Founded in 2006 as a non-profit and registered charity by a group of individuals from Hong Kong’s design community, Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design (HKAoD) was incorporated in 2007 with the aim to stimulate exchange between the local and international design community and the public, through a series of imaginative and unconventional initiatives, channeling creative energies from both the street and the studio.
Through working with the Hong Kong Design Centre, HKAoD presented diversified and educational initiatives to promote design and culture.
HKAoD spearheaded the first ever design festival in Hong Kong called DETOUR. Alongside the Business of Design Week annually, the festival brought together designers from various international cities and local Hong Kong designers to share and showcase work in an exhibition and festival format. DETOUR began as a guidebook listing in 2008, bringing together artists studios, galleries with the design community. DETOUR subsequently grew and became the first cultural event to take place in the former Police Married Quarters in 2009 and 2011 (before its renovation into the new cultural site that is now called PMQ). In 2010 DETOUR was given access to the Central Police Station Victoria Prison site for a large scale design festival, a site where a new museum and gallery is being constructed to be opened in 2017. In 2011 DETOUR was sited at the former Wan Chai police station, and the Detour’s last event organised by HKAoD was sited on 4 moving Trams. PMQ has now officially taken over the DETOUR festival and the branded event is under a different management and curatorial team. HKAoD is proud to have generated and built up an exciting design festival bringing together the design community and general public to witness design projects and enjoy free exhibitions and public programmes. HKAoD also hosted the first Pecha Kucha event series in Hong Kong from 2008 to 2011, launched the Designer Exchange programme, bringing groups of selected HK designers to showcase and collaborate with the partner city of Business of Design Week. Past exchanges with the partner cities included Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Copenhagen and Brussels, these designers have moved on to building further their careers and supporting the local design ecology.