In the heart of busy Hong Kong, the crowded BODW 2006 kicked off today, under the heading "Brand, Design, Innovation". The plenary session opened with an inspiring John Sorrell explaining the human, economic and environment impacts of bad design. He used examples from the UK, and encouraged everyone to join a campaign against bad design by sending pictures and thoughts to Cabe (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment).
The second speaker was Bill Moggridge, who focused his talk on the power of design for business by showing work done at Ideo, while promoting his book and website Designing Interactions. He used various examples of design problems and solutions, a highlight being a video where a consumer spends 23 minutes to buy a drink from her cell phone!
Later on, a non-stop-talking Karim Rashid took the stage to convince the audience about the democratization of design, explaining that design shapes business and that the physical reality needs a push by designers in creating new behaviours. He also talked about the New-Casualism, where consumers are more creative and informed, and products should fit this behaviour.
Another event coinciding with the BODW conference is the Innovation and Design Expo, also held in Hong Kong. Among some mainland China "innovations" like a computer case with "fake fishes" on the side we found a lot of local design agencies and design school booths. Some nice findings are MilkDesign, who have a nice collection of home products, and SwedenDesign, a combo of 3 Swedish design companies based in Hong Kong.