PolyU holds Hong Kong’s first event on design-led technology for social good

The Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) held today the “Designing Future Techstyle” International Symposium and “Techstyle for Social Good International Competition 2019” at The Mills.

Endorsed by two world design academies, Royal College of Art in London and Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Symposium was packed with world-renowned speakers from cutting-edge international design brands, world-class luxury group and sportswear brands. This was the first-of-its-kind event to promote a new design approach - techstyle (i.e. intersection of technology and style) - in Hong Kong.

In collaboration with The Mills Fabrica, the innovation arm of The Mills, and with the sponsorship of the Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Symposium aims at creating awareness of new design approaches to techstyle, and highlighting the industry’s needs to work collaboratively across disciplines as technology and consumer demands evolve. The vision of the collaboration is to discover distinguished designs that integrate technology and modern style and explore “techstyle for social good” projects. Through this partnership, the hosting organisations also want to promote sustainability in techstyle industry, and to support the young entrepreneurs who aspire to develop in this area.

The opening ceremony was officiated by the Hon. Felix CHUNG, Legislative Council Member; Ms Jersey YUEN, Assistant Head, CreateHK; Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President of PolyU; Ms Vanessa CHEUNG, Founder of The Mills and Managing Director of Nan Fung Development Ltd; and Prof. FAN Jin-tu, Head and Chair Professor, ITC, PolyU.

Addressing at the ceremony, Dr Miranda LOU said, “Hong Kong, as a creative capital, strives to play a leading role in encouraging design-led technological innovations for social good. Fashion now concerns more than addressing apparels and wearables, but fostering change to fashion products and systems towards sustainability and a higher sense of social responsibility. Recognised as one of the region’s best schools in textiles and clothing, PolyU will continue to be the hub for nurturing talents and cutting edge research in fashion, textiles and design in Hong Kong, and in the region.”

On behalf of CreateHK, Ms Jersey YUEN expressed her gratitude to the ITC for successfully organising the event to promote design-led technology for social good.

Featuring keynote talks and a discussion forum with international renowned academics and experts in techstyle, the Symposium provided local creative communities, design students and the general public a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and get international, interdisciplinary design perspectives particularly for creating social impact.

Prof. Naren BARFIELD, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost of Royal College of Art, stressed in his presentation the significant contribution of techstyle and talked about useful innovations that are impacting our lives. Ms Christianna WINCEK, Flyknit Innovation Material Design Director of Nike, shared her insights in the process of designing of sports shoes. Ms Francesca ROSELLA, Co-founder of CuteCircuit, discussed the synergy of design and technology, and the new dimensions for human experience. Well known for her viral colour-changing hair dye, Ms Lauren BOWKER, Founder of THEUNSEEN, presented newly-created, self-activating beauty products that change colour in response to heat, wind and UV light, and discussed their implications on natural beauty.

The Project also included the “Techstyle for Social Good International Competition 2019” which awarded the winners with cash prizes, residencies at The Mills Fabrica and opportunities to further explore the potential of their projects. Prototypes of shortlisted participants were showcased at the venue to demonstrate their design-led technology innovations for social good. Further information is available on the internet (link below).

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About The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)

While boasting a proud history of 80 years, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is a vibrant and aspiring university with a forward-looking vision and mission. Committed to building a talent pipeline and research strength for advancing the development of Hong Kong, the Nation and the world, PolyU provides the best holistic education to nurture future-ready global citizens and socially responsible leaders; conducts high-impact interdisciplinary research and proactively transfers knowledge to create value and build impact. We embrace internationalisation and engage the Nation for education and research through strategic partnerships and collaborations.

With “Opening Minds. Shaping the Future” as our brand promise, the University is currently offering more than 160 taught programmes via six faculties and two schools, engaging in 3,200 exciting research projects and partnering with over 660 institutions overseas and in mainland China on a wide variety of initiatives. We have over 400,000 alumni around the globe and 28,000 students.

PolyU website (link below)

About The Mills Fabrica

The Mills Fabrica is a business incubator, fund and space/lab/store for techstyle startups and strategic partners - companies at the intersection of technology and style. An open platform for techstyle innovation, their mission is to create techstyle startup success stories and to build a global techstyle community where startups, large corporates, academia, researchers, students and innovators can meet and collaborate to make a better and more sustainable fashion industry.

The Mills Fabrica website (link below)

About Create Hong Kong

Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated agency set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in June 2009. It is under the Communications and Creative Industries Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and dedicated to spearheading the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. Its strategic foci are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia’s creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. CreateHK sponsored the Designing Future Techstyle and other projects organised by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to promote Hong Kong design.

CreateHK’s website (link below)

Published: 29 Jul 2019

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https://www.polyu.edu.hk/itc/dft2019/index.html Event website http://www.polyu.edu.hk The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) http://www.themillsfabrica.com/ The Mills Fabrica https://www.createhk.gov.hk/ Create Hong Kong