LETTER FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Continuing our Collective Cultivation of the Positive Impact of Design

16. 3. 2020

LETTER FROM MARISA YIU, Co-Founder/ Executive Director, DESIGN TRUST.

Dear Friends of DESIGN TRUST,

Greetings and I hope you are well, staying safe and strong through such challenging and uncertain times. As a registered charity now in its 13th year, the Design Trust initiative and its community is committed to continue our work, advance our design competency and continue to support and catalyse our programmes to benefit and inspire the public on the role of design, and support emerging scholars and designers research on urgent topics. On behalf of my team, the board, trustees and partners, we are also thrilled to share we have past our mark of supporting over 100 grantee and fellows this year. 2020 is a milestone year for us, to share and focus on the great work from past, ongoing and new programmes, to excel and create exciting meaningful research engagement and experimentation here in Hong Kong and beyond.

As we continue to inspire, transform and grow with our community, this upcoming summer season, we are engaging in a retrospective look at the past and ongoing grantees works, measuring our impact and planning interactive dialogues with a 2020 milestone publication to showcase the foundation’s growth, and our continuing pursuit of critical research, engagement and experimentation.

Since 2014, Design Trust grantees and fellows continue to contribute new knowledge and innovation in areas such as heritage, sustainability, the public realm, the positive power of play, addressing urgent archival needs and critical research on Hong Kong’s design histories. The enormous growth of our core grants programme, which offers funding to designers, curators, collectives and non-profit organisations for project proposals has been exciting to witness in the last few years. Approximately 2/3rds of our grantees community is from Hong Kong and the greater bay region, whose projects extend beyond the region into 42 cities internationally, celebrating and sharing knowledge and expertise with an international audience

Since 2014, Design Trust has awarded grants to over 100 individuals and collectives

As of 2020, Design Trust has received 494 applications for grants and funded over 100 projects

Recently, we saw the opening of two major museum exhibitions supported through our Design Trust Feature Grants. In February 2020, “Countryside, the Future” opened in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, captivating audiences with the ongoing research by architect and urbanist Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal, Director of AMO, the think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). In March, Cao Fei’s exhibition “Blueprints” opened at the Serpentine Galleries in London, marking the Chinese multi-media artist’s first large-scale institutional exhibition in the UK. Design Trust is very proud of the global reach of our Feature Grant programme, which has provided vital funding for 75 research projects since 2014. In 2017, we expanded our work with the DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO programme – building public space prototypes and pilot projects, engaging with private and public partners to innovate on heritage, and examining the power and positive elements of smallness in design to make large impacts. The programme includes education outreach to benefit the larger community of Hong Kong and the region. This community think-tank programme continues to grow in strength. In 2020, we are immensely thrilled to give life to innovative concepts by our designer teams of the 2018 programme by beginning the construction on a pilot micro-park site in Tsuen Wan district in New Territories.

Concept Presentation at Design Trust Future Studio 2018

Social experimentation by a designer team of Design Trust Future Studio 2017

"Future Sea Craft" by 2017 Design Trust Seed Grantee Florian Wegenast & Christine Lew


"Shenzhen Ready Made Design to World" by 2018 Feature Grantee Vicky Xie


Education workshop at Design Trust Future Studio 2019

School engagement at Design Trust Future Studio 2019

We are excited to continue our work with optimism and focus, and during this special milestone year, we sincerely thank our board Chairman Mr. Alan Lo for his dedicated chairmanship for the past decade, driving the growth of the charity and the international presence of the organisation. Alan will thankfully continue to be on our board and championing our development activities and as an instrumental co-founder of the Design Trust organisation. With one great cultural driver, we soon welcome a new chairman Mr. Kamsen Lau, who will continue to excel and collaborate with our team and board of directors this coming April 2020. We are excited to expand and accelerate the foundation’s purpose and mission with new programmes end of the year, which I cannot wait to share more.


Design Trust Board of Directors, Trustees, International Advisory Council and Greater Bay Area Design Council

With new challenges, changes in our environment to urgent social impact projects to continue with, we cannot thank again all the great work of our trustees, advisors, committee members, corporate trustee and all team members of our dynamic organisation.  As we remain positively focused ahead, we look forward to welcome you to our upcoming exhibitions, projects, and design dialogues and grantees works this summer season offline and online. Thank you again for your continuing support and generosity to our work in the foundation.

- Marisa Yiu, Co-Founder /Executive Director, Design Trust

Spring 2020

Hong Kong