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Nurturing young designers with Design for Asia award

MORE and more Chinese people have come to realize the importance of design as part of a better quality of life.

But it's difficult for local designers, especially those who are young and independent, to become internationally recognized.

The Hong Kong Design Center (HKDC) is now offering an opportunity. It recently held a presentation at Shanghai's Bridge 8 on Fuxing Road, a creative hub in the city center, to promote the Design for Asia (DFA) award, now in its seventh year.

The annual prize discovers and rewards talented designers around Asia. More than 130 Shanghai-based independent designers and design firms attended the presentation.

Organizers hope more Chinese mainland designers will take part.

"About 35 percent of the Asian population lives in China," says Freeman Lau, vice chairman of the board of directors of HKDC. "With the rapid development of the country, Chinese designers are playing a more and more important role in the world design industry.

"We hope to see more creative works from Chinese mainland designers at DFA this year," he says.

"It is a very significant event," says Zhou Yi, founder of Shanghai Compass Design, and one of the judges of last year's DFA award. "Chinese designers should grab the opportunity to help take the 'designed-in-China' concept to the next level."

Founded in 2003, the DFA award covers 18 individual categories including apparel/accessories design, communication design, product/industrial design and environment design. It is open to any design that has been commercially launched in one or more Asian markets between January 1, 2007, and July 15, 2009.

The awards ceremony will be held in Hong Kong in December. A total of 67 awards will be presented, including 54 DFA gold, silver and bronze awards in all the categories, 10 grand awards, and three special awards in culture, sustainability and technology.

For more information or to submit works, check The deadline is July 15.


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