To use less and to redeem the useless - that is the challenge posed for Hong Kong's young and upcoming designers by the annual design event deTour. It is about as practical as a design challenge can get, since it involves imagining how to reduce, reuse and recycle the 6.45 million tonnes of rubbish the city creates each year. In keeping with this year's theme, Use-Less, the historic former Police Married Quarters in Hollywood Road has aptly been 'reused' - transformed into an arena to showcase creativity. DeTour began as a programme of satellite events across the city, and now 280 designer and artist groups are taking part in this year's event to showcase their work. Of those, 220 are local groups and the rest are from other countries. Participants include 550 students studying design in Hong Kong's various design programmes and colleges. 'We hope that this event acts as a curatorship between designers and the public,' said Jehan Chu from Ambassadors of Design, the non-profit organisation that runs deTour. Chu said deTour aimed to engage the public in a novel way and to introduce a creative culture in Hong Kong, which is often dominated by business and finance. The exhibits are wide-ranging and include sculptures made from discarded and broken wood that also serve as chairs, and installations made from discarded T-shirts and old computer parts. Local design group KaCaMa mixed food-waste compost with soil and added seeds to the mixture, then shaped it to look like sausages. A designer with the group, Kay Chan Wan-ki, said the seeds will sprout in about two weeks, yielding leaves that can be picked and tossed into salads. 'This is turning waste food into fodder for new food - in the shape of a sausage,' Chan said. Designer Kevin Cheung Wai-chun, who has been turning used plastic bottles into decent-quality speaker-phones, contributed to the exhibition by making wind chimes out of plastic bottles that light up when they knock together. Apart from exhibits, deTour also includes design workshops, shows and a 'design mart' - where local designers will sell their products from stations and tables made entirely out of cardboard and pizza boxes. The exhibition will run from today until December 11. It is the last event to be held at the former Police Married Quarters before the building is renovated in January - it will be turned into rental space for designers and artists.