Speeches and Presentations

Speech by SCED at DETOUR 2011 opening ceremony

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the opening ceremony of DETOUR 2011 today (November 25):

Alan (Lo) [Chairman of the Ambassadors of Design], Mr (Lutz) Diezold [General Manager, German Design Council], distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I am most delighted to be here this evening for the opening ceremony of DETOUR 2011.

DETOUR was first introduced in 2006 as an outreach programme of the Business of Design Week. Over the years, it has grown into a highly-anticipated annual event which celebrates the creative ventures of our city.

DETOUR always manages to excite and inspire the community. Thanks to the imagination and creativity of the Ambassadors of Design, DETOUR has created a unique platform for designers, artists and the general public to interact and experience our creative culture in a dynamic and inspiring manner. The results of the event speak for itself. Last year, DETOUR attracted a record-breaking number of visitors - over 45 000 people from all walks of life.

DETOUR this year is no exception. It's going to be fun and inspiring. A series of exciting programmes under the theme "Use-less" awaits. They include installations showcasing eco-art concepts, exhibitions of local design students' projects and the work of young designers under an exchange programme with Germany, digital visual art and music shows, workshops providing hands-on eco-experience, and a design mart featuring creative and eco-products by our young people. Apart from the programmes at the core site of the Former Police Married Quarters, there will also be satellite programmes such as art and craft workshops and demonstrations, sharing sessions, solo exhibitions, studio open days, etc. all over Hong Kong.

It is our vision to build Hong Kong into a regional creative capital. We are pleased to provide the necessary resources and support to help non-governmental bodies in developing creative events, especially those with public participation. DETOUR is a good example of successful public-private partnerships of its kind. We believe that in fostering a creative atmosphere within the community, together with measures to nurture talent, we will be able to upgrade the fabric of our people in support of our creative economy.

Today's ceremony is particularly worth remembering. It not only marks the closing of a chapter of the history of the Hollywood Road Police Married Quarters, but also heralds in a new era for the site. DETOUR will be the last major event to be held in this historical site before works commence in January next year to turn the quarters into a brand-new creative industries landmark. In two years' time, the building will serve Hong Kong and the local community in a revitalised form under the brand "PMQ". PMQ will house some 130 design studios and provide an all-round platform for designers to carry out their creative works, display and sell their products, and organise creative events. I am sure you will not miss the chance today to tour around this historic site and bid farewell to this former police quarters before its transformation.

I would like to thank the Ambassadors of Design for their dedication and contribution in leading the community to appreciate design, and the parties involved in making this event possible. I am confident that DETOUR 2011 will be another success, and all participants will have a memorable and inspiring experience. Thank you.

Friday, November 25, 2011