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Hanoi Creative Designs Festival 2022 to open next week

Hanoi will host a creative design festival that marks a new milestone in the city's transition to a creative hub.

The Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2022, themed "Design and Technology" will take place from November 11 to 18, 2022, with some 30 activities across the capital.

A show of traditional dress Ao Dai in the pedestrian area of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Hung/ The Hanoi Times

The festival is jointly organized by the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, the Vietnam Architect Association, the UNESCO Office in Hanoi, the Hanoi Promotion Agency, the Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee, and other public entities.

As part of the festival, some significant events will be held, such as an exhibition on creative product designs at the Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian zone featuring innovative craft designs to meet modern life's needs and showcase artistic and cultural features.

People will also experience art and design demonstrations hosted by embassies, international organizations, and creative units in Hanoi at the exhibition.

At the Hanoi Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Center, there will be a technology showdown of traditional arts, such as an exhibition of silk and lacquer-based arts, a display of traditional lanterns and paintings, and an area to experience featured products in architecture, photography, and visual reality (VR) technology.

During the festival, the city will honor the competition winners on Hanoi's public art design, Hanoi's most outstanding creative masterpieces, and organize training workshops and conferences to exchange international and national practices in design, art, filmmaking, and publishing.

Creative community key to the city transition

In 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) included Hanoi in the Creative Cities Network, a significant step for the city after receiving the honor of City for Peace in 2009.

The decision has endorsed the city to continue its socio-economic transition to become a sustainable and creative city based on a wealth of cultural heritages and enable a new economic growth model.

The creative space Complex 01 on Tay Son Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi. Photo: The Hanoi Times

With a large population of young, creative people, it is evident that Hanoi has the chance to redirect itself. However, there are still challenges to overcome in developing a creative community.
According to Chu Xuan Dung, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, Hanoi has a long history, a rich culture, and a young, creative population that will drive the city’s creative development.
“Hanoi targets to become a talent hub that nurtures ideas in design and creativity fosters creative projects, and promote international cooperation in the said field,” he said at a recent meeting on creative city construction.
Hanoi has made substantial progress, and there is a good air of creativity in the city, Christan Manhart from UNESCO Office in Hanoi said.
However, the city is missing a profound base to facilitate the development of a creative community, Christan said.
Other cities in the network around Asia have successfully developed some creative communities to create an environment for innovative ideas, the UNESCO official said.
The development of a creative hub in the size of the city is not easy, he said, adding it requires a lot of work to sustain the growth.
Practices in other Asian cities have shown that it is difficult to enable and encourage the growth of a creative center. The main challenges are funding, structural organization, and government and agency support.
Dwinita Larasati, Secretary General of the Creative Cities Forum in Bandung, Indonesia, stated that a young population is the main impetus for creative development in the city.
Lessons should be learned from Bandung, including the construction of creative spaces while focusing on cultural activities such as cuisine and fashion to attract people to visit and work in the city.
Thierry Vergon, cultural official at the French Embassy in Vietnam cum Director of the French Institute in Hanoi, said that each creative city in France meets at least one requirement set by UNESCO, for example, Saint-Étienne.
He said that the French government identifies people at the center of the transition and prioritizes connecting cities and creative communities to drive development.
Vietnamese architect Doan Ky Thanh, founder and creator of several creative spaces in Hanoi, such as X98 on Hoang Cau Street and Creative City on Luong Yen Street, said artistic and creative people are at the core of making such spaces a reality.
In addition to people, the architecture of the building plays a crucial role in attracting people and stirring up their creativity, Kim Haesoo Estella, project coordinator for international awards and public relations at the Seoul Designs Foundation, said.
At Dongdaemun Design Plaza in South Korea’s capital city of Seoul, visitors can see the development of the site as proof of creativity as the area is divided into five colorful main sections with a display of models and designs, online and offline promotional platforms, and regular activities to benefit disadvantaged people.