SIGNED magazine #29

44 A tale of waste in two cities Prior to landing at HKDI Gallery, Waste Age was previously presented in London. Chief Curator of the exhibition and Director of Future Observatory of Design Museum Justin McGuirk is happy to bring Waste Age to Hong Kong. He noted the issue of waste and the potential of recycling are yet to reach mainstream consciousness in Hong Kong. "The beauty of the exhibition is that it is not chiding people for their wasteful behaviour but demonstrating that a less wasteful way of life is possible and that the change is already underway," said McGuirk. He also shared that both London and Hong Kong regard highly of efficiency and convenience. Yet, the convenience culture demands disposability, and disposability is a systemic issue that is very hard for design to address. He further explained, "Designers can come up with a biodegradable coffee cup lid but they're not asking whether we need a takeaway coffee at all." He opined that many waste issues would be solved if we could just slow down. The value of recycling waste McGuirk further commented that the whole system is rigged to make replacement cheaper than repair. Brands should do more in the design, manufacturing and sourcing of their products to make more choices for waste reduction available. Legislation to minimise single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging will also help. Kevin Cheung, a local artist featured in Waste Age, shows viewers a playful example of waste transformation. His BoomBottles is a trendy portable 1