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Best of a Bad Situation

Hong Kong correspondent, Ben McCarthy, explores how small businesses are reaping the rewards of a dwindling economy.



BY jesse

March 27th, 2009


Ben McCarthy is indesignlive’s Hong Kong correspondent and brings us the latest design news from the region.


“Mould costs are cheaper than they were a year ago,” explains Danny Fang, in regard to the economic down turn.

Danny started his industrial design consultancy Fang Studio, in Hong Kong two years ago and is working with Chinese production at an interesting and unique time.

Some 67,000 factories have, or will, close in the first half of 2009 according to China’s government statistics. But Hong Kong’s small design scene isn’t exactly wallowing in the difficulties posed by the new economic normal, after all, China’s export is still growing, albeit, at a far slower rate than last year.

“I am setting up a new brand for gas injected polycarbonate chairs with a Chinese partner,” explains Fang, “it’s a prime moment to invest in a new brand, which will hit the market as the economy picks up”.

The financial strain seems to be forcing surviving manufactures to look for new ways of staying competitive, and as some factories close, it may give design companies like Fang’s a chance to work with new suppliers who are eager to try new things.

Hong Kong based studio Office For Product Design is developing many new projects despite the statistics, “our clients are actively developing new ideas” explained director Nicol Boyd, referring me to their new ‘Ding’ cookware, whose forms are inspired by “Chinese object culture and traditional artefacts “.

“A lot of manufacturers are starting to realise there are major opportunities in setting up their own brands, and I think that is one area where we will definitely continue working.”

fangstudio.com
officeforproductdesign.com

 

 

Fang Studio Designs

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Office For Product Design

 

 

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hong kong fang 6

 

 

hong kong fang 8

 

 

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hong kong fang 10


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