The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) organised, in collaboration with The Mills Fabrica,the Grand Finals of “Techstyle for Social Good International Competition 2019” in late June to promote a new design approach – techstyle (i.e. intersection of technology and style) – in Hong Kong. One of the winners was a graduating student of PolyU whose design targets to help enhance the quality of life of amputees.
Sponsored by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the HKSAR Government, the Competition held its Grand Finals on 28 June 2019 at The Mills Fabrica. With a target to creating awareness and sparking ideas for better techstyle designs, the Competition attracted entries from students of leading institutions around the world including Central Saint Martins of the University of the Arts London, the Royal College of Arts, the Parsons School of Design, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University and PolyU, etc.
Among the 12 finalists, Miss Wendy LAW, a graduating student from the School of Design of PolyU, won the Hong Kong Best Design Award in the Competition with her project titled “Aesthesis – The partial hand accessories for amputees”. This finger amputee prosthetic is a 3D-printed decorative device made of both soft and hard materials. Compared with the existing products, it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also lighter in weight and more breathable. It can help cover up the lost part while extending the residual finger to provide more finger functions, such as holding a mobile phone, to enhance users’ quality of lives.
Together with the other four winners, Miss Law would share prizes valued at over HK $680,000 in cash and kind sponsored by The Mills Fabrica. The other winners were:
- Techstyle Grand Prize – Cair Collective by Amy Yu Chen and Claudia Poh (USA)
- Sustainability Grand Prize – Heritage Craft Innovation by Christine Lew and Florian Wegenast (UK)
- Techstyle Special Prize – The Hands Free Mouse by Hunmin Koh (USA)
- Sustainability Special Prize – SEAM UNSEAM by Naila Al-Thani (UK)
(Please refer to the Appendix for detailed information about the winning projects.)
Prof. FAN Jin-tu, Head and Chair Professor of Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC), PolyU, said, “I am proud that ITC organised such a meaningful event to nurture young designers locally and internationally by offering them a platform to exchange ideas through the Techstyle for Social Good International Competition. They and their future designs will certainly bring about positive impacts to the global community.”
The design journey has just begun for the award winners as they will have extensive post-competition support in terms of mentorships, residencies, as well as free work spaces and lab memberships at The Mills Fabrica. A series of networking opportunities will also be offered to the winners to exchange ideas with industry experts.
“All innovations take time, and no journey of innovation is ever singular. We hope this competition marks the start of a sustainable and collaborative journey of innovation for young talents.” said Vanessa Cheung, Founder of The Mills and Managing Director of Nan Fung Group.
The judging panel, formed by ten distinguished industry experts and world-renowned design academics, was impressed by the participants’ creative ideas and their sensitivity to social issues. The judges encouraged the finalists to continue exploring innovative techstyle designs for creating social impacts.
Shortlisted design entries of the International Competition are being showcased at The Mills till 26 August 2019, along with other design exhibits from leading academics and cutting-edge designers, who are also the panel of speakers of the “Designing Future Techstyle” International Symposium. The exhibition will be staged at PolyU’s Fashion Gallery from 27 August 2019 to 22 September 2019. The public is welcome to visit the exhibition for free. Details of the exhibition are available online: