Design Trust is proud to share that since 2014, our platform has supported over 125 grantees and fellows to date. 2020 has been a critical time to reflect, review, and respond. For months, our team has been putting together a publication that documents past achievements and our grantees’ impactful works. In the lead up to the launch, this quarter we look back on the innovative works by our Grantees that focus on bringing about positive change in communities through addressing the topics of well-being and improving shared spaces. Featured grant stories this quarter includes the seasonal zine project “Islanders” by Design Trust Seed Grant Grantee Kit Chan and Myriem Alnet; “Dust Chambers” by Design Trust Seed Grant Grantee Adam Hudec; and Good(s) Log (物志), by the Inven_tory team Clarissa Lim and Vanessa Ma.
The challenges the world faced in the first quarter of 2020 and the relatively slower pace has brought to the forefront important topics such as how wellbeing is being prioritised, and how public spaces are planned and realised to actively engage communities in healthy, sustainable ways.
Kit Chan and Myriem Alnet’s “Islanders”—a bilingual, seasonal map-zine—takes readers off the grid and into the chronicles of the outlying island of Peng Chau. Through thoughtful enquiries into the island’s people and lifestyles, their project provides original insight into sustainable living. The map-zine is published thematically with content based carefully on research, interviews and observations. With Islanders, Chan and Alnet aim to bridge a gap between a community of indigenous residents and newcomers through a process of discovery and consolidation of Peng Chau’s unique culture.
Harvey Chung Ho Wang and team at FabCafe Hong Kong Design Collective, with their Design Trust Seed Grant, facilitate conversations around design-driven solutions to urgent local socio-environmental issues through a series of workshops, public discussions and exhibitions. The group conducts in-depth research to identify and understand most important local socio-environmental challenges pertaining to Hong Kong. Subsequently, through organising public meetups, workshops and exhibitions, they aim to facilitate connections and dialogues between designers to identify design opportunities, address challenges from multiple perspectives and support meaningful collaborations. At the beginning of the pandemic, Chung and his team at FabCafe HK Design Collective was part of “Maker Communities Respond to Covid-19”, an online discussion that focuses on the swift action taken by maker communities around the world, who are leveraging the power of quick prototyping provided by digital fabrication. For example, FabCafe in Barcelona designed and 3D printed Y- splitters to help increase the capacity of hospital respirators, and Azby Brown at SAFECAST developed the “Covid-19 Testing Map” to give voices to people around the world to share first-hand information and experience with virus testing.
Design Trust Seed Grant recipient A Good(s) Log (物志), by the Inven_tory team Clarissa Lim and Vanessa Ma, posits to re-examine the collection, archival and transactional relationships between our notion of home, the context of Hong Kong and object making. The project reveals the liminal space between the physical object itself (foreground) and the context (background) where it persists. Through reaching out to local community and revealing new methodologies of archival processes, or new ways of positioning objects of collective memory through business ventures, a documentary and analytical texts will be developed to cross-examine these examples to reveal new ways of objects as a tool to gather communities, reinstate collective memories and to engage our transitory environment.
The environmental changes and challenges of nature, species extinction, waste and other planetary degradation are visible signals that render the connection between human, nature and culture. 2019 Design Trust Seed Grant Grantee Adam Hudec’s “Dust Chambers” turns our attention instead to the unseeable—dynamics of air as a medium of transformation and entity of collective memory of our actions. These interactive instruments explore elements within air that links air and architecture, nature and culture, our political choices and private lifestyle. Hudec brings to our attention a new way of understanding the human impact on our surrounding environment.
Design has the positive power to accelerate change and it is now more important than ever to support our community of young designers. The Design Trust Seed Grant and Feature Grant will continue to support emerging designers and young scholars by providing vital resources to kick-start meaningful and intellectual projects with lasting social, educational, economical or environmental impact.