MISSION

Design Trust creates active long-term, intelligent and meaningful platforms to fund and advocate for the positive value of the process of design, debate and creative sharing. We support innovative, thought-provoking investigations in various design disciplines from graphics, media, wearable technologies, architecture to the environment to actively accelerate creative research, design and development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design. 

ABOUT US

Design Trust was established in 2014 by Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, a registered charity in Hong Kong since 2007, as a grant funding platform. Design Trust supports creative projects that develop expertise, build research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Pearl River Delta Region. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines from graphics, media, architecture to the built environment, Design Trust aims to actively accelerate creative research, design and development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design.

 

CORE ACTIVITIES

GRANTS

 

DESIGN ASSEMBLY & DIALOGUES

 

ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY & PUBLIC EVENTS

 

OUR HISTORY

Founded in 2006 as a non-profit and registered charity by a group of individuals from Hong Kong’s design community, Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design (HKAoD) was incorporated in 2007 with the aim to stimulate exchange between the local and international design community and the public, through a series of imaginative and unconventional initiatives, channeling creative energies from both the street and the studio.

Through working with the Hong Kong Design Centre, HKAoD presented diversified and educational initiatives to promote design and culture.

HKAoD spearheaded the first ever design festival in Hong Kong called DETOUR. Alongside the Business of Design Week annually, the festival brought together designers from various international cities and local Hong Kong designers to share and showcase work in an exhibition and festival format. DETOUR began as a guidebook listing in 2008, bringing together artists studios, galleries with the design community. DETOUR subsequently grew and became the first cultural event to take place in the former Police Married Quarters in 2009 and 2011 (before its renovation into the new cultural site that is now called PMQ). In 2010 DETOUR was given access to the Central Police Station Victoria Prison site for a large scale design festival, a site where a new museum and gallery is being constructed to be opened in 2017. In 2011 DETOUR was sited at the former Wan Chai police station, and the Detour’s last event organised by HKAoD was sited on 4 moving Trams. PMQ has now officially taken over the DETOUR festival and the branded event is under a different management and curatorial team. HKAoD is proud to have generated and built up an exciting design festival bringing together the design community and general public to witness design projects and enjoy free exhibitions and public programmes. HKAoD also hosted the first Pecha Kucha event series in Hong Kong from 2008 to 2011, launched the Designer Exchange programme, bringing groups of selected HK designers to showcase and collaborate with the partner city of Business of Design Week. Past exchanges with the partner cities included Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Copenhagen and Brussels, these designers have moved on to building further their careers and supporting the local design ecology.

 

MarisaYIU_2016_BWSmile

Marisa Yiu

Co-founder / Executive Director

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

As a network of individuals passionate about design and its powerful role in societal’s positive transformation, our non for profit initiative, Design Trust supports a diversity of research and “design” projects relating to Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta. Design Trust is content focused. “Design” is often misunderstood as only for the privilege, seen as an embellishment or as a service, or a luxury product connected with the commercial sector; however “design” is very much part of our everyday. We see the need for better and ergonomically well-designed public spaces. We are inspired by how the process of designing new technologies can reduce waste and impact our environment. We are intrigued by design scholars who research the history of urban form to allow us to better understand the rapid needs of the future of cities. The processes to achieve “good” positive design outcomes require rigorous methods, insightful design thinking and unique approaches. We envision through these projects a richer dialogue could be fostered and where a culture of experimentation, new ideas and innovative possibilities can build a stronger future. In bringing various communities together, both in the public and private sector, educational arena and across borders, I hope we can advance a spirit of generosity and dialogue within our region and internationally. We advocate for the positive values of design in the role for shaping a better city and region we live in.

I am so thrilled to be the first Executive Director and grateful to my fellow co-founders, advisors and board members in the past years who support my transition into this new role for the organisation. We have a lot of work ahead of us and I invite many of you to join, support and raise critical questions as your questions will only help us further advance our small non for profit to reach its mission of supporting innovative investigations and communicating the need for in depth understanding of the design ecology of this region. We truly like to accelerate research, design and development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design. And these positive values and actions only produce a more robust, creative and stimulating environment. Rooted in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region, we are not limited by our territories and borders – but hope and aim to create cross-dialogue and projects that have local meaning and global reach. We entrust in design and the value of design.

