This year's Expo was presented with a partner country, Germany. German design is acclaimed for its functionality and efficiency. Under the theme "Brand New Germany", two pavilions showcased inspiring designs and distinctive brands from Germany and Poland.
Also on display were creative works by young new designers. An exhibition that caught my eye was Unpolished by young Polish designers. Its exhibits ranged from ordinary commodities like coat hangers and containers to handbags and stools. The designers used the simplest and cheapest materials, such as wood, felt and recycled items.
They created some objects by using old-fashioned handicraft and artisanship techniques which do not involve advanced technology. Such a non-commercial, conceptual and semi-artistic attitude to design allows artists to "play with design". Their work invited us to think deeper about what design is and what purpose it should serve.
Jay Lee Seung-jae
The expo was packed with amazing design ideas and insightful pieces of work. My visit really changed my views about the design industry. It also helped spark my own creativity.
I saw chairs and tables fitted with jaw-dropping gadgets that allowed them to become more technologically advanced tools. I realised that even simple ideas can make for amazing pieces of art.
At the workshop, I made a candleholder from various materials that were free and easily available. Professional designers gave us useful feedback on how to improve our designs.
One important lesson I learned was that design is everywhere. It can apply to anything - from junk to super-expensive diamonds.
Phoebe Ma Ka-yan
The Hong Kong Design Institute's workshops with the theme "Design for Better Living" served to inspire participants. We had to showcase our creativity by designing and making our own candleholder from scratch in 40 minutes. The instructors from HKDI gave us some brief instructions and then we began. There was no shortage of materials: a variety of cloth with different patterns, rubber bands and steel wires were all at hand.
A candle without a holder seems naked, so my goal was to make it more lively. Making use of the provided materials, I got the idea of fire. I used red cloth to symbolise a blaze with the candle's flickering flame shining from inside it.
While I was designing my candleholder, I remembered an advertisement that says "Creativity beyond imagination". I learned that a simple item like a candleholder can be designed in many different ways if we use our imagination and let our creativity flow.
Dorothy Tsang Sze-man
When I first saw the sample candleholders, I immediately thought of a birthday cake. So I chose that as my design.
To start with, I cut pieces of red cloth and stuck them to the candle. Then I used bits of wire to surround the holder and the fire. Finally, I used some strips of pink cloth to represent sparks.
The workshop was very interesting and instructive. If I had not joined it, I would never have known that there are so many simple things in daily life that I can use to design and create a new candleholder.