A simultaneous showcase of virtual and physical exhibitions in celebration of the annual event
HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 6 December
2021 - deTour 2021, Hong Kong's design festival, makes its annual returns to central PMQ from 26 November to 12
December. Organised at PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong, the 2021 deTour festival
is a collaborative effort between local creative Shin Wong with Trilingual
Design's Chris Tsui and Adonian
Chan that links the virtual with the physical through interactive exhibitions, design seminars and
workshops under the singular theme "Use(fu)less". Though rudimentary concepts and thinking, the exhibition
encourages audiences to actively rethink the very basic functions of design.
deTour 2021 is divided into three main exhibitions presented via
37 workshops and 12 design lectures in both virtual and physical formats, available to the public
Collaboration: Sputniko! "Red Silk of Fate – The Shrine"
There's a single common
symbol that ties together Chinese, Japanese and Korean mythologies: the "Red
Silk of Fate". Believed to be tied by the gods to two people that are destined
to be together.
It is the common subject
for Japanese-British artist Sputniko!, who has brought the symbol to life with
biotech scientists from NIAS, spun by engineered silkworms and injected with
the social-bonding love hormone, oxytocin. Featured through a selection of
mediums, from costume design to Japanese short films, each offers an
alternative possibility and potential to the red silk thread.
For deTour 2021,
especially Sputniko! has collaborated with local design firm, Napp Studio &
Architects, for a brand-new reimagining of this mythical silk thread. Carefully
ribboned through a piece of fabric, the piece is folded to replicate an ancient
shrine that's dedicated to love. It carries new meanings of beliefs and
desires, emotions and purpose. Backed by diffused lighting to mimic the soft
glow of moonlight, guests are encouraged to admire the ornate floral patterns,
and with the ancient lore still fresh in mind, reflect on the meaning of
emotion and connection during the time of social distancing, and how innovative
biotechnology has granted new meanings to time-honoured tales.
Choice: Four design installations that present the power of collaboration
x Design: I know not what CAFÉ (Upper left)
everyday coffee run is transformed as an experiment; a captivating performance.
In "I know not what CAFÉ, designed by Dr Li Hong Ting from local initiative
Corrupt The Youth and local designer Renatus Wu, the ordinary coffee-shop
experience is completely renewed.
Wherever your go-to spot may be, it is the cup of coffee that defines the
experience –– design often relegated to a second after-thought. "I know not
what CAFÉ" flips this traditional model and brings design to the forefront to
demonstrate how the subtle function of spatial design can shape the coffee shop
experience –– and personal perspectives –– as a whole.
x Design: The Interpreter (Upper right)
like a piece of virtuosic music, language has its own rhythm and beat. Listen
closely and you'll notice a change in languages will show a change in prosodic
patterns: English, for example, is stress-timed, meaning some syllables are
longer; others shorter. Cantonese, on the other hand, is syllable-timed, with
syllables all of equal lengths; introducing an unmistakable sense of rhythm in
Interpreter" explores the space between sound and music. Ideated by instrument
designer Ng Chak Lam of Oblik Soundwork with Sociolinguist Dr Jackie Jia Lou,
this sound installation records casual dialogue and transposes into a series of
sounds and rhythms performed by a band of musical instruments that repositions
everyday conversation into melodic musicals.
Typography X Design: Type–11 (Lower left)
This three-part showcase from psychologist Dr Cheung Sing Hang, typographer
Keith Tam and graphic designer Mak Kai Hang, is presented via Type-11, a
convenience store that explores the presence of typography in our everyday
lives. It introduces real-life decisions that typographers face when designing
for various situations:
How do minor design decisions influence particular perceptions for the
efficiency of communication? Type-11 invites viewers to share their own
preferences as readers and discuss common typeset issues when reading different
circumstances, i.e traditional print from a screen.
x Design: Strong Hold Pavilion (Lower right)
growing popularity of bouldering has opened up new avenues for a deeper
understanding of the sport. Indoor bouldering, for example, relies on more
conversation and communication of discussions regarding climbing routes and techniques
in comparison to outdoor climbing. More importantly, it allows encouragement
that can effectively motivate climbers to push further.
Hong Kong rock climbing athlete, Au Chi Fung, joins sustainable designer, Match
Chen, in the creation of "Strong Hold Pavilion", an experimental installation
that explores the effectiveness of team camaraderie and verbal motivation. Can
the presence of a full team push you further than an individual practice?
Guided by a common training technique in sport climbing –– "hang-boarding" ––
viewers are challenged to physically put this theory to the test and discover
the "useful" and 'uselessness" of team camaraderie and verbal motivation in the
occasion of self-performance.
