In partnership with world-renowned institutions, the Design Trust offers fellowships that allow individuals to develop their emerging careers, build in-depth research, acquire and create innovative work or increase their skills within their related discipline. These include, but are not limited to residency programs, internships, research, writing, collaborative projects, and workshops.
Now in its eighth year, the M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship programme has supported original research projects investigating issues relating to design and architecture in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and Asia through a transnational lens. In addition to expanding the current body of knowledge in these areas, the findings from the fellowship will inform research on the existing collection, future acquisitions, and other programmes at M+.
Applicants of the fellowship should engage in advanced research on historical or contemporary topics related to either a single discipline (such as architecture, graphic design, industrial design, and urbanism) or cross-disciplinary developments, taking into consideration the region’s cultural, social, economic, and political conditions as well as its international and cross-cultural knowledge networks. While topics from the 1950s and onwards are preferred, exceptional proposals that focus on issues related to the beginning of the twentieth century will also be considered.
The M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship 2023 will support two fellowship projects:
- Fellowship I supports a Hong Kong—based researcher’s original enquiry on topics specifically derived from M+ Collection Archives related to design and architecture. Although the archives represent the works of designers and architects in Asia and beyond, proposed research topics should resonate with issues pertaining to design and architectural developments and discourse in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.
Preserving and cataloguing the archives continues to be an immense ongoing process. There are currently forty-three fonds that have been catalogued, of which the majority can be viewed online. For those interested in this fellowship, the archives and those yet to be published online can be accessed at the M+ Research Centre.
For supplementary information on the M+ Collection Archives, please click here.
- Fellowship II supports a researcher or practitioner engaged in historical or practice-based research that contributes to expanding the knowledge of the methods, processes, and impact of design and architectural practices in or across Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and Asia.
Successful applicants will be attached to M+ for three to six months in 2023, conducting independent research, preferably on a full-time basis. Fellows are encouraged to engage with the museum’s curatorial staff and participate in programmes at M+. The fellowship should result in:
We welcome applications from individuals or groups whose areas of research are in design, architecture, or a related field. Applicants who intend to conduct research in Hong Kong should be Hong Kong permanent residents or have the right to live and work in Hong Kong. This fellowship does not constitute employment, and M+ and Design Trust will not be held accountable for the sponsorship of work visas.
Applicants should either hold a postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline or an undergraduate degree with a minimum of three years relevant professional work or academic research experience. Proficiency in spoken and written English is also required.
The M+ / Design Trust Research Fellow will receive a lump-sum stipend of up to HKD 40,000 per month for three to six months (determined on a case-by-case basis) to cover research-related costs.
The following criteria are considered when assessing each application:
- original proposal that expands and reinterprets existing knowledge, or produces new knowledge, of design and architecture in or with an impact on Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and/or other parts of Asia, within a regional and global context,
- potential for expanding the understanding and scope of the museum’s collection, programming, and curatorial strategies in design and architecture, and
- proven ability of the candidate to undertake advanced research.
The fellowship will be awarded on a competitive basis by a committee comprising representatives from M+ and Design Trust. After the initial screening process, shortlisted candidates will be invited to an in-person or remote interview.
How to Apply
Applicants are required to provide:
- a completed application form,
- a full curriculum vitae covering education, professional experience, honours, awards, and publications, and
- two letters of recommendation (academic or professional), submitted directly from the referees.
The deadline for submitting the application is 26 September 2022.
Please send applications in digital formats and all enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviews will be held during the weeks of 17 and 28 October 2022. Results will be announced on 28 November 2022. Applicants not notified within four weeks from the application deadline may consider their application unsuccessful.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact email@example.com.
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s twenty-first century.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.
About Design Trust
Design Trust was established as a grant-funding and community platform in 2014 by Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, a registered charity in Hong Kong since 2007. Design Trust supports creative projects that develop expertise and build research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines, from graphics, media, and architecture to the built environment, Design Trust aims to actively accelerate creative research, design, and the development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design.
Applications are invited that address the 2022 Fellowships theme of ‘Hyperlocal’
Based at the Royal College of Art in London, the two Fellows undertake advanced research into curatorial practice in relation to contemporary design and recent design history. Areas of focus might include: strategies for exhibition-making, display, interpretation and collections; design archives; design curating in the public sphere; design theory and method as curatorial practice; curating emergent technologies; and history and current practice in design curating.