Look forward to being in touch!

-Marisa Yiu

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jay Parmanand

Director
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JAY PARMANAND is an Executive Director at Symphony Capital Partners Limited, an investment firm that focuses on the hospitality, healthcare, lifestyle and real estate sectors primarily in Asia. Before he joined Symphony, he was Vice President, Business Development Asia, for the Los Angeles-based fashion company, BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP. Prior to that, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Equity Capital Markets teams at ABN AMRO and Fox-Pitt, Kelton across various industries. He has worked on a number of real estate-related projects in Asia and Europe and is passionate about art and design.

He is a volunteer and / or supporter for a number of charitable and non-charitable organisations including Oxfam, Helping Hand,  the Sovereign Art Foundation and the Para Site Art Space amongst others. 

Parmanand is a graduate of New York University in Economics and History (Cum Laude). 

 

Joyce Tam

Co-founder / Director
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JOYCE TAM is an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs within their Private Wealth Management. Tam mainly advises high net worth individuals and their family offices on their investment needs. She also advises non-profit organizations and foundations on their liquidity and portfolio needs. Tam volunteers for a number of charitable organizations, including the Dragon Foundation, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Hong Kong United Youth Association, Youth Elites, Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design and World Vision. 

Jehan Chu

Co-founder / Director
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JEHAN CHU is an Art Advisor and auctioneer with over 13 years of industry experience. Formerly with Sotheby’s Auction House in New York from 1999, and Head of Client Development in Asia, he left in 2008 to start Vermillion Art Collections, a specialized art advisory working with private and corporate art collectors.

He now sits on the Board of Directors of Para Site Art Space and Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design. Chu is a judge of the WYNG Photography Masters Award, and a nominator of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. He has lectured on collecting art for Sotheby’s Institute, the Asia Art Forum, Art Basel, as well as major banks and associations. Chu is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and holds a degree in International Relations and East Asian Studies, as well as instruction certification in Visual Thinking Strategies. 

Desiree Au

Director
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DESIREE AU is the managing director and publisher of Time Out Hong Kong, one of the most dynamic international editions of the city-lifestyle magazine founded in London. A communications consultant, she also contributes to writing for ELLE Luxe and The International New York Times.

Having spent nearly 20 years in the media industry, she previously held editor positions with The Standard and The South China Morning Post. She also sits on the board of The Society of Publishers Asia and The Women's Foundation. She is passionate about arts, culture and environmental issues and is a nominator for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. 

Alan Lo

Co-founder / Chairman
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ALAN LO is co-founder and executive director of Hong Kong-based Classified Group, owner and operator of food and beverage outlets including Classified, The Pawn and The Fat Pig. He is also a co-founder of Michelin starred bar and Chinese restaurant Duddell’s. Lo has many years of hospitality project experience, having worked for project management and development teams at a number of international hotel groups.

He is active in promoting design, creativity and tourism in Hong Kong, serving on a number of government and non-government bodies including Design Trust, Para Site and Art Basel’s Global Patrons Council.  Alan also served on a number of government committees including Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Liquor Licensing Board, Harbourfront Commission, Business Facilitation Advisory Committee, Qualification Framework Catering Industry Advisory Committee, ART HK,Tourism Strategy Group, Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council, and 2009 Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture.  He holds an AB in architecture from Princeton University.

 

ADVISORY COUNCIL

International Advisory Council

Lars Nittve
Lars Nittve
Lyndon Neri
Lyndon Neri
Thomas Heatherwick
Thomas Heatherwick
Brian Wong
Brian Wong
Rodman Primack
Rodman Primack
Liu Xiaodu
Liu Xiaodu
Eva Franch
Eva Franch
Beatrice Leanza
Beatrice Leanza

Pearl River Delta Design Council

Cole Roskam
Cole Roskam
Ole Bouman
Ole Bouman
Andrew Au
Andrew Au
Leslie Lu
Leslie Lu
Jean T Miao
Jean T Miao
Winnie So
Winnie So
Tat Lam
Tat Lam
William To
William To
Tim Li
Tim Li
Stephanie Poon
Stephanie Poon
Giovanni Alessi Anghini
Giovanni Alessi Anghini
Eric Schuldenfrei
Eric Schuldenfrei
Arnault Castel
Arnault Castel
Aric Chen
Aric Chen