Monday: I was out in Hong Kong to deliver two talks at the Hong Kong Development Council. The HKDC is a cross between our DTI and the Design Council, helping HK Chinese companies learn how to build business and export around the World. It's a recipe for success, the place was a buzz with workshops, seminars and information overload. The group of 20 or more I was presenting my 'Masterclass' (their words not mine) was made up of engineers, designers, marketing and academia but all came from SDA (small domestic appliances) manufacturers in Hong Kong and China.
In the morning session after presenting myself and Rodd Design I spoke about the premise that Good design is all about good communication, ie how clear channels of communication within businesses go along way to improve the design process and hence better design. It was enlightening to hear from the delegates that many of the problems that stifle design in the West is just as prevalent in the East, the main difference is their capacity to over come them and just crack on. Making stuff is in their blood.
My afternoon session was the recently completed Rodd case study of the Kenwood Strategy project. I am biased of course but the work we did for Kenwood is of the highest order and reasonably complex to get you head around it, even for a English speaking designer who has a understanding of user group profiling and matching brand and product values, let alone a Catonese speaking Chinese engineer. I need not of worried, the notion of designing products for people's lifestyle is very much part of Eastern thinking, whether they can truly understand Western culture is another thing.