The Fellows undertake research and study, embedded within the RCA’s vibrant interdisciplinary environment and supported by Design Trust. The programme of studies is designed to broaden the Fellows’ knowledge and skills in curatorial practice, theory and understanding of design, to enable self-reflection on the Fellows’ practice to date, and to support their specific research direction. Each Fellow follows a bespoke programme tailored to their needs and interests; components vary across seminars and workshops in design and curatorial history, theory and practice, interdisciplinary workshops and projects and a placement with one of the RCA’s external partners.
Additionally, each Fellow devises and pursues an original, independent research project related to curating and design in Asia and its global contexts. The project is supported by engagement with subject specialists at the RCA and guided through regular one-to-one tutorials with a named project supervisor. The project takes the form of written work (ordinarily a body of writing comprising c. 6,000 words) and a public event in London, potentially but not exclusively an exhibition. The Fellows have access to technical resources and training facilities at the RCA, appropriate to their research.
Research may explore curatorial practice and theory in relation to existing and emergent design disciplines (such as product design, service design, wearable technologies, transport, performance or the digital). Projects might reflect on or generate curatorial approaches to design’s social, political or cultural contexts past, present and future (for example users/social practices, the public sphere, architectural practice or urbanism). A focus on Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area region is preferred. The research should result in an original curatorial proposal, demonstrate advanced understanding of curatorial contexts and approaches, inform the Fellows’ future practice and show clear potential to inform curatorial practice in Hong Kong/the Greater Bay Area region more widely.
Sharing knowledge and experience generated is an important element of the Fellowship. Fellows’ written work may be disseminated digitally through the RCA/Design Trust platforms, and/or submitted for publication in an appropriate platform. Each Fellow prepares at least one public presentation at the end of their research to be delivered in Hong Kong and/or London. The Fellows also present a final report on their research findings (including work placement activity) for the RCA/Design Trust and communicate the research process and experience of the Fellowship in an agreed social media programme.
The Fellowship is designed to address the burgeoning field of design curating in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area region in a global context, and its place within the interdisciplinary curatorial field (such as the growth of new institutions devoted to design, the presence of design in art museums, biennales and cultural festivals and other new platforms for public engagement with/through design, including urban development and archives).
Applications are welcome from individuals based in or connected to Hong Kong or the Greater Bay Area with a background in curating and a research interest in design. The provision of the Fellowship depends on whether each Fellow obtains a UK visa. Applicants should either hold a postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline or an undergraduate degree with a minimum of three years relevant professional work or academic research experience. Proficiency in spoken and written English is also required.
The Fellowships are established with kind support to the RCA from Design Trust. This covers full fees for the year-long programme, as well as a stipend of £7,500 for each of the six-month Fellowships to cover living costs. An additional £1,500 budget per Fellowship will be available to cover further expenses. This additional budget can be used towards a one-off payment for round-trip travel between the place of origin and London; research expenses will be allocated after the research plan is developed and agreed with the RCA.
Originality of research approach to design and its related subjects (including demonstration of historical and contemporary knowledge)
The research’s significance for Asian design history and contemporary practice
Potential for developing original curatorial strategies in design
Proven ability of the candidate to thrive in a multidisciplinary environment
Proven ability of the candidate to undertake new research to advance their professional growth.
Potential for long-term contribution to curatorial development in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area
The relevance of the RCA and London as a location.
Relevance of the research interests statement to the 2022 theme ‘Hyperlocal’
Feasibility of the research where compliance with Government Covid-19 security regulations may restrict on travel and entail online/remote working
The fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis by a committee comprising representatives from the RCA and Design Trust. After the initial screening process, shortlisted candidates are invited to an in-person or remote interview.
How to apply
Applicants should provide:
The deadline for applications for the 2022 Fellowship is Thursday 23rd September 2021 12pm (GMT).
The Royal College of Art, the internationally renowned art and design university, provides students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world. A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA is a high performing institution, a radical traditionalist in a fast paced world. The RCA was named the world's leading university of art and design in the QS World Rankings 2019 for the fifth consecutive year. www.rca.ac.uk
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 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. www.designtrust.hk