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HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, officially opened the British Design: Innovation and Application exhibition at Malaysia Design Innovation Centre (MDI) recently.

The two-month exhibition, organised by the British High Commission, highlights British products and their design processes and showcases a total of 15 British companies. They are BP Malaysia, Land Rover (M) Sdn Bhd, Rolls Royce (aerospace), British Council, BT Global Services, Central Distribution & Agency Sdn Bhd, Dyson Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Flowcrete International, Hanson Quarry Products Sdn Bhd, Adminex Corporation Sdn Bhd /Oronmas Sdn Bhd, Fitch Designs, Synapse-Creative, Art Group, University of Portsmouth and University of Teesside.

Among other objectives, the exhibition is aimed at highlighting the key role of design in the global environment, and the many products and services that define it. In the UK, design is one of the most important creative industries with a large sector of experienced consulting firms active internationally.

Visitors to the exhibition can expect to see a display of Range Rover and Freelander models and, in the aerospace sector, a display of the Rolls-Royce Trent Series Engine and the company’s design capabilities.

Also highlighted are creations by Fitch Designs, a London-based company specialising in designing retail environments and creating identities for organisations and for products; and Synapse-Creative that offers solutions in all areas of design.

Art Group, an art publisher offering products from some of the world’s best artists, displays prints that range from digital canvas transfers to Limited Edition giclee prints, notecards and postcards.

University of Teesside displays virtual reality, computer games and animation on large screens, while University of Portsmouth demonstrates the creative application of machine learning through a unique environment, the Oculus.

MDI, the professional arm of Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology, is part of a whole network of future planning on design. A fully integrated business development centre located in Cyberjaya, its futuristic essence makes it all the more exciting, coupled with the fact that nation-building is central to everything that is planned there.

The arrival of the innovation centre is set to stimulate a new period of growth for industry and should augur well for the country. It should help propel Malaysia ahead in terms of creativity and innovation and it is able to do this through its link with Limkokwing. Both have brought to reality “industry within university”, a concept that brings on campus top Malaysian brands and introduces business units that allow young people to learn to create and manage products and services.

In line with its position as regional creative hub, MDI will form partnerships with international design centres in Europe to promote brand building and innovation and to build a Malaysian presence there. Already in place is a link-up between the centre and the world-renowned Istituo Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan, Italy, and the Korea Institute of Design Promotion. Similar collaborations with design centres in Germany, the UK and France are in the pipeline in an effort to bring together the best of the east and the west in design and innovation. These would be the platforms to connect with innovative thinkers and designers in Europe.