Is Asia Pacific’s Diversity a Challenge or Strength for Design?
Is Asia Pacific’s diversity a challenge or strength for design?
Asia Pacific’s incredible diversity is often a burden. It is also, often, our best asset. But how can brands help bridge the region’s diversity-divide?
Just what is it about Asia Pacific that makes this region unique? Often, attempts to quantify our exceptionality only serve to confuse the question even more. And yet, Asia Pacific’s big, beautiful and extraordinary nature is frequently overlooked.
In terms of sheer diversity – at the very least – we are unparalleled. Our borders comprise more than 59 countries and island nations, far outstripping Europe’s 50 and Africa’s 54. Within this ambit, the breadth of linguistic, cultural, ethnic, religious, geographic and climatic diversity makes the mind boggle.
It is true that diversity builds strength, but few of us are willing to grapple with the struggles that diversity presents too. With more than 59 separate sovereign borders in our region, trade relationships are heavily controlled by highly choreographed and complex tariff arrangements. Beyond these, considerations of economic diplomacy confuse the matter just that little bit more: China’s economy is still directed by the nation’s ruling Communist Party; next door, Japan boasts the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy, with the current Emperor working alongside parliamentarians on all manner of judicial, administrative and economic duties of state; and a little further south, Australia remains an outpost of the British Commonwealth, following a part-monarchic-part-republic line of approach.
Add the thousands of different languages and dialects of our region into the mix, and the problem of cross-cultural communication, exchange and trade just became a whole lot more daunting.
This is the industrial climate within which Asia-Pacific architecture and design must operate. This is the struggle that all of us in the architecture and design universe – designer, architect, supplier and developer – must overcome.
On June 22nd of this year, one commercial design brand demonstrated that not only is it possible, but it is very necessary, to face our regional predicament with bravery and innovation. Uniting the region through excellence in design and only the cutting-edge in technology, Zenith brought together the Asia Pacific architecture and design industry spanning Singapore to Sydney for the INDE.Awards 2018.
As the second iteration of the program, the 2018 INDE.Awards presented the region’s best architecture and design minds with the accolades they truly deserve at an intimate gala evening in Singapore’s JW Marriot. Meanwhile, some 6,302 kilometres away in Sydney, Zenith – Official Platinum Partner of the INDE.Awards – hosted a live telecast of the event in its showroom, thus bringing together for the very first time in this format the region’s combined and sometimes disparate industries. Uniting our region to celebrate our design, our way, Zenith once again prove that Asia Pacific’s A+D world is one of the most active, exciting and innovative on the global stage today.
Zenith’s move, to this end, establishes a new benchmark for supporting design both across and within our region’s many borders. Zenith recognises that having worked alongside progressive individuals in architecture and design, their clients, and a host of stakeholders from all walks of life, the Asia Pacific A+D community has played an enormous role in bettering our region – its economies, its material ecologies, and finally its political and socio-economic development – to break barriers of inequity, to reimagine and realise a better world for tomorrow.
In many ways, it is thanks to brands like Zenith – brands, that is, which embrace our regional diversity and unite our differing points of view through design ingenuity – that this region’s A+D community can be competitive on the global stage. And in even more ways, Zenith’s live telecast of the INDE.Awards is indicative of the brand’s approach to celebrating and nurturing tomorrow’s design talent. With a truly regional presence across Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, Zenith continues to grow across the Pacific. And with this growth, Zenith ensures that the multifarious built environments of our region – our hospitals and schools, places of work and places sociability – reflect our unique identities. Supplying product from Australia, Asia, America and Europe, Zenith’s portfolio is unabashedly and unapologetically multicultural at every turn.
Team Zenith’s co-ordinated approach to supplying the region great design product blends locally-designed and globally-inspired design with regionally-sensitive awareness to the diverse nuances of nations across the Asia Pacific.
With this support, Zenith’s very hands-on involvement throughout Asia Pacific stretches far beyond the INDE.Awards. On a daily basis, everything the brand does reinforces the home-turf bravery, innovative and local flavour of all architecture and design achievements in our collective home.
Zenith reminds us that ours is a design culture that matters. It matters within our borders. It matters outside our borders. And it will always continue to do so.
Zenith congratulates all of the winners and nominees of the 2018 INDE.Awards. They look forward to collaborating with this region’s best talent, and realising together a better tomorrow for our combined shores.