Design Leaders and Creative Luminaries of the World Converge at BODW, 2018

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Concurrently Hong Kong Design Centre Honours Global Designer and Projects with 2018 DFA Awards

HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 22 November 2018 – Organised by Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC), co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and sponsored by Create Hong Kong, Business of Design Week (BODW), Asia’s leading annual design event, will be held in Hong Kong from 3-8 December 2018. The week-long event will feature more than 20 events, including the BODW Summit, BODW City Programmes and a series of concurrent events, all with the aim of providing a platform for business and creative leaders to exchange ideas, network, and explore new business opportunities.

Concurrently, HKDC will honour the 2018 recipients of the DFA Awards. The Awards are widely known in the industry as one of the most important and prestigious honours stemming from the region. The Awards encompass five-major programmes, with three pillars that recognise individual contributions to the advancement and development of design, as well as two programmes that celebrate impactful and outstanding design from the Asian perspective and support and cultivate local up-and-coming designers and design graduates.

Business of Design Week 2018

This year’s BODW summit will take on the theme of ‘Think ∙ Collaborate ∙ Create’ and be presented in collaboration with partner city, Melbourne, cited as the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit for seven consecutive years (2011-2017). The event features more than 70 speakers from over 15 countries and regions to present the latest industry insights and to promote the advancement of the creative industries.

“BODW represents a core component of the Hong Kong Design Centre’s public mission to promote a good design culture and cultivate design thinking for all,” said Dr. Edmund Lee, Executive Director of HKDC. “We are thrilled to see this event grow from strength to strength since its inception in 2002 to become one of the most important events on the global design calendar.”

An anchor event of the week, the BODW Summit presents a stellar lineup of international speakers to share the latest industry insights and to promote the wide and strategic use of design for cities, the economy, culture and living. In addition, new sessions focusing on Digital & Design, the Greater Bay Area & Design and more, will be introduced this year.

BODW Summit’s Plenary sessions feature a lineup of design experts including Martha Thorne, scholar and executive director of Pritzker Architecture Prize (US); Prof. Rob Adams AM, director of city design & projects of City of Melbourne (Melbourne); and Ben van Berkel, founder / principal architect of international design network UNStudio (The Netherlands), and the designer of the Lyric Theatre of the West Kowloon Cultural District; Ron Arad, acclaimed industrial designer, artist, and architect (UK); Charles Renfro, distinguished architect and partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (US), and Toyo Ito, multi-award winning Japanese architect (Japan).

The ‘Brand Asia Forum’ and ‘Communication & Design’ tracks will explore the future of brands and how the shifts in lifestyle are transforming businesses and changing the way we connect and communicate. Influential leaders and visionary creative minds include Erik Spiekermann, iconic type and information designer as well as an expert in letterpress printing (Germany); Antonio Colombo, president of Cinelli & Columbus (Gruppo Company) (Italy); Tony Chambers, creative consultant and founder of studio of TC & Friends, and former Editor-in-Chief of Wallpaper* (UK); Suzanne Santos, chief customer officer of Aesop (Melbourne). Other participating brands include naked Group (Mainland of China) and BEYORG (Hong Kong).

In the ‘Product & Technology’ track and the newly introduced ‘Digital & Design’ session, BODW will explore how technology and its applications are changing our everyday experiences with speakers such as Sonny Tilders, animatronics designer, creative director & CEO of Creature Technology Co. (Melbourne); Ken Wong, game designer, creative director and founder of crafts games studio Mountains who won the Award at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (Melbourne); Leah Heiss, Melbourne-based designer combining design research and technology to benefit the health industry, who has won a Premier’s Design Award for her design of the world’s first modular hearing aid product — Facett (Melbourne); Rex Sham, co-founder & chief science officer of Insight Robotics; Michael Stoddart, Director, Creative Cloud, Asia Pacific of Adobe; and a panel of speakers and disruptors coming from across the fintech, healthtech, retail and hospitality sectors.

Newly introduced in 2018, the ‘Greater Bay Area & Design’ track provides knowledge into the business opportunities created under the Greater Bay economic policy spearheaded by the mainland Chinese government. Speakers include Jia Wei, founder and chairman of LKK Design Company (Mainland of China); Mann Lao, founder and creative director of Chiii Design (Macau); Elaine Yan Ling Ng, founder of THE FABRICK LAB (Hong Kong); and Hong Ko, partner of KL & K Design (Hong Kong / Mainland of China)

The ‘Creative Mindset’ session will feature speakers including Patrick le Quément, co-founder and president of the Advisory Board, The Sustainable Design School (France) and Sebastian Conran, CEO of Sebastian Conran Associates and Consequential Robotics (UK). In response to Melbourne’s globally recognised status as the world’s most liveable city from 2011 to 2017, a special seminar on ‘Liveability, Sports & Design’ will feature prominent speakers from the city of Melbourne, Hong Kong and beyond. Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect; Brian Morris, CEO of Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust; and Alastair Richardson, director of Cox Architecture, will bring valuable insights on how forward-thinking sports venue design and strategic redevelopment of existing sports facilities can increase the liveability of a city and benefit its economy. Margaret Brooke, co-founder of Heritage Hong Kong Foundation and Very Hong Kong Foundation, will also share her insights into the liveability and wellbeing industry from a Hong Kong perspective.

