International Experts Unveil Innovative Ideas for Designing Hong Kong’s Digital Future

published Jun 20, 2019
4 min read
KODW Opening Ceremony

Photo 1 (From left to right) Dr. Edmund Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Design Centre; Mr. Victor Tsang, Head of Create Hong Kong; Dr. Lay Lian Ong, Principal of Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee); Mrs. Sylvia Lam, JP, Director of Architectural Services; Mr. Victor Lo, Chairman of KODW Steering Committee, Hong Kong Design Centre; Dr. Bernard Chan, JP, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR Government; Prof. Eric Yim, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong Design Centre; Prof. Kun-Pyo Lee, Dean of School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Mr. David Lo, Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Design Centre; and Mr. Adrian Veliche, Head of Experience Design, Regional, Manulife attended the Opening Ceremony of KODW 2019 today.

Knowledge of Design Week 2019 (KODW 2019), an annual thematic programme gathering the global design community to explore how design can solve the complex challenges of our society, officially opens today at Hotel ICON.

Organised by Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) with Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR Government) as the Lead Sponsor, KODW underpins the design movement and ongoing public mission of HKDC to promote good design and foster wide and strategic use of design thinking for advancing city progress and societal well-being. This year, the programme takes on the theme “Designing Digital Futures” to look at how human-centred design serves as a bridge between ‘digital and technology’ and ‘user experience’ in today’s fast-changing digital era.

Dignitaries including the Honourable Dr. Bernard Chan, JP, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR Government; Prof. Eric Yim, JP, Chairman of HKDC; the Honourable Victor Lo, GBM, GBS, JP, Chairman of KODW Steering Committee of HKDC; Mrs. Sylvia Lam, JP, Director of Architectural Services; Mr. Victor Tsang, Head of Create Hong Kong; Dr. Lay Lian Ong, Principal of Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee); Prof. Kun-pyo Lee, Dean of School of Design of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Mrs. Bonnie Chan Woo, Vice Chairman of HKDC; Mr. David Lo, Vice Chairman of HKDC; and Dr. Edmund Lee, Executive Director of HKDC were among those in attendance at the Opening Ceremony today to officially kick off this year’s programme.

The Honourable Dr. Bernard Chan, JP, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR Government, said: “In this age of digital economy, digital technology presents immersive opportunities covering almost all aspects of our daily life, from business and marketing to urban environment and livelihood issues such as healthcare. Yet technology is only the means, while the end goal is always to improve the quality of life of the people. This weeklong KODW provides a perfect platform for us to reflect on the roles of digital technologies in modern times, to ponder how design can serve as a bridge between digital technology and humanity – the    two fundamental aspects of a digital economy, and how we may go forward. Through thoughtful and caring design, we hope to make Hong Kong into a smarter and more liveable city, and we look forward to hearing more from speakers and participants of KODW 2019 in the coming week.”

From 17 to 21 June, KODW 2019 will foster cross-disciplinary learning and exchange across sectors between industry experts and the private and public sectors through three thematic forums, seven interactive workshops, an InnoDesign Leadership CEO Forum and a Roundtable on Public

Service Innovation. The five-day programme features around 30 internationally renowned design and business leaders from 10 cities across America, Europe and Asia.

Prof. Eric Yim, JP, Chairman of HKDC, said: “By promoting the awareness and application of good design in Hong Kong, events like KODW can also help extend our city’s international influence through mutual exchange and collaboration with partners from around the world and with Mainland China, particularly in the context of seizing opportunities brought by the Greater Bay Area development and the Belt and Road Initiative. Design plays a vital role in transforming industries and communities for the better, enhancing our quality of life, and preparing us for the future. We hope that with the limitless possibilities for Designing Digital Futures presented by our distinguished speakers, you will share our vision of making Hong Kong not only into a world-class smart city, but a world-class liveable smart city.”

One of a kind programme highlighting the important role of “human-centred design” in the digital age: Digital and technology are shaping our urban environment in our world today, with new governance and business strategies influencing the way we interact, experience and live. Going beyond the focus on digital trends and technologies, KODW 2019 discusses the importance of human-centred design in making sense of our increasingly digital-driven world, thus serving as a bridge between ‘technology’ and ‘user experience’.

