Business of Design Week – Day 1

What a week it has been in Hong Kong! Business of Design Week, the 5th year that I’ve had the pleasure of attending, was fantastic with so many interesting speakers this year. Its been a bit of a whirlwind with so many product launches (everyone was taking advantage of the fact so many designers were in town), showroom openings and Xmas parties. I took a few notes from the presentations that I thought were most interesting, and will endeavour to share those with you over the next few days. Here goes…

For me the highlight of Day 1 was multi-disciplinary French designer Jean-Marie Massaud. Sometimes the designers that are most interesting to me are not necessarily the ones whose work I already admired, but who are the most adept at entertaining and engaging the audience. And Massaud did just that, making me laugh out loud several times, and grin from ear to ear just listening to his French accent – he was utterly charming.

For anyone who is not already familiar with his work, Massaud has designed products as diverse as vases, tap ware (for Axor), furniture (for Poltrona Frau & B&B Italia), and a massive futuristic Zeppelin in the shape of a giant whale!

Daybed for B&B Italia

Bathware collection for Axor

However, it was not his work that Massaud enthralled the audience with, rather it was his philosophies and his vision for the future of design. Massaud espoused a utopian vision of the future where our current over-consumption of goods will end and quantity will become quality – through sheer necessity. He foresees a major shift occurring in the market and therefore our ideals, where “to have” will become “to be”. A world where more becomes better, status becomes value, appearance becomes meaning and matter becomes energy. Like I said, utopian, but this value shift does need to happen, and soon, because as we all know the world and lifestyle we are all living is simply not sustainable. Particularly important for us designers as we need to remember that we simply cannot just design products for the sake of it. I think this particular piece of advice is valid for all of us though, don’t you think?

Comments ( 2 )

  • Suzy says:

    So true Mary! We all need to learn to leave our egos behind…

  • mary says:

    I’m in total agreement. I do see a new ethic and aesthetic slowly evolving, but it going to have to involve the ego-cleansing of so many individuals starting with the design field and moving out into the spaces that have been created. ( Although it is fun to design just for the joy of creating.)

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