• Design for good: Creating positive impact in society

    31 May 2017

    (26 May 2017, Hong Kong) Design Trust, an initiative of the Hong Kong Ambassador of Design has announced two new initiatives, a new long-term flagship programme Design Trust Futures Studio and a fellowship with the Royal College of Art.

    Design Trust Futures Studio, initiated and conceptualized by Marisa Yiu, Co-founder, Executive Director of Design Trust, makes visible the processes and debate on the culture of contemporary design. Formatted as a series of workshops, discussions and conceptual design interventions, established designers (mentors and advisors) work closely with nominated participants (designer mentees) to showcase new ideas and works to the public. Cross-discipline in nature, experts in their fields focus on future thinking with outcomes that are impactful to society or public spaces relating to Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, and show how design can positively contribute to our lives.

    For its inaugural year, Design Trust Futures Studio will focus on the theme of “small is meaningful” as a design issue. Specifically, the group explores the future of micro-parks in Hong Kong by examining the importance of smallness in local communities, and how this can be harnessed to create positive change for the city.

    The research and outcomes of the programme will challenge connotations that smallness is trivial, by demonstrating the impact that smallness can have. Design Trust Futures Studio will use design to suggest improvement to social well-being and health, and to raise awareness of environmental issues through creative means via design processes and critiques.

    “In bringing various communities together, I hope we can advance a spirit of generosity and dialogue within our region and internationally. We advocate for the positive values of design to better shape the city and region we live in,” says Marisa Yiu, Co-founder, Executive Director of Design Trust.

    “Design Trust Futures Studio explores and experiments with new ideas. It is a platform for exchange and the goal is to ultimately transform both the individual and collective notion of how we participate in the creation of a city. The greatest hope is to actually be able to empower and change not only the mentors’ and mentees’ experience, but also the public and the community. Design can really be impactful to making change. ”

    The diverse and multi-disciplinary designer-mentees were selected by a nominating committee and selection committee involving professionals, advisors and academics. The inaugural programme will include 10 Hong Kong-based Designer Mentees and two Designer Mentees from the Pearl River Delta Region.



    The Hong Kong-based mentors include architect Gary Chang and artist, photographer and designer Stanley Wong (anothermountainman). International mentors include Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York), Mimi Hoang of nARCHITECTS (New York), and Sam Jacob of Sam Jacob Studio (London).


    The mentor/mentee process is documented throughout the project and shared on the Design Trust platforms to update the community. Mentors and mentees use the Sketch Diary to document their research, drawings and final concepts. Frequently, a page, sketch or an idea is shared online. Alongside this, the participants are captured in photography and film, creating a real-time visual record of the creative process from beginning to end.

    Design Trust Futures Studio is presented in three core parts starting with an introductory workshop that took place in March 2017 for participants to meet and brainstorm on the topic. Throughout March to June, the groups will meet and work closely with the mentors, attending workshops and fieldtrips. For the second phase, Design Trust will collaborate with New York-based Storefront for Art and Architecture – one of the most critical, independent non-profit organizations committed to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design, on the first ever appearance of its International Series in Hong Kong. During the three-day event from 7th to 9th July, the groups will present their concepts through a public review. Finally, research findings, proposals and models will be presented at an exhibition in October together with a documentary archive booklet and video.






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