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Content

World Famous Metropolis


World Famous Metropolis



DESIGN CITIES: BANGKOK

The blue sky and tropical beaches of Thailand offer a haven from the daily hustle and bustle. This leisurely and serene approach to life finds its way into Thai design. Only those who know how to appreciate life can design things that help the user enjoy life. Bangkok designers embrace nature in the way they live, and from there they find their creative ideas. A thriving tourist industry not only creates demand for high quality design for interior and furniture, it also opens a window to the West for designers to absorb their influence. While teeming with young design talents, the city also has a rich traditional culture. Applying superb craftsmanship of their grandfathers' and the readily available natural resources to contemporary design creates a chemistry that launches the young design brand of Bangkok. Its designers' pioneering use of material, organic and synthetic, has inspired the Material Connexion to establish its first Asian Material Library in Bangkok. This heralded its rise in the world of design.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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DESIGN CITIES: BARCELONA

Barcelonans live practically outdoors, which is normal for a south European city. Theirs is a lively, free and easy life style. The outdoor space in the city is like a common sitting room for all to enjoy. There are chairs on the street that are just as comfortable as those at home; and there are easily accessible parks and squares that are all connected. Who would want to go home when you can engage in so many social activities there? In designing these breathing spaces in the city in the 80s, the aim was to make it open to all. In recent years the government has created the new district, 22@, specifically for developing creative industries. Internationally renowned architects were brought in to design buildings to serve as landmarks to lend prestige to the area and the city. This brought in a different scene to the original one, which emphasizes an organic and harmonious approach to designing urban space.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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DESIGN CITIES: BERLIN

East and West Berlin was one city under two systems. With the unification of Germany in 1990, Berlin became its capital. The sense of history is still palpable in the city and its design mirrors its political change. The transparent dome of the Reichstag building, the clusters of consulates vying with each other for architectural magnificence, and the recently built museums and monuments proclaim to the world that Berlin is a new and open city. Its citizens enjoy a freedom that is not only political but spiritual. They also enjoy low rent and low cost of living. This particularly benefits the artists and designers who need space that is cheap and sizable in which to work. As an ideal creative base, it attracts talents from all over Europe. Berlin, after all, is the first city to be designated a City of Design by UNESCO's Creative Cities Network.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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DESIGN CITIES: COPENHAGEN

Whatever your budget, it is likely that you will have a piece of Scandinavian furniture at home. Living in a country with long nights and short days, Danes spend most of their time indoors. Naturally home furnishings and design means a great deal to them. So it is not surprising that they also export quality and functional furniture. But when the weather turns fine and warm, they go cycling, walk their dogs, and make use of the well designed public facilities available outdoors such as seaside parks, waterfront swimming baths, or the transport system dedicated to encouraging traveling on bicycles. With citizens demanding high quality living, city planners working with the interest of the people in mind, no wonder the city's annual "Index: Award" which offers the highest cash award to design worldwide uses "Design to Improve Life" as the yardstick for measuring and commending design ideas that are best able to achieve this goal. In Copenhagen, the people, the designers and the government work together to create a city that is widely recognized as the most livable city in the world.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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DESIGN CITIES: KYOTO

Old architecture or traditional crafts are not necessarily sticks in the mud. Kyoto designers who kept abreast of the times while staying close to their tradition are true heirs to its history and cultural heritage. They are convinced that traditional design and craftsmanship is valuable not only for its deep cultural root, but also for its enduring quality. Meticulously crafted Japanese lacquer artifacts and furniture have withstood the test of time; while the art of painting on kimono is artfully applied to the modern day jeans. The result is a seamless weaving together of two cultures. Trained in the architectural discipline of the west, a Kyoto's architect apprenticed under a traditional builder to look for inspiration from ancient Japanese construction techniques. Examples of such dialogues between the ancient and the modern can be seen everywhere in the city. It's determination to stay true to its cultural heritage while refining and developing its traditional skills has given the city's design the edge of being unique, allowing it to successfully eschewed the homogenizing effect of globalization.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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DESIGN CITIES: LONDON

These days what is on everyone's lip in London apart from the 2012 Olympiad? "Zero Carbon Living". Britain is the first country in the world to introduce a bill to control carbon emission. In London, property that advertises "zero carbon living" is already on the market. Who are the residents in these green design houses? Are they ascetic monks or are they 21st Century trendsetters? There are green designers so committed to the cause that they leave their practice to conduct green tours to introduce tourists to special stores that promote sustainability. Others design innovative table and web games, rallying everyone in the community to pool ground-breaking design ideas; to rethink the pattern of consumerism; and to promote common sense. Green creativity is fueling the momentum of design in London, calling every citizen to arms.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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DESIGN CITIES: SAO PAULO

Brazil - the country to host the 2016 Olympiad - a fast emerging economic force in the 21st Century. Sao Paulo is the richest and the most populated city in Brazil. In recent years it has played a significant role in design in South America. Its fashion, furniture, and architecture have brought to the international design arena the bold and passionate spirit of Latin America. However, behind the glamour and glitter there are the slums and the refuse mountains, and those who are eking out a living in them. Designers with a mission have come away from the glitz of the design industry to work with the underprivileged. They find ways for the community to recycle refuse into handicrafts, or introduce quality architectural design into slums to provide the poor with better homes. The role played by design has a special social significance in a city where the quality of living and the sense of esthetics are polarized.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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DESIGN CITIES: SHENZHEN

How young is Shenzhen? The average age of the workers in the creative industries is in the twenties. The government has been promoting "Building the City on Culture" for five years. It has been designated a City of Design by UNESCO for one year. What does youth have? Spontaneity and audacity, two qualities its young designers have plenty of. As an immigrant city, like Hong Kong in the early days, Shenzhen has attracted many creative young talents to take up roots there because they can see a future. The future is going international, making a name for oneself, becoming someone like Ou Ning, Hei Yi Yang, Bi Xue Feng, and many other top graphic designers in China. Urbanus, a Chinese architect firm, will be joined by Rem Koolhaas's OMA, a top international architect firm, in developing "Shenzhen Creative Center". Big projects and small ideas abound in this young vibrant city that is rearing to go.

DVD (Cantonese, With English Subtitles) / 2010 / () / 30 minutes

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