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Product design is what we do. We take an idea, some functionality, a brand identity and a lot of creativity and we bring it all together to make real products that have real purpose.

December 13, 2018 By Lee

Hong Kong Business of Design Week 2018

Earlier this month we took the opportunity to go and visit the Business of Design Week exhibition and Forum in Hong Kong. Speakers included renowned architects, bridge builders, transport and product designers.

Paul Priestman of PriestmanGoode gave an interesting talk on the future of transport in cities, including exclusive reveal of their new work for the MRT system in Hong Kong. Some of the more interesting aspects of his talk focused on their concept work for multifunctional seating layouts for public transport, such as seats that convert to perches and standing areas depending on the usage requirements. This all felt very relevant to Colombo where public transport is in serious need of a design overhaul to deal with the increased demand as the city expands and more people find themselves commuting longer distances. Furthermore, the talk served to reenforce our belief that public transport and street furniture, such as bus halts,  need to be designed with and understanding of the content of their use: there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to public transport and it’s infrastructure.

Leah Heiss, a wearable technology designer from Melbourne, showed some super interesting design work in the wearable healthcare sector, such as hearing aids and concepts for heart and blood monitoring products that look like jewellery and high-fashion items, rather than the usual beige medical devices.

One of the most fun speakers was Sonny Tilders from Creature Technology in Melbourne, who took us through their journey of design, experimentation and discovery which has lead them to creating incredible animatronic ‘puppets’ of dinosaurs, teddy bears and even King Kong.

Alongside Leah and Sonny were Sebastian Conran, who ran through a history of his extensive design career, and Aurel Aebi from Atelier-Oi who took use through their unique design procedure at their Moitel, where their extensive material library allows them to design by touch and feel, bringing a unique angle to any design project.

Wrapping up the days talks was Arthur Huang from Miniwiz who gave an impassioned talk about how they’re using recycled plastics to build and create amazing interiors and buildings. Obviously this is something close to our hearts at Colombo Design Studio as we also explore ways to reuse waste materials and turn them into interesting and useful objects.

On the whole the exhibition and talks were well organised and curated, though due to the size it did feel a bit anonymous and therefore difficult to properly network. Hopefully next year someone from Colombo Design Studio will be invited as a speaker to talk about our journey to building a product design consultancy here in Sri Lanka!