Business Of Design Week 2013

The Hong Kong Design Centre has been the organizer of Business of Design Week (BODW) since 2002. It is an annual international event aimed at promoting design and strengthening ties between the design and business communities. Each year, BODW attracts design and business elites from around the world to Hong Kong. The world’s attention is drawn to current design issues through various exhibitions, international forums and outreach activities tailored to provide designers, business leaders, educators, SMEs and the public with communication opportunities to build strong business and commercial development. It is a world-class platform for the exchange of ideas, and an internationally renowned annual design event.

Asia’s leading annual design event returns for its 11th edition from the 2nd to 7th December, 2013, at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. This year, the conference will feature the “Belgian Spirit”, focusing on Belgium’s international importance at the highest level of design and creativity. In selecting Belgium as this year’s BODW’s partner country, the forum aims to showcase the highly influential Belgian and Flemish perspective in exhibitions, forums and programs, as well as their key role in the growing business of design, innovation and branding. BODW is a unique platform for sharing knowledge on design issues and is driven by exchange among participants. It was announced that Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium has chosen Hong Kong to be her first overseas destination since she ascended the throne in July 2013.

More than 20 key Belgian designers will attend the forum to share unique insights, including: world-renowned architect Charles Kaisin who conceptualized the controversial K-bench, Marina Yee who is a famous “Antwerp Six”, furniture designer Xavier Lust who specializes in innovative and simple world class furniture art pieces, Anne Chapelle, CEO of the esteemed fashion brands Ann Demeulemeester and Haider Ackermann which have taken the world by storm, Flemish automobile legend Lowie Vermeersch who designed numerous legendary concept cars, including the Ferrari 458 Italia and Maserati Birdcage,  Red Dot Design Award 2013 designer Alain Gilles for his Welded Table and Dutch hat designer for the royals and celebrities Elvis Pompilio.

Other internationally renowned speakers include: Richard Florida who was hailed the “Voice of Innovation 2010” by BusinessWeek, Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito, Patrick Le Quément, the “godfather” of car design who designed Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Renault, Italian industrial designer maestro Stefano Giovannoni, three-time Golden Compass Award winner Matteo Thun, industry mentor and influential consultant Larry Keeley, current Deputy Mayor of Barcelona Antoni Vives Tomas and Kwon Young Gull, Museum of Art, Seoul National University & Former Deputy Mayor of Seoul share their experience and insights in transforming cities by design.

BODW has long been an anticipated event for exchanging on a wide range of design issues. Forum topics include: Cities Driven by Design, Culture & The City, Design for Experience, Fashion & Apparel, Technology for Design, Space & Design, Asian Design & Culture, and Product & Design. In addition to the three days forum, special events taking place during the week will include DETOUR, the BrandAsia Forum, the DesignEd Asia Conference, the Technology For Design Seminar, as well as the annual Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) Awards Gala Dinner.

Toyo Ito © Yoshiaki Tsutsui

Toyo Ito is the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate. He started his own architectural firm which was responsible for a number of public and private construction projects in Japan and abroad, including the Tama Art University Library, 2009 Kaohsiung World Games Main Stadium and Imabari Toyo Ito Architecture Museum. He is internationally acclaimed and his works are widely exhibited all over the world. His awards included the Eighth International Architecture Exhibition of Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Royal College of Architects Royal Gold Medal, and many others.

Daan Roosegaarde

Julien de Smedt © Mikkel_Frost, Marco Boella

Elvis Pompilio

Charles Kaisin

Charles Kaisin is a Belgian Architect designer who specializes in using contemporary design skills to create useful daily objects from recycled materials. His recent project in Brussels, “The Fantasies of Charles, his table and his guests”, presents a surrealistic dining place with a forest setting that took everyone by surprise.

Xavier Lust

Xavier Lust is a Belgian designer specializing in the construction and design of furniture which are famous for their curves and simplicity. He is well known for having created a unique technique enabling to fold and curve steel without using a mold.

Select list of BODW 2013 speakers

Richard Florida is the founder of Creative Class Group, an international consulting firm which works closely with government agencies. His book “The Rise of the Creative Class” became a worldwide best seller. Florida is Adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and York University and he often appears in major media. His achievements have been widely recognized and he is known as one of the world’s most influential thinkers on the topic of urbanism. BusinessWeek has hailed him ”Voice of Innovation 2010″.

Stefano Giovannoni was awarded as the “2000s Champion of the Super and Popular” (Alberto Alessi), “King Mida of design” (Cristina Morozzi) and “Most bankabke designer” (Eugenio Perazza, Magis). His design ranges from industrial products, furniture, kitchen, bathroom ware, domestic appliances, to electronic products and automobile.

Marina Yee is a prestigious Antwerp Royal College of Art graduate who became famous after showing her collections in London and being referred to as one of the “Antwerp Six.” She later started her own studio, designing a wide range of fashion pieces that emanate spirituality and respect. One of the designs she was famous for is a dress made from vintage Japanese kimono fabric from the 1930s and IKEA curtains. She won the Brussels Young Designers Fashion Awards, the highest honor for this most original piece.

Patrick Le Quément is known as the most imaginative car designer of the 20th-21st century. His 42 years in the automobile design industry began with Ford, Audi, Volkswagen and Renault. Since 2010, he has pursued a new career as a naval designer and as a design strategy and design management consultant to international companies. He is a Co-founder of The Sustainable Design School in Nice.  Patrick Le Quément has received numerous awards: he was named Designer of the Year in Europe, and also won the “Raymond Loewy Foundation Prize”.

Lowie Vermeersch is a Flemish automobile designer and the Founder & Creative Director of Granstudio. While he was the Design Director of Pininfarina, his notable design works included Pininfarina Sintesi, Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta, Pininfarina B0 and Pininfarina Nido. His works in emerging markets, such as the Chinese JAC B18 and the Brilliance Splendor SW were both presented at the Beijing Auto Show in 2008.

Larry Keeley is Co-founder and Chairman of Doblin, a leading consulting firm in Chicago, which acted as advisor for Apple, Coca-Cola, Sony and other pioneers. He is an industry mentor, a speaker, and recently the best-selling author of “Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs” in which he gives detailed examples of global innovation.

Alain Gilles is a Brussels born designer who has won several international awards such as Henry Van De Velde Label, the Design for Asia Golden Award, and the Good Design Award for the Big Table.

Anne Chapelle, who was born in Belgium, is the CEO of fashion brands Ann Demeulemeester and Haider Ackermann; two brands which are internationally famous. Chapelle wants to encourage creativity and provide a platform for young designers to show their talent and potential.

Matteo Thun, has obtained the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award for Design Excellence three times in the past. In 2001, the ‘Side Hotel’ he designed in Hamburg was selected as Hotel of the Year. In 2004, the ‘Vigilius Mountain Resort’ won the Wallpaper Design Award and in 2005 the ‘Radisson SAS’ in Frankfurt became Worldwide Hospitality Awards’ ‘Best Hotel of the Year’.

Antoni Vives Tomas is a politician, economist and writer, and the incumbent Vice Mayor of Barcelona. He has also served as senior consultant for the London School of Economics. His writings on politics, which include “The Nationalism to come” and “Why am I a politician? An open letter to my children”, were awarded the Joan Fuster Essay Prize, Prat de la Riba Award and many others.

Date: 2-7 December 2013

Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Official Website:

Info and images courtesy of BODW

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