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Looking back at deTour 2016

This year’s art and design event presented game-changing ideas in order to encourage discussion, promote exchange and feed innovation. We review some of the programmes on offer at the event, which was open to the public.

Looking back at deTour 2016


December 14th, 2016

This year’s deTour ran from 25 November to 4 December 2016, and it was once again an opportunity for people to come together to experience art and design in a relaxed, informal and accessible environment.

deTour is an annual event organised by PMQ, with support from Hong Kong Design Centre as co-organiser, and Create Hong Kong as major sponsor. Everyone from friends, lovers and colleagues to families with children flocked to PMQ on Aberdeen Street in Central for the event’s exhibitions, pop-ups, workshops and dialogues, which aimed to “erase the boundaries between art, design, technology and society,” while inspiring creativity and innovation along the way.

The 2016 theme was Game Changer – a fitting one, given deTour’s mission to promote innovation. Many of deTour’s programmes saw emerging Hong Kong talent rethink traditional ideas in new ways. For example, Trilingua’s Ping Bing Pong turned the conventional ping pong table on its head: the design studio created a round table that allows for more players, while enabling them to play in any direction they choose. Ping Bing Pong Championship Games also ran over the course of deTour, with plenty of prizes on offer, including PUMA Tronomic sneakers for each member of the winning team.

Interactivity was the name of the game at this year’s deTour. On offer was everything from craft-based workshops on Batik, ceramics and cooking traditional hot sweet soup to one by Lai Farm, which taught those who attended how to make Kokedama, a form of Japanese bonsai tree, thus bringing easy-to-maintain greenery into people’s homes while serving as a form of relaxation.

Design dialogues at the event looked at topics such as art therapy and the benefits of open-ended play for kids, creative solutions for minimising food waste and the effects of the maker movement on design and beyond.

Meanwhile, exhibitions at this year’s deTour showcased the best of Swiss design, the evolution of the video game console, Law Yat-Ming’s URI LED lighting collection, and much more.

Installations at the event included one by AaaM (Architecture as a Medium) that used pages from books to create a spatial realm in commentary on architecture’s role as ‘silent literature’, and as a daily aid in the way we live and interact. Ryo Otsuka’s Puddle was also on display at PMQ: a mirrored metal sculpture that changed reflections to offer a new perspective, thanks to its rippling surface.

These events represent just a handful of what was on offer at deTour 2016, and they provide a glimpse of the range of thought-provoking ideas on display here. Behind this year’s theme was the idea that “Innovation makes life better, while creativity determines our future”. It will be interesting to see how the ideas and know-how explored at deTour influence visitors and participants alike in 2017.

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