DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade



A micro-initiative empowering Hong Kong and international grantees, designers and partners to create homemade solutions for social and environmental needs.

“DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade”, a micro-initiative curated by Marisa Yiu (Co-Founder / Executive Director of Design Trust), as part of an effort to draw solutions from the pandemic’s impact on Hong Kong’s design community and beyond, and to inspire creative collaboration in a time of physical distancing.

“DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade”, born out of a recent survey within the design community in Hong Kong, calls for innovative homemade solutions to current social and environmental needs. The initiative invites Design Trust grantees, fellows, advisors, Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS) mentors and mentees to create and prototype an object (sized 20 x 20 x 20cm max) from home that responds to and offers solutions to current societal and environmental challenges. Designers are given three weeks to create the object and are encouraged to collaborate and design for a wide range of audience.

“The desire to make things with our hands is universal and a significant human expression”, explains Marisa Yiu. “While some handicrafts are means of survival, making objects with our hands serves as a creative release. Restricted by the necessary social distancing during an unprecedented pandemic, many designers have expressed a need to connect, collaborate and create.”

The initiative aims to bring together our community and foster play, social well-being and sustainability through creating homemade objects and utilizing an immediate process of critical thinking in response to the current impediment. With the greater intention to give back, we hope these objects created can eventually benefit the wider community. We are currently working towards continuing the initiative, of which details will be announced later.

Since its founding in 2014, Design Trust has supported a tight-knit community of creative individuals and collectives. Through this micro-initiative, we hope to encourage giving back to the community in ways that allow for connection amongst the global crisis.

"More than ever, we hope our platform can do more and critically reflect on the past months of events in the context of Hong Kong and begin to build a positive momentum for our future again. With so many uncertainties, together with my team and board members, we’ve decided to launch a community platform that reduces the "distance" under social distancing measures, check in to say hello and inspire ourselves on the role of critical making within the home or domestic landscape," says Marisa Yiu, Co-Founder / Executive Director of Design Trust and curator of the programme. "Making things with our hands is more critical than ever as a basic human condition. By keeping creative and open through making, we build dialogue and can immerse ourselves in our craft yet provoke and probe more."

Collective Brief:

1. Design and create a homemade prototype object.

2. You are encouraged to make and fabricate the object in collaboration with other creatives.

3. The object should be functional and be able to address and offer solutions to current social, educational and /or environmental needs.

4. Rethinking the target audience to be intergenerational, i.e. kids, family, elderly.

5. The functional object should fit on the palm of your hands (20H x 20W x 20D cm).

6. How does your object foster play and social wellbeing of our community?


This initiative is quite organic with the aim to grow into a community fundraiser for future support to our granting platform, and our support to the design community at large. Further details of the micro-initiative will be announced through the “Design Trust: Critically Homemade” micro-site and official social media channels.