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Re-defining Human Experience through Design

Riding on Hong Kong’s position as the regional creative hub and deep talent pool, Eight Inc. aims to capture opportunities from the Greater Bay Area development.

Design not only makes a place aesthetically pleasing, it can greatly influence the way we think and act, and shape human experience. Eight Inc. is a global creative agency united by the belief that “design defines human progress”. Founded in San Francisco, the studio is famous for creating ground-breaking experience for international brands. 

While its roots are in architectural design space, it has a strong focus on retail. “We are probably best known for our work with Apple, which included the creation of the Apple Store, but over time we’ve started to become in-demand as both consultants and designers,” said Chris Dobson, Executive Principal at Eight Inc. Asia. “One recent project that stands out is the Xiaomi flagship store in Shenzhen, which involved a complete re-imagination of the retail experience as a completely integrated part of the digital experience. Customers today don’t live digital and physical lives, the two are indivisible, and that should really influence the way you design experiences. Other upcoming projects in the region include everything from a transformation program for a luxury retailer and the experience design for a new hotel concept.”

Well-positioned gateway city and creative hub of GBA 

With presence in 11 cities around the world, Eight Inc. set up a studio in Hong Kong in 2019. Dobson believes that the city offers an irreplaceable location for the firm’s regional expansion. “Despite recent challenges, the underlying potential of Hong Kong remains strong,” said Dobson. “It is a relevant and powerful gateway city, with a range of international and, increasingly, Mainland businesses present. We believe that it is a great springboard into, and out of, Mainland China as well as the broader Asia region.”

He added, “we believe that Hong Kong will remain the design hub of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The combination of Macao as a regional entertainment and experience hub, the great innovation and development capabilities of Shenzhen, and the design capabilities of Hong Kong is an exciting blend, which should benefit everyone”

Strong talent pool for creative industries 

Being in the creative industries in Hong Kong for over 10 years, Dobson is impressed by the vibrancy as well as the depth and breadth of the talent pool in the city. “It’s a very strong mix of local and international, and levels of experience among the talent. It gives you all the pieces of the puzzle you need to build a business,” said Dobson. 

He also finds Hong Kong an attractive place to stay. “I think this comes to the beauty and varied options of Hong Kong itself, I always say you come here for the city, but stay for the parks, the hiking trails, the beaches, the experiences you can have. And, of course, the food.”

Dobson appreciates the effort by InvestHK to bring people and businesses together. “The networking events by InvestHK, whether physical or virtual, are always a great opportunity to meet new companies, hear new ideas and feel a part of a thriving creative community,” he concluded.

06.01.2021

Fast Facts

  • Founded in 1989 and headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Its global offices cover 11 locations worldwide including New York, London, Tokyo and Singapore

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