Asia Design Forum, a nonprofit think tank, will present an event examining the topic "Architecture: Between Beauty and Ethics" in Hong Kong on April 26. The third in a series of Design Roulettes that have taken place around Asia, the event will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of people, including high-profile architects Hitoshi Abe, Rocco Yim, and David Gianotten (OMA/Hong Kong), developer Donald Choi (Nan Fung Development), social services provider Michael Lai Kam-Cheung (St. James Settlement, Hong Kong), emerging designers Marisa Yiu (ESKYIU/Hong Kong), Eric Schuldenfrei (Hong Kong University), Shideh Shaygan (Hong Kong), and Joo Ryung Kim (South Korea), and brand guru Douglas Young (Goods of Desire, Hong Kong).

The Design Roulette format offers a fast-paced alternative to the typical panel discussion, with each "player" making a short, 5-minute presentation, then being interviewed for 5 minutes by one of the other players. The result is a sequential dialogue between pairs of people. 

Yiu and Schuldenfrei curated the program, posing questions such as: At a time when the divide between the rich and everyone else is growing wider in many parts of the world, can architects help bridge the gap? What responsibilities do architects, planners, developers, and design professionals have to larger societal goals? Are aesthetics separate from ethics? Can buildings look good and do good too?

As one of the directors of Asia Design Forum, I had a hand in organizing the Design Roulette and will add my two cents to the proceedings on April 26.

The event will take place at the new Asia Society building designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, starting with a reception at 6 pm. For more information go to

blog post photo