9-11 January 2017     |     Department of Design   |    IIT Guwahati   |     Guwahati, India
ICONNN Keynote Speaker




Prof. Cees de Bont

Dean of School & Swire Chair Professor of Design
School of Design
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Cees de Bont is the Dean of the School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Swire Chair Professor of Design. Prior to his appointment at PolyU, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. In the PolyU School of Design, he introduced the master program: International Design and Business Management and the executive master program: Innovation Leadership. His research interests include: design education, consumer behavior, innovation adoption, design methods and networked innovation. He published papers in the ‘Journal of Product Innovation Management, Design Studies’, ‘Journal of Retailing’, ‘Journal of Economic Psychology’, ‘International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries’ and ‘Journal of Design, Business & Society’. Professor de Bont founded the Creative Industry Scientific Program on product-service systems (CRISP) and chaired the Dutch Innovation Centre for Electric Road Transport (D-incert). He is the Chairman of the Management Committee of the Design Institute for Social Innovation (DISI) at PolyU and a member of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Design Center and of PMQ, a creative design hub for design talents.

Title of Keynote Address 1:

“Igniting social innovation, a design perspective from Hong Kong”


Social issues to be addressed by designers arise from aging societies and poverty, to mention two important sources. Many design projects have been conducted nowadays in developing nations to relief problems of hygiene and health care. In the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, there is a special focus on the living environments of elderly people. This is not just a design problem, it also covers medical disciplines and social work. In Hong Kong, the elderly care centers and hospitals have been designed primarily to serve the needs of the caregivers. Much less has been done to incorporate the needs and wishes of the patients. Since social innovation requires the involvement of many different stakeholders and disciplines, a model has been developed, the so-called “Ignite Innovation Model”, to work towards design outcomes that generate value for all stakeholders and that have the potential to be implemented. The Ignite Innovation Model has been tested in the development of fire-safe hawker stalls. Unsafe hawker stall caused some big fires and many people lost their lives. These new hawker stalls have been co-designed with the hawkers, using the expertise of fire engineering, design and social work. The outcome is that the income of the hawkers is secured, they have more ergonomic and practical stalls and that the vibrancy of the Hong Kong neighborhoods is kept.

Conference Chair
Debkumar Chakrabarti
DoD, IIT Guwahati
Programme Chair
Amaresh Chakrabarti
CPDM, IISc Bangalore

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