Knowledge of Design Week (KODW) 2023 Presents ‘The Power of Design: Innovating for a Circular World’

Knowledge of Design Week (KODW) 2023 Presents ‘The Power of Design: Innovating for a Circular World’

A Full Return to In-person Events

HONG KONG, May 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Organised by Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC), together with the Netherlands, KODW 2023’s Partner Country, and CreativeNL, the platform for creative pioneers from the Netherlands, and Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR Government) as the Lead Sponsor, Knowledge of Design Week (KODW) 2023 gathers over 40 business leaders and creative forces in various fields spanning design, architecture, academic, hospitality, digital media and tech from around the world to explore under the theme ‘The Power of Design: Innovating for a Circular World’ from 14 to 16 June 2023 at Hong Kong Palace Museum, advancing and sharing professional knowledge and experience.

From circular design principles, sustainable urban design and transformative brands to tapping into consumers’ conscientiousness and leveraging on the power of AI and technology in story-telling and business strategies, KODW 2023 will showcase an array of innovative practices in design and businesses to create a more sustainable future. 

Prof. Eric Yim, Chairman of HKDC, says, “This year in 2023, we are excited to have our Strategic Partner in 2022, a country we celebrate for its contributions to the world of design – the Netherlands – as a year-round Partner Country, bringing their expertise in circular innovation to the table.

“Design plays a unique and powerful role in driving positive change and sustainability. Through this year’s international design conference, we seek to advance the knowledge of how responsible and circular design, together with the necessary collective efforts of different communities and businesses, helps further activate the movement of using the power of design to build a more equitable, sustainable and resilient society, benefitting businesses and the society as a whole.”

Bart Ahsmann, Managing Director of CLICKNL says, “We are very much looking forward to this year’s partnership and bringing a series of thought-provoking programmes to share our knowledge and innovation highlighting the power of circular design. KODW facilitates the exchange of ideas not only across industries but also between leading creative cities and countries, and it is honoured to have the Netherlands on board again as this year’s Partner Country.”

Back in Full Force: What to expect in KODW 2023

Consisting of six programme pillars: Social Innovation & Wellness, Culture & the City, New Urban Models, Transformative Brands, Hospitality, and AI & Technology, KODW 2023 explores the unique and powerful role that design plays in driving positive change and sustainability. Over the 3-day event, movers and shakers from Hong Kong and around the world will showcase the application and impact of responsible and circular design in diverse facets of the contemporary world. Collective efforts of different communities and businesses are called upon to leverage the power of design to build a more equitable, sustainable and resilient society.

Presented under the six programme pillars, highlights of keynote and panel sessions include –

Social Innovation & Wellness

KEYNOTE­: ‘Redefining Good Design for Healthy Consumerism’ (14 June)

Calling for design-driven change that is beneficial to all, Richard van der Laken (Co-founder & Creative Director of What Design Can Do, The Netherlands) will discuss the impact of ‘good and bad design’ on consumer behaviours, business strategies, policymaking and planetary health, complementing with examples that work (and don’t work). Van der Laken co-founded What Design Can Do, an organisation known for tackling social challenges with diverse sectors through design-driven innovations.

Transformative Brands

PANEL: ‘Closing the Loop: Creating New Business Values’ (15 June)

In our current linear economy of ‘take-make-dispose’, many values are lost. Circular business models, on the other hand, can be applied to capture these values. Renowned Dutch authorities in circular design and business Pieter van Os (Program Manager International of CIRCO, The Netherlands) and Siem Haffmans (Strategic Consultant Circular Economy of Partners for Innovation, The Netherlands) will share practical examples on how to embrace circularity, make products that last longer, while at the same time create valuable business opportunities.

New Urban Models

KEYNOTE: ‘Designing for a Planet-Friendly City’ (14 June)

Sun Dayong (Founder & Chief Architect of Penda China, The Mainland) founded Penda China, a Beijing-based architectural firm known for drawing inspiration from nature and incorporating biomimicry. Sun firmly believes that nature has much to teach about counteracting excess and building more resourcefully, and will share his philosophies and experiences in designing beyond functionality to live in harmony with the environment.


KEYNOTE: ‘The Power of Luxe Design: Reshaping the Hospitality Landscape’ (14 June)

When translating hoteliers’ visions into remarkable opulent designs, investors and designers must take into account local sentiments and traditional values to create culturally and ecologically sustainable spaces and buildings. Veteran in luxe design, Clint Nagata (Founder & Creative Partner of BLINK Design Group, Singapore), will share his approach in reimagining luxurious experiences that resonate with local culture and community while prioritising circular design.

Culture & the City

KEYNOTE: ‘Innovative Cultural Storytelling for the City’ (14 June)

d’strict is a trailblazing South Korean company known for its visually stunning fusion of digital media technology and content, and its remarkably engaging approach to cultural storytelling. L. J. Kim (Executive Director,LIVX Division of d’strict, Korea), will present a selection of the company’s projects, including its world-renowned ARTE MUSEUM’s upcoming global branches, and spark a conversation on the power of innovative cultural storytelling to engage with local communities and democratise art experiences on a global scale.

