12 September 2016

Business of Design Week 2014

BODW programme is versatile in selecting Sweden as this year‘s partner country, the highlights include the BODW Forum which will feature ‘Living Design‘, focusing on ‘live it‘, ‘work it‘, ‘wear it‘ & ‘do it‘.

This event started on 1 December until 6 December 2014 and we went to participate this outstanding event. Actually, this was our second time attending this yearly event. The first time we came in 2013, Belgium was selected as their proud partner country. We are glad can be one of the participant at that time, being inspired by a lot of design masters and this time we even got much more inspiration from different design masters.

What we got? Yes, this was the important part that we want to tell you. BODW is not just an event - ‘it‘s a mindset, an attitude and a way of thinking, ‘says Edmund Lee, Hong Kong Design Centre Executive Director. Every speaker had different approach in presenting their ideas and their way of thinking, but the goal is in the same line: to transform brands and businesses with simple, remarkable ideas. So, this event wasn‘t about to compare one idea to the other idea, but it was a place where design masters could share their ideas and thoughts to the audience, business partners and other design masters.

Well let me tell you about my little adventure here. Like what I told you before, the event was held on 1 ‘till 6 December and I didn’t attend the whole event, i attend only for two days started from 5 to 6 December and yes, I’m going alone there (yeah, it was my first time travelling around by myself and you know..it’s quite fun J) back to the topic.

I really felt grateful for all the knowledge, inspiration and ideas that had been shared by 12 speakers. Actually, I want to write eveything shared by the speakers, but i’m sure it will take 2 metres long (probably) to scroll down. LOL. So, I will only pick 4 speakers that I think related with brand and design.

The first one, he is a designer plus a co-founder of Priestman Goode and global creative director of CSR Sifang, his name is Paul Priestman. In that hour, he told that ‘design isn’t just about envisioning a finished product – It’s about finding which aspects of culture and location should go into the project’. From aircraft interiors, airports, public transport and high speed trains to hotels, consumer products, campaign and branding. His vision about creating the future is outstanding, everytime he showed a video of his project, even though some of them are only prototypes and ideas, I was just wondering how he could propose that brilliant ideas into our living. Well, I think it’s the question as well as the answer. His capability to bring the ideas into living not only came through because he wanted to do it, but because he learns from nowadays problem, he thinks about solutions and he began to create the system, start from the ideas to sketch, sketch to strategic and implementation, like what he said ‘efficiency is everything’ and I saw it in everything he showed, every ideas look solid and well-thought. In branding term, he and his team always start from learning about the local culture and experience where the problem started so they can easily understand how to be a brand guardian that will make sure every consumer feel the brand without losing their proudness of their own culture with the end of the line is to get consumer loyalty. When they build or create or develop something, he said ‘it’s not only about modernity, but it’s all about sense of the city, the people and their culture in it’. I was wondering if there someone like him in this country, even just a person, I’m really sure we could build a better country and a better tomorrow.

Next, Krister Torsell, CEO and partner at Veryday. He talked a lot about how they deliver the ideas, in veryday they started from telling about the problem as a whole, see it as a big picture not just a part, they learn about past experience and create future possibilities, then they are trying to implement a prototype to the public before they produce it in mass. What I learned most from his presentation is his unique way of thinking that he delivered to Veryday, how he create a system, the path to solution that can be applied in every projects and every problems. Yes, it’s quite complicated at the first time he showed some diagrams and table, but in the middle and in the end of his presentation, it was getting easier when he transformed it into simpler shapes. He always talked about experiences, because for him, undestanding about experiences, it means we could design for people in a better way and better design which leads to and improved lifestyle, he also said that ‘people should do much better to make a better living’ and I think it was the main key of his unique way of thinking. But before we could step forward from learning about experiences, there is something called ‘engage’, he said. He explained about 3 way to create an engagement, first by seeing the picture, make an internal and external exploration (holistic thinking), second, see the user, by doing some reseach about insight and opportunities (human empathy) and the last, bring it to life by creating the concepts and prototypes (experience prototypes). And that three engagement approach will always run in cycle, when there is something wrong in the last step, the process will return to the first and so on until it gets the best solution based on its problem. And no doubt, he was one of my favourite speaker.

The third speaker, Don Norman, Director of Nielsen Norman Group, USA. Actually, before I saw him at BODW, I also ever saw him as a speaker on TED. He talked many things about Design Community, How people interact with design. As like what he said, we as a designer always deal with complex problem but how we solve that complex problem? First of all, we have to understand that design isn’t about a good output but understandable approach. In this case, I am totally agree with that because I had same point of view about design like what he said, for me Design isn’t all about cool things but it’s all about solving the problem in a substantive way. ‘We are not a problem solver, but problem definer’, when I heard that, I feel like being punched, yes! That’s who we are, some people said design is about perception, I can’t deny. However, when we said problem solver, well of course our clients also can do it by themselves, but if we act as a problem definer, we can measure the right problem, the objective and we could deliver the solution which suits our clients. The last important words, ‘Design exist when you keep moving’ it means keep learning and doing.

The fourth speaker, Chris Bangle, founder and Managing Director of Chris Bangle Associates, a design consultancy and management company. Many of his works are related with automobile, because he was working at BMW and Fiat Coupe company as Chief Manager. Ok, let’s break down the important part. He defined how we should think about design which started with ‘Why, How and What’ and he also said that ‘The future of all design is sustainability’, Why refer to ‘culture’ and sustain from sustainability word. Like what he said design isn’t about to create something better, but to be a part of this world. He used an interesting and funny illustration, Fox tail. Think about this world and the people in it as a fox and the fox is pretty because he has a pretty tail, then what’s the problem is we have to get all the people include us into the the fox tail to create a different world and be part of it. How refer to ‘process’ and ability from sustainability word. But he also said it’s not about ability, but also be able which means to have an opportunity, for what? To engage, to make us keep moving. Ok, he also used another interesting illustration, a rugby fields. Imagine that you are versus the problems in that field and outside the field are our excuses, like ‘oh it’s not our brand’, ‘no one will like that’, ‘that won’t work’, it’ll cost o much’ bla bla bla... so many excuses outside there but no matter what, you keep running on that field toward the goal until you were stopped by some blockers or the problems, then what should you do? You should try to redefine the field, because when the problem of the design or the brand is not moving on, it will be a serious problem, somehow you can break the field, looks for more opportunities, deal with your excuses, try to concentrate with the negative choices and do not push yourself to pick the positive choices. And the last, What refer to ‘proof’ and stain from sustainability word. Try to create a design or brand that can be stain in all people’s mind in this world.

Creative Head