Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow

Posted on March 5, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

imminent domain

20/30/40 - Designing our tomorrow talk at Asia Society


Hong Kong's design industry has often been overlooked and shadowed by its neighbouring cities, but in recent years, more local designers and their efforts have been recognised at home and abroad. Currently there is a design exhibition, Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow at the Asia Society, showcasing the work of 12 renowned and award-winning local designers. The exhibition is curated by Fumio Nanjo, a renowned curator and director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo,

Accompanying the exhibition are a series of lectures and workshops, and I managed to attend two of the free talks. The speakers who participated at the first talk, 20/30/40- Designing our Tomorrow included Michael Leung ( the founder of Studio Leung, HK Farm & Honey), Jonathan Mak ( the design student who famously designed the "Thanks, Steve" logo) and Teeranop Wangsillapakun ( a renowned Thai graphic designer and founder of TNOP Design).

The designers presented their previous and ongoing projects, and shared their experiences as well as inspirations with the audiences. Jonathan's presentation proved that his multiple award-winning logos were not accidental and that he is a versatile graphic designer whose potential is immense. Teeranop, who is also a professor at Rangsit University initiated a students' project to redesign food/ nutrition value food labels, and the results turned out to be very interesting and creative. Michael's new project, HK salt ( also part of the exhibition) continues to raise awareness on local environmental issues and explore the subject of social responsibilities as a designer.


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Hong Kong architect, William Lim's Bamboo Wind Pavilion installation


The second talk, Cross Cultural Borders and Markets - Designing for Today and Tomorrow was especially appealing to me because of the subject matter. Three designers, Lo Chi Wing, Kai-Yin Lo and Lee Chi Wing ( founder of Milk Design) were invited to present and discuss how they interpret their cultural heritage into their designs. The three designers all shared some thought-provoking insights, but I was particularly inspired by Athens-based architect/ designer, Lo Chi Wing, whose work spans from architecture to sculpture, interior and furniture. One aspect that I strongly agree with was when Mr Lo mentioned that it is hard to capture the essence/ spirit of Chinese culture or heritage in design, which is not just about traditional motifs or aesthetics that are often seen/ used in many Chinese designs these days. In many ways, this is why the Japanese excel in design, it is because they are able to capture the essence of their traditional heritage and culture and integrate it with new ideas and innovations.

This exhibition shows that the design scene in Hong Kong is evolving, hopefully, these more established designers can influence and inspire young designers or design students to find their own design identities in a city that does not fully embrace individuality nor creativity.


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Middle: Kai-Yin Lo’s installation made from semi-precious stones


Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow is on view at the Asia Society until 31 March.


This post was posted in Hong Kong, Exhibitions, Travel, Talks, Hong Kong design, Design and was tagged with Hong Kong, art and design exhibitions, talks, Hong Kong design