Cave-like boutique hotels, virtual grocery stores in subway stations and diner-designed menus are among the innovative seminar topics at this year's Knowledge of Design Week
June 19, 2014
The last hotel room you slept in probably wasn't made of sewage pipes, nor was it likely a singular room (not unlike a small cave) found in the middle of a leafy Austrian park. That is, unless your name is Andreas Strauss. Made of—you guessed it—drainage pipes, retrofitted into comfy, simple home-away-from-homes, dasparkhotel is arguably one of the most avant-garde hotel designs in the world. At this year's Knowledge of Design Week (KODW), which comprises of a week-long series of seminars and workshops, the architect-turned-hotelier will be presenting the concept and approach behind his acclaimed hospitality experiment.
As it does every year, KODW will provide its attendees with plenty of interactive workshops and presentations led by award-winning experts, who will discuss how design-led innovation helped foster their projects and resulted in commercial success. This year's conference (run by design incubator Hong Kong Design Centre) highlights trends and innovations for hospitality and retail experiences.
One of the workshops is led by the CEO of American culinary start-up Dinner Lab, which hosts pop-up suppers in unusual locales (Chilean grub on a rooftop, Cuban food in a candle-lit church, to name a few). Turning conventional dining on its head once more, philanthropist-turned-entrepreneur Brian Bordainick will discuss how he is using data compiled from diners' feedback and crowdsourced ideas to design menus for future events.
Part of British supermarket giant Tesco's successful expansion into the South Korean market involved combining innovative advertising design with e-commerce. While waiting for the subway, commuters can browse colourful murals of realistic-looking produce and use their smartphones to scan and select their purchases (delivered later that day). The campaign was an instant hit, and the journey behind this project will be explored in a seminar led by Misu Yi, the creative manager at the ad firm responsible for its creation.
The seminars will take place in the recently-opened PMQ, a lofty post-WWII era structure formerly used for housing married police officers, that has been renovated into a hub for artists and creative entrepreneurs to hock their wares and for visitors to eat, drink, shop and marvel at the artsy goods up for grabs. Workshops will be hosted at Garage Society, a new start-up venue that allows entrepreneurs and creative types to rent ultra-chic office space—trust me, once you've seen this video, you'll wish you had a membership to this dreamy workspace too.
June 23–June 27. For KODW tickets, click here.
PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St.
Garage Society, 9F, 33 Des Voeux Rd.