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 including, but not limited to, 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 Bay Area. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines including, but not limited to, 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.

 

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 Greater Bay Area. 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 Greater Bay Area, 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

Kam Sen Lau

Board Chairman
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KAMSEN LAU is an Executive Director at Lifestyle International Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-based retail operator that specializes in mid to high-end department stores in Hong Kong. He is responsible for the Group’s property development and investment portfolio. Mr. Lau is also the Chairman of Savvina Consultant & Management Limited, which focuses on property development in Ho Chi Minh City. Mr. Lau served as an Executive Director of Lifestyle Properties Development Limited between March 2016 and May 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Master of Arts degree from New York University.

Marisa Yiu

Co-founder / Executive Director
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MARISA YIU is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the DESIGN TRUST initiative, that supports creative and research content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. She has been instrumental in shaping the growth of the NGO since 2014 and created and conceptualise the Design Trust Futures Studio programme. Yiu is also an architect and Founding Partner of ESKYIU, an award winning multi-disciplinary architecture and research design studio actively integrating culture, community, art and technology based in Hong Kong. She was the Chief Curator of the 2009 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture located at the West Kowloon waterfront; and curated Studio-X Shenzhen. Along with her partner Eric Schuldenfrei, they were awarded the ‘Architectural League Prize’ for their installations featured in the Venice Biennale received Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard recognition and Design for Asia Award for Ephemera, commissioned by Swire Art Basel and Movement culture: installation for Ido Portal.

 

Yiu’s work and writings have been published in A/D, Domus China, MIT’s Thresholds, and Architectural Record among others and spoken at numerous global platforms including TEDxCUHK, BoDW, UNESCO forum and at Harvard’s AsiaGSD conference. She has taught at London’s Architectural Association, Parsons, HKU, School of Architecture at CUHK.Yiu is an AIA member, HKIA associate, served on the Board of Advisors for RTHK (seven years term), and formerly a Board member of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design.

 

 

Alan Lo

Co-founder / Board Member
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ALAN LO, a restaurateur and a leading voice in Hong Kong’s art and design scene, Alan Lo is listed as one of Asia’s best young entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Business Week as well as one of the “30 rising power players in the eastern art scene” by Blouin Artinfo and "40 under 40 Asia Pacific" by international art publication, Apollo.

 

Alan is co-founder of Classified Group and Michelin-starred restaurant Duddell’s. He is also active in promoting design, creativity and tourism in Hong Kong, serving on a number of government and non-government bodies. He is the founding chairman of non-profit organization Design Trust, member of Art Basel’s Global Patrons Council, Tate Asia Pacific Acquisition Committee as well as board member of Para Site. He has also served on Great Pearl River Delta Business Council, Harbourfront Commission, Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Liquor Licensing Board, Business Facilitation Advisory Committee, Qualification Framework Catering Industry Advisory Committee and Tourism Strategy Group.  He holds an AB in architecture from Princeton University.

 

Gabriela Kennedy

Board Member
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GABRIELA KENNEDY is a partner of Mayer Brown and head of the Asia IP and TMT group. She is also co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global Intellectual Property practice. She is based in Hong Kong, practising intellectual property, media, information technology and telecommunications law. One of the best known intellectual property and technology lawyers in Asia, Gabriela holds various leadership roles in the arts, education and advancement of leadership for women. She served on the board of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival for 7 years and was co-chair of the board for a number of these years.  She serves as a mentor for women enrolled in the Leadership Foundation Programme of the International Women's Forum (IWF), on whose global board she sits. Gabriela is a strong advocate of pro-bono work and represents a number of non-profit organisations and charities with a focus on arts organisations,  including the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, The Hong Kong Arts Festival, Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, and The Absolutely Fabulous Theatre Connection (AFTEC)  to name just a few. A former theoretical linguist, Gabriela speaks English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.

Joyce Tam

Co-founder / Board Member
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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 organisations and foundations on their liquidity and portfolio needs. Tam is also a Member of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and volunteers for a number of charitable organizations, including the Dragon Foundation, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Hong Kong United Youth Association, Youth Elites and World Vision. 

Ivan Pun

Board Member
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IVAN PUN is a Chinese-Burmese entrepreneur and founder of Pun + Projects, a firm focused on creating innovative lifestyle and cultural concepts. Born in Hong Kong, Mr Pun was raised between Hong Kong, Yangon and England, where he was educated at the University of Oxford. After working in New York and Beijing in his early 20s, he relocated to Yangon and started Pun + Projects in 2013. Inspired by a love for architecture and urban history, the firm’s projects include the Burmese beerhall Port Autonomy, arts initiative TS1, and Paribawga, a modern furniture design firm that uses local artisans and materials. As a passionate patron of the arts, Mr Pun is also on the advisory board of Performa, and continues to support South East Asian contemporary artists through TS1’s non-profit art shows and initiatives.

Denise Lau

Board Member
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DENISE LAU heads the distribution arm of her family business The B.S.C. Group, and is also the curator of B.S.C.’s lifestyle store COLOURLIVING. With B.S.C. Group’s motto of Enriching Human Space and COLOURLIVING’s passion to bring unique and tasteful designs to customers in Hong Kong, Denise always aspires for new ideas to delight, often drawing inspiration from travelling and benchmarking with other industries. Educated at the LSE, Cass Business School and Inchbald School of Design, Denise began her career in corporate banking at Credit Suisse London before joining the family business in 1992. The B.S.C. Group, founded by Denise’s parents in 1970, is Hong Kong’s leading interior contractor and supplier of interior furnishing and finishing building materials.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

International Advisory Council

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
Beatrice Leanza
Beatrice Leanza
David Gianotten
David Gianotten
Lars Nittve
Lars Nittve
Eva Franch
Eva Franch
Liu Xiaodu
Liu Xiaodu
Lyndon Neri
Lyndon Neri
Zoë Ryan
Zoë Ryan
Rodman Primack
Rodman Primack
Thomas Heatherwick
Thomas Heatherwick

Greater Bay Area Design Council

Aric Chen
Aric Chen
Stephanie Poon
Stephanie Poon
Eric Schuldenfrei
Eric Schuldenfrei
Arnault Castel
Arnault Castel
Irene Lam
Irene Lam
Cole Roskam
Cole Roskam
Marc Cansier
Marc Cansier
Kate Jones
Kate Jones
Keith Tam
Keith Tam
William To
William To
Suzy Annetta
Suzy Annetta
Ole Bouman
Ole Bouman
Leslie Lu
Leslie Lu
Winnie So
Winnie So
Giovanni Alessi Anghini
Giovanni Alessi Anghini
Tat Lam
Tat Lam
Jean T Miao
Jean T Miao
Andrew Au
Andrew Au