Definitions for and the distinction between design and art were established in the 18th century. Since then, design has been understood as a tool for solving problems—something pragmatic and useful. But how useful? What is the main function of design? Is it merely a tool? Does it make sense to say design is “too useful”?
In this dialogue, graphic designer and book-lover Renatus Wu Cheuk Pan and designer-turn-philosopher Li Hong Ting discuss what design really is when closely scrutinised through the perspectives of books, philosophy and design itself. The salon will be moderated by Adonian Chan and Chris Tsui, respectively co-curator of deTour 2021 and co-founder of Trilingua Design. Join them in their attempt to redefine design and its use(fu)less.
1. Adonian Chan, Co-curator of deTour 2021, Director and Co-founder of Trilingua Design
2. Chris Tsui, Co-curator of deTour 2021, Director and Co-founder of Trilingua Design
1. Renatus Wu Cheuk Pan, Book Designer, Founder of Edited
2. Li Hong Ting, Co-founder of the philosophy-popularising group Corrupt The Youth
Trilingua Design is a multidisciplinary design studio, established by Adonian Chan and Chris Tsui, in 2010. Its design services include branding, visual identity, website design, publication design, exhibition design, and spatial design.
The “Hong Kong Beiwei Zansyu” typeface design is its ongoing, self-initiated project to document and research Hong Kong’s visual culture, that has been conceptualized in the form of various art installations and commercial design projects.
To Trilingua Design, graphic designers are “visual culture participators”. They hope that through active research and conversations on Hong Kong’s aesthetics, we can build the foundation for Hong Kong’s design and our city’s identity, which is often neglected in this time of information overload.
A co-founder of the philosophy-popularising group Corrupt The Youth, Li Hong Ting studied Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Philosophy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was also host of television talk shows 哲學有偈傾 and 8花齊放.
Renatus Wu Cheuk Pan is a designer, publisher, editor and book creator. Wu has received Hong Kong Best Award by Hong Kong Designers Association Global Design Awards, Design for Asia Awards, and Tokyo TDC Annual Awards. He is the founder of Hong Kong-based design studio Edited, the independent publishing company Mosses, and an independent bookshop, Book B, with an aim to providing a platform for independent publishers and creatives to showcase and exchange.