Hong Kong Design Association Awards 07: Junkfood?

This article popped up on a few design blogs and raises a few questions about how Hong Kong is really doing in design beyond the surface. It would seem the awards are (maybe more obviously than elsewhere) totally rigged, but more than that, it seems that they don’t even try to hide it. The designs shown would not even have won a lemon award anywhere else (that would give them undeserved attention).

Would be interesting to have the views of designers in Hong Kong (both part of these associations and outside) and the views of designers in the “West”.

Don’t expect a lot of comments from Hong Kong people.

  1. It is a small place.
  2. Everyone knows everyone.
  3. Relationships are key.

All points are true and support the suggestion that awards are given only to that small circle, regardless of quality. But more than that, what are you suggesting? Hong Kong people would not comment out of fear? Or they would not comment because they really believe this is good design?

Fear, or losing face by upsetting someone in their “in-group” For more on in-groups read The Geography of Thought (its a book not an article).

They wouldn’t be the first to rig design awards. It’s been done in every country in order to promote the chosen designers.

Perhaps other countries as well, but using a bit more subtlety. In Hong Kong, the winning designers are on selection committee, on the boards of the associations, and seem to be always the same people. That’s not to mention the quality of the design. They do look quite poor. It’s a bit too obvious.

yeah I agree with that, besides HK is not known in those kind of stuff

Timf, wow you summed it up nicely.

I hope there will be changes in the next 10 years.

I don’t think it can easily change la…

I work as designer in HK more then 10 yrs… it almost same as 10 yrs b4…


Don’t let the population size fool you. Everyone in Design knows everyone here.

From my point of view, I see them as a beautiful waste of valuable resources. Actually, I wouldn’t even classify them as being beautiful.

Being someone who was born from that place but grew up in the west, it’s quite disappointing to see how uninspiring their design is.

I wish they can take a more holistic and ambitious approach to design instead of making baby steps of innovation.