PANEL: ‘Heritage in the City: Preserving Urban Legacies’ (14 June)

As cities across Asia undergo accelerated urbanisation, governments and businesses are faced with daily challenges to innovate for the future while preserving the past. Two pioneers in this line of work, Teo Yang (Creative Director of Teo Yang Studio, Korea) and Prof. Francesca Valsecchi (Associate Professor of Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, The Mainland), will discuss how modernity and tradition can coexist through creative intervention, extensive research, and thoughtful design.

AI & Technology

PANEL: ‘Creative Power of Generative AI’ (15 June)

The use of generative AI in enhancing business branding, marketing and operation has taken the world by storm. Industry experts Dr Fan Ling (Founder & CEO of, The Mainland), Maggie Wong (CEO of Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and Fred Sheu (National Technology Officer, Microsoft Hong Kong Limited, Hong Kong) will discuss the trends, tools, strategies and controversies surrounding generative AI’s commercial and design applications, as well as the limitations, ethical implications and education that must be considered prior to implementation as leaders in diverse industries keenly explore this latest technology’s potential to drive changes, improve efficiency, streamline creative processes, and collect insights and analytics with greater accuracy.

PANEL: ‘Creativity Empowered: Bridging Storytelling with Technology’ (15 June)

Amid the ever-evolving digital landscape, the fusion of creativity and technology has become increasingly important in the art of storytelling. Local creatives Roger Proeis (Co-founder & President of Votion Studios, Hong Kong) and Henry Chu (Creative Director, pill & pillow, and new media artist, Hong Kong) will showcase their recent interactions with technology, such as XR and the interplay of data and music, and share how they work with brands and businesses to captivate end-users with intriguing narratives.

Meet-the-Speakers, Networking, Workshops and More

After three years of virtual and hybrid editions, KODW is delighted to announce the resumption of 100% in-person format to bring back a truly interactive and personal experience this year. All events of KODW 2023 will be presented in full-on physical format.

The main events of KODW 2023 will be held at one of the latest art and cultural landmarks in the territory – the Hong Kong Palace Museum. This prestigious museum has emerged as Asia’s prime centre for Chinese art, culture, and global dialogues.

Apart from face-to-face forum sessions and daytime Meet-the-Speakers and business networking breaks, an evening Networking Cocktail Reception will be co-hosted by HKDC and InvestHK on 14 June, and an InnoDesign Leadership Forum cum CEO Dinner will be co-hosted by HKDC and the Netherlands on 15 June at Regent Hong Kong.

In keeping with KODW’s longstanding objectives to advance knowledge and inform cutting-edge design, KODW 2023 will also host 11 workshops and masterclasses from 14 to 16 June. These interactive and experiential sessions will explore aspects in circular design, inspire through design thinking, and inform professional application through interactive learning and the sharing of successful case studies.

The workshops and masterclasses are led by pioneers from the Partner Country, the Netherlands, and joined by creative leaders based in The Mainland, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom:

The Netherlands:

  • Richard van der Laken, Co-founder & Creative Director, What Design Can Do
  • Pieter van Os, Program Manager International, CIRCO
  • Siem Haffmans, Strategic Consultant Circular Economy, Partners for Innovation
  • Dr ir Peter Joore, Professor Open Innovation, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences
  • Marijke Idema, Research Fellow & Design Coach, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
  • Marieke Rietbergen, CEO, Design Innovation Group


  • Dr Fan Ling, Founder & CEO, (The Mainland)
  • Rama Gheerawo, Director, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art (United Kingdom)
  • Stepan Angus Gudev, Designer, Lasvit (Hong Kong-based Czech glass design)
  • Lukas Kozubik, Managing Director, PRECIOSA Lighting (Hong Kong-based Czech glass design)

Workshops at Votion Studios, Hong Kong:

  • Experiential Workshops in XR & Technology at Votion Studios by Roger Proeis, Co-founder & President, Votion Studios (Hong Kong)

For more information on KODW 2023 and learn about the most innovative approaches to design for a circular world, please visit our official website at

For ticketing details at

About Hong Kong Design Centre (

Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) is a non-governmental organisation established in 2002 as a strategic partner of the HKSAR Government in establishing Hong Kong as an international centre of design excellence in Asia. Our public mission is to promote wider and strategic use of design and design thinking to create business value and improve societal well-being.

About Knowledge of Design Week (

Launched in 2006, Knowledge of Design Week (KODW) offers an exciting and premier global knowledge platform for local and international designers, brand strategists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists, educators and visionaries to share industry insights, trend analysis, creative solutions and game-changing innovation to transform individuals, businesses and the society.

About CreativeNL (

CreativeNL is the internationalisation portal of the Top Sector Creative Industry, which aims to drive knowledge exchange and innovation (with creativity as a catalyst), encouraging creative professionals to do business abroad. CreativeNL focuses specifically on the countries Germany, United States and China and the social themes circular design, public space design, immersive content (VR/AR/XR) and social innovation.

About Create Hong Kong (

Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated office set up by the HKSAR Government in June 2009 to spearhead the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. From 1 July 2022 onwards, it is under the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau. Its strategic foci are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, promoting cross-sectoral and cross-genre collaboration, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia’s creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. CreateHK sponsors HKDC to organise Business of Design Week (BODW), BODW City Programme, DFA Awards, Knowledge of Design Week, Fashion Asia Hong Kong, Design Incubation Programme and Fashion Incubation Programme, among other projects, to promote Hong Kong design.

Disclaimer: Create Hong Kong of the 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 organisers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.

SOURCE Hong Kong Design Centre

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