'Socially Yours', Seminar Hong Kong

24-26 Wing Hong Street, Lai Chi Kok, Hong Kong, Jul 2007

The seminar 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 Dutch practitioners, and opens the floor to Hong Kong designers and artists, craftspeople, NGOs, manufacturers, and interested public for the exploration of an experimental community. To follow the activities you can check the website:

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 technique? 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.

The seminar runs for three days with different themes, featuring the case studies from Dutch 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. Speakers are amongst others: Joep van Lieshout (visual artist Atelier van Lieshout, Netherlands), Jeanne van Heeswijk (visual artist, Netherlands), Yane Calovski (visual artist, Macedonia), Joep Verhoeven (designer Studio DEMAKERSVAN, Netherlands), Benny Leong (industrial designer, Hong Kong), Dennis Kaspori (architect The Maze Corporation, Netherlands), Mauricio Corbalan (architect m7red, Argentina), Chris Law (director Oval Partnership, Hong Kong).