to January.
The line-up for Business of Design Week 2018 includes an impressive list of award-winning and world-renowned designers, and talented movers and shakers from across the industry. Among the speakers are Ben Van Berkel from the Netherlands, founder and the principal architect of UNStudio; Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid, Spain; Rob Adams, director of City Design and Projects at the City of Melbourne; and Ian McDougall, principal of Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM) Architecture and adjunct professor of architecture at the University of Adelaide.
"I've always been a proponent of the importance of great design to good business, and BODW embodies these values," says one of this year's speakers, Paul Priestman, designer, co-founder and chairman of PriestmanGoode UK. "The event isn't just about showcasing great design, but about sharing learnings, innovation and best practice from around the world.
"BODW is the one event that truly embraces that and aims to bridge closer links between design professionals and broader industry. I am looking forward to seeing presentations from colleagues in Australia and in Asia. The conference promises to have a great line-up across a wide range of design disciplines from product design to digital, communication and architecture."
The event isn't just about showcasing great design, but about sharing learnings, innovation and best practice from around the world
Ian McDougall, of ARM Architecture, says he's also looking forward to another year of lively debate. "BODW has become such an important congress for design… I wanted to be there. Last year, I saw the energy that is generated when Italian design meets the Asia-Pacific design culture. It's living the Rashomon effect – contradictory interpretations of the act of design."
"The exciting aspect of coming to BODW is being part of revealing Melbourne and its design mentality to the world. Melbourne has for the past 40 years established a unique design voice, cultivated by the universities, nurtured by government and industry. Who knows what dangerous discussions will be sparked, but this is the anticipation," he says.
"The development of creative ideas is enhanced by the discourse with others. The tension and talk unlock design ideas and enrich the outcome. There is no doubt that regions benefit from discourse and from people working together. The contemporary city has so many challenges to liveability and identity, and we benefit when people addressing these in different contexts get together and aggregate their experience."
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Business of Design Week 2018, December 3-8
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai