Positioned as Hong Kong’s answer to Salone del Mobile in Milan, from 4 to 9 December Business of Design Week (BODW) brings some of the most influential international designers to the city to explore this year’s theme: Italy Makes a Difference. In addition to the main event—which boasts a stellar lineup of speakers exploring ever-more pertinent topics and features the likes of Jacques Herzog, Edoardo Tresoldi and Sou Fujimoto—there are countless satellite events that exist in its orbit, from PMQ’s deTour festival to pop-up exhibitions and installations. Here’s our list of five unmissable events to help you make the most of the creative confluence.Hero image: Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects


The star of the show is, of course, BODW itself. Spanning six days, the leading event of its kind in the region explores a variety of pertinent themes in design today, such as the relationship between European and Asian design, the influence of Italian heritage, how architecture can shape a city, the challenges and opportunities associated with designing for contemporary China, and how the design culture in Asia has evolved over the past three decades.

4-9 December, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

2. Objects, mini-exhibition of Ettore Sottsass-designed products

Curated by Hong Kong-based Italian designer Stefano Tordiglione, Objects is an ephemeral installation celebrating the legendary founder of the Memphis Group, Ettore Sottsass. The exhibition assembles original pieces in glass and ceramic—on loan from Novalis Contemporary Art and Design—and presents these alongside contemporary items from Kartell, Artemide and Alessi (also conceived by Sottsass) within Stefano's studio. The result is akin to stepping into a collector's home and allows the viewer to imagine how these provocative, vibrant and arresting objects can be incorporated into an interior. 

1pm-8pm, 4-9 December, 4/F, 86 Jervois St, Sheung Wan

3. 合| hé | Confluence

Hosted by PMQ, deTour is an annual event that runs concurrently with BODW with the aim of highlighting Hong Kong's role as an international creative hub. One of the standouts from the 2017 schedule, which examines the idea of Harmonious Chaos, is 合| hé | Confluence, a 46-foot-high hanging wall installed in the courtyard of PMQ. Conceived by design collective Bloom, the commanding LED curtains react to movement, encouraging interaction and no doubt inspiring a few Instagram posts too. 

1-10 December, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St, Central

4. DFA Awards

Launched in 2003, the Design for Asia (DFA) Awards celebrate the best creative endeavours and talents making a genuine impact in the region through five major awards: the DFA Lifetime Achievement Award, which this year goes to Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto; the DFA Design Leadership Award, which recognises hospitality figurehead Adrian Zecha; the DFA World's Outstanding Chinese Designer, which honours Hong Kong's very own Alan Chan; the Design for Asia Awards, which praises prestige Asian design projects (including Momoeda Yu Architecture Office's Agri-Chapel, pictured); and the DFA Hong Kong Found Design Talent Award.

1.30pm, 7 December, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

5. Hot is Cool: A Cultural Dialogue between Finland and Hong Kong

Hot is Cool: A Cultural Dialogue between Finland and Hong Kong is the inaugural event from  Culture for Tomorrow (CFT), a newly established non-profit organisation founded by the inimitable Adrian Cheng. It explores the impact of temperature on social spaces—a sauna and a pavilion—through innovative installations from two emerging architectural talents, one from Finland and one from Hong Kong, at the same time celebrating the centenary of design nation Finland's independence. 

10am-7pm, 8-13 December, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Plaza

See also: What's A Finnish Sauna Doing In Hong Kong?

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