Design and Society @ HKDI:
Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of RSA Student Design Awards with Social Architecture installation
17-30 Jan 2014
@ HKDI Design Boulevard
23 Jan 2014 (Thu) Opening night
- 6pm Lecture by Cesar Harada (RCA MA) senior TED fellow with introduction by Sevra Davis, Associate Director of Design, RSA
- 7pm – 9pm Drinks and music
The new HKDI DESIS Lab is proud to present an exhibition/installation as the celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the RSA Student Design Awards.
The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is an enlightenment organisation based in the UK committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. It has been a source of ideas, innovation and civic enterprise since it was established over 250 years ago.
The RSA Student Design Awards scheme, run by the RSA, is the longest-running student design awards scheme in the world. Since 1924, the RSA Student Design Awards has challenged students and recent graduates to think differently about design, through tackling briefs focused on real-world problems. It aims to bridge the gap between industry and education by offering realistic, industry-led project briefs and awarding prizes aimed at developing the experience of individual students and enhancing their career prospects.
HKDI DESIS Lab invited the RSA Design Team to visit the HKDI and conduct workshops with students to nurture design ideas for society. The Opening night will be a chance for special guests to meet HKDI students and staff members as a reunion of RSA Fellows and the RSA Design Team. Guests are also invited to experience the results of the Social Architecture @ HKDI, a special commission as part of the celebration and curated by Cesar Harada, a French-Japanese inventor/graduate of the Royal College of Art in London who recently relocated in Hong Kong.
 As part of the DESIS International Network (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability, the HKDI DESIS Lab for Social Design Research established in July 2013 at the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI). Its aim is to generate knowledge through a series of ‘Design Possible Studies’. Each study will involve both Local Actions (Site-specific experimental projects in Hong Kong working with local actors to reframe micro problems through design) and Global Thinking (Collaborations with international partners to co-create macro solutions for global issues). For the first year of its development, three design possible studies were initiated: Home (家), Ageing (老) and Dying (死).
 Two sections of “Social Architecture” design experiment took place on the 12th & 19th January, 2014, led by French-Japanese inventor Cesar Harada, creator-in-residence of HKDI. The temporary structure built throughout the two sessions, by participants recruited via social network.
What is Social Architecture?
Today’s architecture constraints social life and perpetuates status quo. On the other hand, social networks expand our social lives and nourish global consciousness. Can social networks generate a better architecture? How do we challenge status quo, expand our social lives and embody global consciousness ?
Cesar Harada is a French-Japanese Inventor, Environmentalist and Entrepreneur. Currently developing the Protei – a revolutionary shape shifting sailing robot. Graduate from the Royal College of Art London, Design Interactions Department, Cesar has worked as Project Leader in MIT Boston USA as well as construction manager of the *IHub_ in Nairobi Kenya. Cesar led the Open-H2O (former Open-Sailing) to win the ARS Electronica Golden Nica [NEXT IDEA] (Austria) and the VIDA awards Fundacion Telefonica (Spain), and used to teach Masters of “Design and Environment” at Goldsmiths University.” with a strong focus on ocean communities & technologies. Since May 2013 Cesar is based in Hong Kong, China SAR.