Winning ideas, innovative designs

BANGKOK’S CO-LIVING space Open House at Central Embassy and Thailand Creative and Design Centre were among the winners in the Asia Awards category of the DFA Awards organised by Hong Kong Design Centre. 

 Open House at Central Embassy was among the winners in the Asia Awards category.

The Open House won the grand award in the Asia Awards category. Designed by Japanese company Klein Dytham Architecture, the 7,000 square-metre space boasts a bookstore, bars, lounges, restaurants, a children’s zone, co-working spaces, pop-ups stores, and an art tower. It is an integrated lifestyle space that caters to various needs. 

Instead of the box-like retail spaces, Open House’s businesses coalesce around the bookstore. Visitors are free to browse, or sit down to enjoy a good read, or perhaps to enjoy a coffee or a meal when they feel they need to refuel.

Thailand Creative and Design Centre at the new location at the Grand Postal Building also won in the Asia Awards category.

Also recognised in the same category was the Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) at its new location at the Grand Postal Building on Charoen Krung Road. The repurposed building boasts more than 9,000 square metres across five floors. It has a library, exhibition area, materials and innovation centre, maker space and co-working space. The building’s rooftop has been transformed into a garden, giving users a much-needed space to relax and get their creative juices flowing again.

Agri-Chapel in Nagasaki of Japan is outstanding for its intricate space frame truss work.

Agri-Chapel in Nagasaki of Japan, designed by Momoeda Yu Architecture Office was honoured for its outstanding design. As visitors enter the Agri-Chapel, their eyes are riveted by its intricate space frame truss work. The work evokes the pointed arches and rib vaults of the Oura Catholic Church, Nagasaki’s Roman Catholic Basilica, which is believed to be Japan’s oldest.

There are three layers of pillars. The bottom layer consists of four pillars, each of which branches out to form eight diagonal frames. Made mainly out of lumber, the frames are reinforced with steel rods. Immense glass walls on all four sides of the chapel bring natural light in, and the natural landscape is clearly visible throughout the open floor plan. 

The smart bike-sharing Mobike from China offers specially designed bikes equipped with GPS and proprietary smartlock technology.

Another winning project is the smart bike-sharing app, Mobike from China. Using specially designed bikes equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, Mobike enables users of its smartphone app to find a bike near them, reserve and unlock it. In the first year of operation, more than five million smart bicycles provided 20 million rides every day in some 150 cities. Mobike users have collectively reduced CO2 emissions by as much as 610,000 tonnes.

The Edible Business Card is made out of a sheet of seaweed to promote Japan’s Saga Prefecture on Kyushu Island. 

Winning in the same category was the “Edible Business Card” project designed by Geometry Global Japan for the Saga Prefecture on Kyushu Island.

In order to reinforce the image of Saga as the national leader of seaweed, making a business card out of a sheet of seaweed was finalised as the ultimate and unique marketing tool. For this daring and unprecedented attempt, the city enlisted the help of engineers who spent two months trying out laser cutting technology on seaweed. Both thinning and cutting were thoroughly explore to create artwork, characters, numbers, and letters of the alphabet for the card’s contents.

The design of Vibram Furoshiki the Wrapping Sole is inspired by the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth for bento boxes.

Another award went to Vibram Furoshiki the Wrapping Sole of Vibram SPA. Drawing inspiration from the eponymous traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport carefully prepared bento boxes, this revolutionary new footwear literally wraps around your feet, enabling the most anatomically tailored fit and support possible.

The design focus was placed on unifying shoes sizes. And with the Italian-designed Eurojersey elastic fabric strips extending out from the dynamically structured Vibram XS City compound, soles are instrumental to ensuring comfort and support.

The DFA Awards also recognised an individual who has made life-long contributions to the design profession, with visionary shaping designs across a variety of fields. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Japanese fashion designer giant Yohji Yamamoto.

Working in the fashion industry for 45 years, Yamamoto is renowned for his avant-garde style and his unique designs have graced international runways since his debut in Tokyo in 1977. He presented his first collection in Paris in 1981. In 2002, he was appointed as the creative director for Y-3. Yamamoto’s dedication to the fashion industry has been recognised the world over, and he has been awarded with Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, the highest honour in arts and culture in France.

The Design Leadership Award 2017 went to the influential hospitality leader Adrian Zecha while the communication design influencer Alan Chan was honoured with the World’s Outstanding Chinese Designer.

Another 17 awards were given to young Hong Kong talents.

The awards will be presented in ceremonies slated for December 6 and 8 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For details about the winners of the DFA Awards, go to


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