Cover FLOCK by Whatever Inc is deTour 2020's feature exhibition (Photo: Courtesy of deTour)

This year, deTour will launch an online initiative to coincide with the physical festival at PMQ––here, we round up the artworks that you should check out

This year, deTour is launching an online initiative alongside a physical exhibition at PMQ from November 27 to December 6. The annual design festival is organised by PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong.

deTour has been working with web design studio WEEWUNGWUNG who teamed up with exhibition designer Architecture Commons to co-design an imaginary virtual experience for both local and international audiences. Amidst the pandemic, interaction with friends, family and the community is more important than ever. With this in mind, the theme this year is Matter of Life, which will focus on the collection of "spirit" during a year of uncertainty. The festival aims to provide a platform to visitors all over the world to connect, interact and communicate within the same space.

"Through the festival theme Matter of Life we want to re-evaluate the question ‘What is design?’. To many, design can be seen as singular or superior, but they don’t necessarily see that design is everywhere in our daily lives and how it can be a solution to our everyday needs as well. Everything is made by design. By clarifying what design is, we hope that we can bring to the fore all the possibilities of what it can be, and what it means to different people. This is even more important in a year as turbulent as this one, where we ask ourselves when life’s basic routines are affected, what can designers do?," said Adonian and Chris of Trilingua Design, curators of deTour 2020.

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The virtual festival will be accessible through deTour's website. Visitors can create their own animated avatar to explore and interact with exhibits, virtually walk around the exhibition and talk with other visitors all overseas via an instant chat box. Through these innovative function, visitors can immerse themselves in an alternate reality for a sense of escapism from the current state of the world.

Works showcased at the festival are divided into several categories: Special Collaboration where deTour commissioned international design unit, Whatever Inc. to collaborate on a large-scale installation, Feature Exhibition will highlight four leading local and design units whose work focuses on solution design and finally Selected Entries, where 10 selected works from both local and international designers will be showcased on a variety of themes.

Through the coming together of local and international communities through our physical and online events, deTour 2020 aims to celebrate the vibrant design scene in Hong Kong and beyond. We hope that this festival will provide the visitors—from the public to art & design enthusiasts—with an exciting event in what has been a challenging year
Shin Wong, curator-at-large of deTour 2020

Other than the artworks and installations, there will also be a number of workshops and design dialogues. Targeting design lovers, kids and families, the creative workshops aim to guide participants to explore design and art application in daily life through looking at the materials, communication design, fashion design and food design. The workshops will be held in PMQ while the dialogue will be both live-streamed on deTour's website and held physically at the venue. To register for the workshops, please visit the ticketing page. For the dialogue, please visit Ticketflap.

To help you navigate through deTour, we've rounded up the artworks and installations to see at the art festival.

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Above deTour 2020 Design Festival

1. FLOCK by Whatever Inc.

Whatever Inc., a prominent international creative studio will be showcasing their immersive installation FLOCK in celebration of life and people coming together virtually during Covid-19. Participants will be creating an avatar of themselves in the photo scanning booth at PMQ and images of these avatars will be transmitted to a digital mural at the PMQ courtyard. Through the giant display screen, participants can see their avatars flying around in the sky in real-time inside a virtual community. Audiences from all over the world can also join in by uploading their avatars at deTour 2020's website.

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2. Brief Encounters by New Office Works

Brief Encounters by New Office Works will look at the way the public engage and interact with each other amid the Covid-19 pandemic while following social distancing measures through colourful transparent films which will be installed as barriers on site.

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3. Identity Face Shield by NOSIGNER

Presented by Japanese artist, NOSIGNER, Identity Face Shield is a face shield with a pixel-style human face printed on it. The work highlights the importance of securing our privacy while also protecting our physical health especially during a time when face recognition systems have been developing rapidly.

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4. Design's Diffusion: Mimication and Regeneration by aona & Cou Tou Wood

This work by aona & Cou Tou Wood was selected through the open call. It attempts to reconstruct the process of imitation and its role in design by analysing a discarded mid-century timber dining chair found in the street and comparing it with modern Danish classics such as Fin Juhl's Chair 108 and Hans Wegner's Ch20. This project will also design a new furniture piece as a continuation of the mimication process and the exploration of its regeneration.

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5. Dryscape by Orient Occident Atelier | OOA

Another selected work from the open call, Dryscape is an art installation that draws inspiration from the traditional Hong Kong culture and practice of drying fruit peels, vegetables and fish laid on the street. Dried herbs, Chinese medicinal plants, decorative and edible plants will be displayed in a vertical gallery—placing it in a new environment tha

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