Selected Entries: 10 locally sourced design groups share
deTour has always operated as an inspiration space for
creativity and open exchange between various design facets. This year's open call entries were
met with an enthusiastic response, receiving over 120 design proposals. Along with professional
design teams, this year's deTour 2021 extended to
design students. 10 exhibitors were selected based on the 2021 "Use(fu)less" theme and covers an
extensive range of concepts including living environment, technology, interpersonal
relationship and spatial design. Two highlights include:
"ELDER", designed by JONO Craftspace (Left) - Inspired
by the bones in our bodies, "ELDER" reimagines the basic framework of the human figure through the
lens of precision manufacturing borne out of the Industrial Revolution. Wood
scraps are ingeniously engineered with bionics to replicate the spine, with industry hardware
posing as tendons and muscles. It presents a moving art installation that asks, "Can we replicate function
shapes of bones in design?" Like those in the human body, the 'bones' are subjected to "evolution" overtime to learn new functions –– in this case, the adding of connecting
parts impart new meaning and a structural purpose to defunct pieces of wood.
"Work in the Woods" (Right) - Ideated
by three architects, Anson Kwan, Jackie Cheung and Ryan Tung, who collectively graduated from the Bartlett School of
Architecture at the University of London, "Work in the Woods" subjects its viewer to a futuristic look into a mixed work-life
reality in Hong Kong's micro apartments. Inspired by the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing realities have
prompted us to reassess how we live in the future, with a growing desire to work from home. Redefining the meaning
of a traditional workspace, "Work in the Woods" reimagines a space that is intuitive and physical to transform
banal working routines.
Special Exhibition: Sci-Fi artist Lucy McRae on the future of
To encourage further reflection on an item's intrinsic
Use(fu)less", deTour 2021 invites world-renowned Sci-Fi artist and body
architect, Lucy McRae. She is widely known for her thought-provoking pieces
that comment on the future state of humankind through installations,
photography, artificial intelligence, edible technology and film.
At PMQ, McRae shares five of her most iconic pieces that reflect
this subject through exploring various limits of the body, beauty,
biotechnology and the self. It's a continuation of her exploration of the
cultural and emotional impact on science and technology in redesigning the body
and the state of the "Future" viewed while questioning "Who am I?"
A virtual exploration of exhibitions and design dialogues at deTour
As exhibitions at deTour are available in both physical and
virtual formats, it has allowed deTour to become a destination for design
enthusiasts near and afar. The installations are all accessible online through
the official website, which is dissected into a short explanation and an
accompanying audio track. The track can be played and paused throughout for
easy addition of noted connotations at points where the listener feels are
useful or useless — fitting into the design festival overall theme
"Use(fu)less". For digital visitors, design dialogues are available online and
easily accessed via YouTube. It is these interactive features that have allowed
deTour to bring a successful, multi-faceted experience to a wider audience.
For more information on
virtual design festivals, please check back on social media.
more information on the deTour2021 Design Festival, please visit: http://detour.hk
Opening Hours for deTour 2021 Design Festival:
Date: 26 November 2021 - 12 December 2021
(Official showing of Sputniko! "Red Silk of Fate – The Shrine" on 27 November)
Time: 11am to 8pm (11am to 4pm on 26 November)
Address: PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
by PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region, deTour is an annual design festival in Hong Kong
celebrating the works and ideas of local and overseas designers and creative
talent. An event borne to connect the local and international design
communities, deTour boosts a curated line-up of exhibitions, workshops,
dialogues, debates, and networking events, invites both the public and design
professionals to engage and experience design in various perspectives.
to supporting local design talent, deTour stands as an unparalleled
collaborative design festival for local and overseas designers through enabling
the realisation of creative sparks to design solutions. At deTour, everyone is
encouraged to witness and explore the unwavering role of design for a better
in the heart of Hong Kong's SoHo, PMQ is the landmark of creative industries in
Asia's World City. PMQ has been revived into a creative hub since 2014, housing
over 100 Hong Kong Designers, showcasing workshops and studios featuring
lifestyle, fashion and accessories, architecture, gifts & premium, homeware
and a wide range of other designer goods. Today, PMQ has become the creative
platform in supporting up and coming creative talent as well as fostering a
community of patrons and lovers of creativity, design and heritage. It is also
the hottest venue in town for international arts and cultural events from Hong
Kong and all around the world.
About Create Hong Kong
Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated agency set up by the Government of the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR Government) 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
has been sponsoring PMQ to organize deTour and other projects to promote Hong
Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding
support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these
materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project
organizers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region, the Communications and Creative Industries
Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the
CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting