Connecting emerging designers with businesses and buyers, Kiesly Tsang's O2O platform puts Hong Kong creators on the map. Tamsin Bradshaw checks out what’s on offer.
The Raindom umbrella – its floral motif changes colour when it rains. Through SD Works on Design 1+1’s site.
“What exactly is Hong Kong design?” asked Joshua Davies at the launch of O2O platform Design 1+1. Davies is the founder of communications consultancy 1221 Consulting, and he introduced this new platform, which was founded by Kiesly Tang of Kiesly Tang Concepts Ltd, in the hopes of growing awareness of Hong Kong’s emerging designers.
Kiesly Tsang, founder of Design 1+1, at the launch event at Aluminium.
Tsang intends to answer the question of what design is in Hong Kong via Design 1+1, which uses the online to offline model to enable consumers in Hong Kong and elsewhere to buy original design pieces from creators based here. It will also work with carefully selected partners – hotels, developers and interior and architecture firms – on specific projects.
Rcube Design Studio’s fun torch light, on show at the Design 1+1 launch.
In fact, it was on a project for a developer that the idea for Design 1+1 began to germinate. “We worked on a project together, she was keen to put Hong Kong design in a showflat. People think that overseas design is better. But in Asia, there are a lot of upcoming designers, and we definitely need to nurture them,” says David Chiu, owner of furniture and home store Aluminium. Chiu is one of Tsang’s offline partners in Design 1+1, proudly providing retail support and showcasing Hong Kong designs in Aluminium’s stores around Hong Kong. “At least if you take this first step, putting your products next to iconic designs from overseas, you raise the bar,” he says.
David Chiu, owner of Aluminium and offline partner of Design 1+1.
Design 1+1’s name comes from this idea of coming together, says Tsang. It is about bringing designers together with consumers from Hong Kong and afar, and it is about introducing businesses looking for furniture, homewares and other design products, to the passionate people who make them.
A number of the brands on Design 1+1’s platform were at the launch event to talk about their products, and indeed, each of them spoke with passion about what they do. SD Works, a platform for students from the School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, presented the works of several students; Rcube Design Studio Limited founder Raft Wong presented his clever and striking torch toy and swiveling mirror; Civilian Goods team Kenneth Ng and Candy Kok showcased their cool, minimalist bags; and Danny Fang of Fang Studio spoke on working intensively to educate factories in China about the importance of creating original design.
FabriConcrete products, available through Design 1+1.
Tsang and Dr. Ernesto Spicciolato, a professor at PolyU’s School of Design and one of the directors of SD Works.
For Tsang, originality is what makes each of the designers on her platform special. “My friends always ask me where they can find real design in Hong Kong. [Design 1+1] is my guideline for what makes a product ‘design’,” she says. “Design is what is behind the objects – design means half communication, half design.
“Design 1+1 will be the best online platform for sourcing Hong Kong design products,” she continues. “There are a lot of Hong Kong people with strong potential, they’re just hiding in a corner somewhere. I want to bring them together.”
Kiesly Tsang Concepts Ltd