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Building Hong Kong’s Creative Community

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Published date 26 May 2015

Hong Kong has always been known as an international centre for financial and business sectors. However, currently it is also witnessing a boom in its creative industry. Once abandoned factories and industrial buildings are now turning into offices, studios and galleries for artists and designers. Plus with many international companies hunting for locally based designers, more and more emerging creatives are being drawn to the bright lights and noise of this extraordinary city.

University of the Arts London has always had a strong relationship with Hong Kong. Currently the city is home to over 2000 alumni – a number which increases year by year with graduates returning home or choosing to locate there. To help support and strengthen this local alumni community, UAL’s Alumni Relations team recently visited the city to host two very special events.

Panel Discussion at Hatton Studios Hong Kong

Design graduates were invited to Hatton Studios to listen and take part in an evening of discussion focusing on the future of the design industry in Hong Kong. Over 60 guests joined Central Saint Martins’ Dean of Academic Programmes, Anne Smith, as she quizzed a panel of industry experts (all UAL alumni) on changes in the local industry, how Hong Kong could support emerging designers and how it can continue to build a creative industry.

Panellists Sarah Williamson (Creative Director at Jack Morton), Sarah Fung (Head of Creative Collaboration at Lane Crawford Joyce Group), Keith Wong (Chairman at APPortfolio), Nathalie Melville (Jewellery designer and founder of Hatton Studios) and Veronica De Homersley (Founder & Talent Acquisition Director of Code Asia Ltd) spoke honestly and enthusiastically about their experiences working within Hong Kong’s design industry and welcomed participation from the knowledgeable audience.

UAL Hong Kong Panel in discussion

The following night, retail company Lane Crawford welcomed all UAL graduates to our third annual UAL Hong Kong Alumni Reception in its beautiful Home Store and Showroom. UAL Vice-Chancellor, Nigel Carrington, updated guests with news from across our Collages back in London, as well as on UAL’s local collaborations, including the approval of two MA programmes to be co-delivered by local academics, and staff from CSM and LCC at Hong Kong University, through HKU SPACE.

Nigel Carrington speaking to UAL HK Guests


Guests at the UAL Hong Kong Alumni Reception 2015

LCF alumna Veronica De Homersley gave and update on the activities of the UAL Hong Kong Alumni Association. Formally established in 2013 and  run by a committee of alumni volunteers (led by Veronica and Sarah Williamson – joint Presidents), UAL’s Hong Kong Alumni Association aims to bring all UAL graduates in the city together for regular social and networking events and offer business and creative opportunities. The committee are keen to hear from any alumni keen to consider taking on a role, or simply want to share their ideas, suggestions and experiences. Please contact the committee directly through their Facebook group for more information.

Guests at the UAL Hong Kong Alumni Reception 2015

More exciting news was bought by Joanna Gunn, Chief Brand Officer at Lane Crawford, who took the opportunity to announce The Lane Crawford Scholarship. This generous programme is designed to support students (who originate from Hong Kong or mainland China) wishing to study at CSM in MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery, MA Fashion or MA Fashion Communication. We would like to extend our gratitude to Nathalie Melville and staff at Lane Crawford for allowing us to host these alumni events in their creative spaces.

Joanna Gunn from Lane Crawford speaking at UAL Hong Kong Alumni Reception


See more photos from the panel discussion on Facebook page

See more photos from the UAL Hong Kong Alumni Reception 2015 on Facebook

Find out more about UAL’s Hong Kong Alumni Association

Discover more of our international alumni groups