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DETOUR 2013 – Curating the City

After five years of unveiling historical buildings to the public, this year’s DETOUR takes on the city.

DETOUR 2013 – Curating the City


November 14th, 2013

It’s been held in an old prison and a police station, but this year’s DETOUR has bigger ambitions. From 29 November to 8 December, DETOUR 2013 finds its new identity as a city-wide campaign and will include exhibitions at five locations, programmes on four trams, a series of workshops, a pop-up that showcases design products, a design marathon, performances, a fashion show and more. It will also feature over 100 local and international designers as well as alliance and satellite events.


DETOUR Black Box – Submerged in darkness as the tram goes through Hong Kong Island, passengers will experience the city from a whole new perspective.

Themed “DETOUR MATTERS – From Microtopias to Social Innovation”, the event provides the occasion to frame and occupy “small places in the city where something quite unique and unexpected might occur”, according to the curators.


Four of the DETOUR curators – (from left) Linny Sze (designer), Gilles Vanderstocken (designer & architect), Charlotte Lafont-Hugo (designer & architect), and Alvin Yip (Director of Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation, Hong Kong Polytechnic University).

“DETOUR showcases Hong Kong as a regional creative hub. Featuring inspiring designs from Hong Kong’s young and emerging creative talents, it proves itself as a key annual design event for the city. This year, we hold it in an unprecedented format, using trams to connect all the sites and unite local and overseas designers as a whole. The public can also experience the design power of Hong Kong through the extensive 10-day programme,” said Alan Lo, Chairman of Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design and organiser of DETOUR 2013.


DETOUR Eatery – Based around the idea of offering passengers a unique dining experience.

DETOUR 2013 will be held at five different sites on Hong Kong Island, including PMQ (Plateau 4, the former Police Married Quarters) and The Central Oasis in Central, The Hennessy in Wan Chai, Oi! in North Point, and Shau Kei Wan Tram Terminus. Each site possesses its own characteristics and together they recall ‘The City of Hong Kong’. The architectural settings to be implemented at the sites are homogenous and give off a neutral feeling with white strips and white urban plinths. At each site, the plinths are organised in a different way, adapting its unique surroundings while addressing a specific issue of Hong Kong.


White strips and white urban plinths form the architectural setting at the 5 DETOUR sites.

DETOUR 2013 will also hold a series of workshops at various locations (including the four trams). DETOUR Marathon, an eight-hour non-stop seminar/talk by local and overseas designers on different urban perspectives of Hong Kong, will take place at The Hennessy. There will also be a fashion show that presents Hong Kong and Belgian fashion heritages and trends through a collection of dresses by young designers, not to mention alliance and satellite events to be held concurrently with DETOUR 2013 in December.


DETOUR Music Box – Designed to provide music and listening experiences to connect people in a fun way.

Top image: DETOUR Classroom – Passengers get to enjoy the view of Hong Kong Island while reading design and architectural books on a moving library.

For more information, visit

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