Under the theme “Designing Digital Futures”, KODW 2019 addresses how digital and technology, through the lens of human-centred design, can tackle unprecedented challenges faced by cities, businesses and humanity. Tailored for participants from all walks of life including policymakers, decision makers, designers, innovators, thought leaders and others, KODW 2019 explores how revolutionary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), etc. open up new possibilities for brands, businesses and the public sector, while developing Hong Kong into a more liveable smart city.

Topical forum themes focusing on three areas of future urban life: Globally acclaimed industry experts and business leaders explore important cornerstones that are shaping future urban living in three thematic forums: Forum 1: Liveable Smart City discusses how new technology creates new possibilities for building more liveable smart cities of tomorrow; Forum 2: Future Retail & Lifestyle explores emerging trends, disruptions and new frontiers in the retail landscape, and looks at how brands reinvent business to create personalised, intuitive and connected experiences for digitally-empowered customers; and Forum 3: Digital Health  looks at new innovation opportunities and solutions for health and care in the digital age to care for the global aging population.

Opportunity to be inspired by leading figures at seven interactive workshops: Reputable industry leaders from the creative, business and healthcare sectors share their innovative ideas and design process in small-group, interactive workshops to help participants learn more about global design and business trends along three major directions, namely “Design Thinking & Future Mindset”, “Collaborate & Co-Design” and “Unleashing Creativity”.

Some highlighted workshops include:

  • “Breaking Space and Media Boundaries: Co-creating Augmented Experiences” hosted by Tin&Ed, a playful and highly versatile design duo
  • “Masterclass by Javier Mariscal: Digital Drawing – Move in Hong Kong” hosted by famous Spanish design master Javier Mariscal
  • “Designing for Digital and Service Transformation” hosted by Clive Grinyer, named one of the 50 Creative Leaders by Creative Review in 2018

Stellar international line-up brings fresh insights from a global perspective: High profile speakers flying to Hong Kong to speak at KODW include Di-Ann Eisnor, CWeO Cities of The We Company (formerly known as WeWork), who previously incubated new urban systems at Google’s Area 120; Ren Yee, Head of Innovation Strategy & Forecasting and Head of Design/Strategies of UNStudio/UNSense, the architecture studio behind the creation of Brainport Smart District, the “smartest neighbourhood in the world” in the Netherlands; Chris Ferguson, Director – National, International & Research of the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), responsible for coordinating the strategies between GDS and the UK public sector; Tommy Campbell, Digital Designer of SPACE10, IKEA’s research & design lab exploring new possibilities and solutions for future life; Alexis Bonhomme, Vice President Greater China – Commercial of Farfetch, a leading global fashion shopping platform with more than 2,000 designers and luxury brands; Paul Husband, Founder & Managing Director of Husband Retail Consulting which has played an integral role in the exciting evolution of the retail industry in Asia and beyond; Low Cheaw Hwei, Head of Design ASEAN Pacific/Head of Design Consulting Asia of Philips Design; Liam McGuire, Director, Project Lead (Health & Serious Games) of Opaque Media Group, a premier technology consultancy in Australia; and Dr. Sun Xin, Director of Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center (Medical Department), which is a Mainland China’s smart hospital featuring AI.

Prominent local speakers share their vision for a liveable smart Hong Kong: KODW participants can also gain inspiration from local creative leaders like James Law, JP, Hong Kong architect and Chairman & CEO of James Law Cybertecture, famed for his OPod Tube House and design-led infrastructure development in the United Arab Emirates; Otto Ng, Design Director of LAAB, who designed smart city and inventive architecture while working in the US, the UK and Italy; Jens-Peter Brauner, CEO of Siemens Mobility Ltd offering intelligent and efficient mobility solutions for urban, interurban and freight transportation; Chris Dobson, Principal of Eight Inc., a prominent experience design studio behind the iconic Apple Store experience; Anson Shum, Co-Founder and Creative Director of OOKONN, a new e-commerce designer travel gear brand based in Hong Kong; Raymond Leung, Vice President (Sales & Client Services) of Cherrypicks, a Hong Kong mobile technology and mobile business developer whose products and technologies have garnered over 100 international and local awards; and Dr. Hong Fung, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Medical Centre and Professor of Practice in Health Services Management of The Jockey

Club School of Public Health & Primary Care, CUHK, who is in charge of developing the first smart hospital in Hong Kong.

For more details about the programme and ticketing, please visit the official website (, WeChat account (HKDC香港设计中心) or Facebook page (KODW Knowledge of Design Week 設計「智」識周).