Date:  4-6 July 2007 (Wed – Fri)
  Time: 4 July 7-10 pm / 5 July  2-5 pm / 6 July  7-10pm
  Venue:   Chiang Chen Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  Admission:  Free of charge; advance registration is necessary
The seminar will be conducted mainly in English with interpretation in Cantonese

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Design is not just a work of production and services, it is also a mode of thinking and an attitude of living. Hong Kong Design Community emphasized that the thought of “design” should be promoted to different social sectors and different aspects of living. The notion of “design” should not be monopolized by a certain social order to project its own taste. Neither should it be a means to stimulate consumption.

The recent activities of HKDC are steered to address both “professional” and “popular” designs. We believe that no matter how good a design is, it has to take into account the public’s understanding of design concept, the cultural standing, and civil awareness. I hope this is something most professional designers can apprehend; otherwise, design can only be consumed by a privileged few.

With Socially Yours – Alternative Design Networking Seminar, which we present with School of Indigenous Creativity, we introduce the works of a group of overseas creative people related to The Blue House of The Netherlands. Through their design and creative activities, they stimulate the interaction with the community, thus broadening the horizon of design. HKDC hopes this exchange project can demonstrate to Hong Kong designers alternative design practices and cooperation possibilities, and to the general public how community can participate in the design process, and apply design on various aspects of living.

Chan Ka Hing
Hong Kong Design Community


Socially Yours, Socially Mine. The seminar, presented by Hong Kong Design Community and School of Indigenous Creativity, focuses on “design for social concern”, and examines cases of cultural research, collaborative production, and community participation. It expands the parameter of the conventional design notion to the nurture of social relations, by introducing new ideas into community life, and creating a platform for synthesis of resources. The seminar looks at the successful cases of overseas practitioners, and opens the floor to Hong Kong designers and artists, craftspeople, NGOs, manufacturers, and interested public for the exploration of an experimental community.

The seminar runs for three days with different themes, featuring the case studies from overseas and Hong Kong designers and artists: from collaborative production between designers and community, to the link between vernacular cultural research and design, to citizen participatory project on environmental improvement. To us, this is also a blueprint of methodology to bridge different areas of knowledge and to animate the community.

Massive urban re-development in the recent years has driven a lot of local knowledge to extinct. How are we supposed to conserve and develop our community culture, everyday values and local craftsmanship? How can we maintain the vitality of the small businesses? How can the residents take part in the process of re-generation? The concept of sustainable community has become a common concern of various sectors in the society.

The practice of sustainable development demands a wisdom to converge resources from different sectors – the technique of craftsmen which fits the needs of the local residents, the indigenous knowledge that comes from living, the network and service schemes of NGOs, the observation and creativity of cultural practitioners, the business operation of the commercial sector – these are the resources that exist before our eyes, but become compartmentalized under the current policies and professional framework.

In the course of preparing for the seminar, we have conducted some researches and experiments. We have surveyed preliminarily on the various social services schemes by NGOs.

This is to pave the way for the visits by the speakers during their stay, a main component of the networking event. It is also a study of the community resources and systems, and an exploration of the cooperation opportunities in the future.

Closely parallel to this, and at the same time an extension of the previous project In Search of Marginalized Wisdom craftsmen exhibition, we invited local designers to work with craftsmen, in an attempt to introduce new application to traditional technique. The process is also assisted by the NGOs’ recycle system. The result, as well as the difficulties, will be share in the seminar. We hope this small experiment can trigger off a possible model of local economy.

This concept of knowledge synthesis, perhaps, is a new area that needs a lot of exploration and cooperation beyond disciplines and conventional mindsets. To us, this seminar can be an open invitation to interested parties to join hands in building this exchange platform.

School of Indigenous Creativity