This year’s Masterclass will feature Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, renowned architect, urbanist, educator, and design principal of Ross Barney Architects (US). She will discuss the making of liveable cities and how to design for social good.


BODW City Programme


Launched this year as a new extension of BODW, the BODW City Programme is an annual creative community activation programme featuring exciting happenings such as art installations, exhibitions, creative tours, and education and community programmes. It will debut in Wan Chai and other districts in Hong Kong with the vision to engage both business and the public. The BODW City Programme aims to foster stronger collaborations between local designers, businesses and brands to celebrate good design and innovation, and strengthen Hong Kong as a creative hub in Asia. The annual programme will take place from November 2018 to January 2019.

For the latest information about ticketing and this year’s programme, please visit

DFA Awards 2018

Awardees of the 5 major programmes of the 2018 Design for Asia Awards were announced by the HKDC earlier this year. This year DFA Design for Asia Awards and DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards recognised 203 Local and International Awardees for the Best of Design Excellence in Asia. In addition the individual winners for the three prestigious awards were also announced.

DFA Design for Asia Awards received overwhelming response this year, with over 1,000 entries from 18 economies submitting design projects for consideration, the highest number to date. The judging panel selected 187 design projects, all of which launched available in Asian markets, and that demonstrate how design has contributed to social, cultural and economic progress, covering four major design disciplines including apparel & accessory, communication, environmental and product & industrial designs. A total of 10 Grand Awards, 3 Grand Awards for Culture, Sustainability, and Technology, 10 Grand Awards for Special Mention, and 164 winners from the Category Award are conferred, altogether demonstrating the power of design solutions to enhance and improve the quality of life in Asian regions and as well for the global populations. Among the winners, design projects from Japan and Hong Kong stand at the top of leaderboard, each with 55 winning projects, followed by Mainland China with 40 winning projects.

DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award fosters the development emerging design practitioners or graduates of 35 years old or under from Hong Kong. In 2018, 13 out of 16 winners will be awarded up to HK$ 5 million in total in grants for overseas attachments to incubate visions and provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchange projects. The programme seeks to cultivate the next generation of home-grown design to broaden exposure to the global design landscape. Through overseas work experiences or educational initiatives, the next generation can continue to fuel the creative economy, with the vision to further build Hong Kong’s competitive offerings.

The 2018 recipients of the DFA Lifetime Achievement Award (DFA LAA), DFA Design Leadership Award (DFA DLA), and DFA World’s Outstanding Chinese Designer (DFA WOCD), the highest and most prestigious design honours of DFA Awards in the year were also annouced. The DFA LAA is conferred to Sir Terence Conran, one of the world’s best-known designers, retailers and restaurateurs. Concurrently, this year’s DFA DLA will honour Dr. Andrew Dent of Material ConneXion, a leading global expert in sustainable and advanced material research and development. The DFA WOCD will go to Mr. Lyndon Neri and Ms. Rossana  Hu, architects and co-founders of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office.


More information, please visit

About Hong Kong Design Centre

Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) was founded in 2001 as a strategic partner of the HKSAR Government in establishing Hong Kong as centre of design excellence in Asia. HKDC continues its public mission to promote wider and strategic use of design and design thinking to create business value and improve societal well-being. Our initiatives are anchored by five major work directions: CONNECT, CELEBRATE, NURTURE, ADVANCE and ENGAGE.

HKDC’s flagship programmes include Business of Design Week (since 2002) — Asia’s leading annual conference and event on Design, Innovation and Brands; DFA Awards (since 2003) — a widely recognised design awards that celebrates outstanding designs with Asian perspectives; Design Incubation Programme (since 2012) and Fashion Incubation Programme (since 2016) — 2-year incubation programmes to nurture future design and fashion entrepreneurs; FASHION ASIA HONGKONG (since 2016) — a fashion initiative combining conversations, interactions and cultural exchanges to energise the city’s image, and position it as an Asian hub for fashion trade and business development; Knowledge of Design Week (since 2006) — an annual thematic design knowledge sharing platform that explores how design can solve complex challenges of our society.


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