The Centre’s ninth international Include Conference, and the second in Asia, took place in Hong Kong, 12-16 June 2017, during Knowledge of Design Week.
The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design partnered with long-term collaborators, the Hong Kong Design Centre and the conference received major support from CreateHK.
Include 2017 brought together the international design community to discuss and debate tough issues that face today’s global society, and provided a discourse on how these challenges could be tackled through people-centred design methodologies and the harnessing of new and emerging technologies.
The conference, attended by over 700 delegates from around the world, was spread across three keynote sessions, six designer-led workshops, a Leadership CEO Forum, and Roundtable discussion. The key themes that ran throughout the conference were Living, Connecting, and Moving.
Living: The opening session, included a keynote from Astrid Nøklebye Heiberg, the 81 year-old Senior Political Advisor for the Conservative Party, Norway and focused on the universal challenges of ageing and health. Concepts of ‘ageing differently’ and ‘living well’ were explored and probed. The speakers addressed the rising phenomena of how older people’s expectations, lifestyles, and aspirations were not being met by many businesses and service providers, and how healthcare provision for the ageing population often failed to deliver to an increasingly savvy, and health-conscious consumer.
Connecting: Practitioners and advocates from the emerging and impactful fields of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality navigated the audience through the startling potential of this terrain, and speculated how the new and revolutionary ‘social-digital’ realm may go on to influence people’s everyday lives and the environments they live and work in. The utilisation and power of design was highlighted as an invaluable ‘bridge’ between the tech entrepreneurs and how their virtual innovations can be transferred to improving ‘real life’.
Moving: This multifaceted and investigative forum explored modern and near-future transport provision – which is increasingly at the heart of urban life. The steady advance in technology, connectivity, and the perceived encroachment of autonomous vehicles, have transformed perceptions of society towards mobility solutions, often reflecting people’s desires, aspirations and fears.