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On 28th June, The Mills Fabrica had the pleasure of co-organizing the ‘Designing Future Techstyle 2019 International Symposium and Techstyle for Social Good International Competition’ with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the lead sponsor, CreateHK. The symposium and competition focused on design-led technology for social good and highlighted the industry’s need to work collaboratively across disciplines to promote sustainability in the techstyle industry. Some key highlights of the symposium and competition are as follows:

Speakers and Representatives from Collaborating Organizations, including: PolyU; CreateHK; Legislative Council of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association; The Hong Kong Sheng Kong Hui Welfare Council; The Hong Kong Red Cross; Hong Kong Design Centre; Royal College of Art; Parson School of Design; Eindhoven University of Technology; Tsinghua University; CuteCircuit; THEUNSEEN; Kering Group and Nike

 

International Symposium: Inspiring Intersection of Design and Tech

Distant gap between design and technology has always been the challenge in today’s world. In fact, design and technology have a co-dependency and the integration of design and technology will be able to address issues in the fashion industry and create new human experiences with positive impacts. Featuring keynote talks and a discussion forum with international renowned academics and experts in techstyle, including Royal College of Art, Parsons School of Design and Nike, the symposium provided a platform for creative communities, design students and the general public to exchange ideas and gain international, interdisciplinary design perspectives, particularly for design-led technology for social good.

Professor Naren Barfield, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Royal College of Art (left); Burak Cakmak, Dean, School of Fashion, Parsons School of Design (right)

 

Techstyle for Social Good: Integration of Design and Tech Inspiring Social Impact

With a target of creating awareness and sparking ideas for better techstyle designs, ‘Techstyle for Social International Competition’ was calling for young innovators at the beginning of 2019, attracting entries from students of leading institutions around the world including universities in Hong Kong, UAL Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Arts, Parsons School of Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsing Hua University and more.

The Grand Finals of the competition were held on the same day of the symposium, where 5 winners were selected from 12 finalists by the professional judging panel, formed by 10 international distinguished industry experts and world-renowned design academics. The judging panel was impressed by the finalists’ creative ideas and encouraged them to continue exploring innovative techstyle designs for creating social impacts. The winners’ passion to address the current issues that they observe and discover in daily life was clearly shown through their innovative projects for social good.

More details of the winners are as follows:

Techstyle Grand Prize Winner – Amy Yu Chen & Claudia Poh (right)

 

Techstyle Grand Prize – Amy Yu Chen and Claudia Poh

Cair Collective

The Cair Collective dressing system provides an automatic dressing experience that goes beyond a single user. Using air in inflatable components that are installed in a garment causes the clothing item to rise. This allows the garment to work against gravity for an automatic dressing experience. Amy and Claudia believe in a fashion future that is human-centric, in which health elements are incorporated into design processes.

 

Sustainability Grand Prize Winner – Florian Wegenast & Christine Lew (left); Techstyle Special Award Winner – Hunmin Koh (right)

 

Sustainability Grand Prize – Christine Lew and Florian Wegenast

Heritage Craft Innovation

Christine and Florian undertake design investigation on the waste upcycling whilst supporting local craftsmanship. By exploring the materiality of waste, they would like to introduce these new upcycled materials to local craftspeople and extend the conversation of upcycling to more creative practitioners. Their belief is that through their continuation of waste material research and collaboration in the crafts, they will be able to help addressing the city’s waste issue, while supporting and bringing awareness to dying crafts that are native to Hong Kong.

 

Techstyle Special Award – Hunmin Koh

The Hands Free Mouse

 The Hands-free Mouse is a wireless mouse designed for pedal input. People who have an arm disability are challenged with the majority of computer interfaces that have been developed with hand dexterity in mind. Therefore, the Hands-free mouse was designed with relatively simple modification to an existing wireless mouse and providing a straightforward and affordable type of assistive computer hardware for the community.

 

Sustainability Special Award Winner – Naila Al-Thani (left); Hong Kong Best Design Award– Wing-yan Law (right)

 

Sustainability Special Award – Naila Al-Thani

Seam Unseam

Garment longevity and sustainability in the world of fast fashion is the vision and inspiration behind Naila’s ‘SEAM UNSEAM’ project. Through creating a reversible seam assembly using a biosynthetic protein strip, it is designed to extend a garment’s wearability, allowing for wearer adjustability and enabling garment disassembly. The biosynthetic protein strip can be detached and reattached when needed, and leaves no marks or damage on the fabric, garments can be quickly and easily repaired, altered, or transformed.

 

Hong Kong Best Design Award – Wing-yan Law

Aesthesis – The partial hand accessories for amputees

Aesthesis is a 3D-printed functional aesthetic device on the hand for “people who have lost their thumbs”. Wing-yan’s vision for designing Aesthesis is to allow thumb amputees to regain autonomy over life and empower them to have self-confidence and self-appreciation. It aims to create a barrier-free environment as well as inclusive product design. In the longer run, Aesthesis strives to provide customized service at a lower price with greater visual attractiveness.

 

Continuing Innovation Journey: Residency with The Mills

“All innovations take time, and no journey of innovation is ever singular. We hope this competition marks the start of a sustainable and collaborative journey of innovation for young talents.”
-Vanessa Cheung, Founder of The Mills and Managing Director of Nan Fung Group

The design journey has only just begun for the award winners. The Mills Fabrica will provide extensive post-competition support, including mentorships, membership of our co-working space and Fabrica Lab, and access to Fabrica’s community of startups, partners and events. Grand Prize winners will also be able to join the residency program at The Mills Fabrica. Through these opportunities, they can share their stories and showcase innovative ideas to industry experts, corporates and investors around the world and continue creating social impacts.

Overall, this competition has brought students, well-known designers, international experts and collaborative institutions together and we look forward to seeing more inspiring ideas from the younger generation. Their creative works are now being showcased to the public at The Mills until 26 August and at PolyU 27 August to 22 September.

 

Exhibition at The Mills:

29 June to 26 August (10am-10pm daily)

1/F, The Mills, Tsuen Wan (Atrium & Near Footbridge)

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