Design Trust 2021 April Cycle Grant Recipients | Design Trust Call for Grants

25. 6. 2021

Design Trust 2021 July Grant Application is now open. Share with us your ideas and proposals by 20th July 2021. Design Trust offers grants to designers, curators, collectives and non-profit organisations for project proposals that are relevant to the context and content of Hong Kong and the region. 


2021 April Cycle Feature Grant Recipient


“Hong Kong Soil” by Niko Leung and Loky Leung is a project that explores the technical and cultural opportunities of recycling & reusing discarded soil from construction sites, not only from the intention to minimise environmental burden but also through deep research and experimentations, to manifest qualities of this material that would be valuable to our city. In Hong Kong excavated soil from the construction industry is disposed of infill banks as waste material, where a fraction is being recycled and a large amount being discharged to the Mainland for reuse. The project examines new possibilities for the Earth by reinterpreting the vernacular in new ways


2021 April Cycle Seed Grant Recipients


“Been Living Here… (An Archive on Local Settlements)” by Chi Ho Chung and his team - An archive of ordinary lives in self-constructed settlements of Hong Kong from the perception of the inhabitants. The project aims to preserve, reassemble and rediscover the informal urban design of the local village neighbourhoods. The relationships of land and people were ever-changing towards a harmonious order of living. Houses are shaped and grown with their occupants over time, and developed in a fundamental way of living, and survival upon scarce resources. As one of their research objects, Ma Shi Po is a farming village in the north-eastern part of Fanling in the New Territories, where most of the families make a living by farming.  


“Tomorrow Textile Lab” by Kay Wong – is a proposal and textile laboratory that helps individuals, fashion brands, and companies to redesign and repurpose their cast-offs, surplus, and off-season garments. This project aims to produce a tangible solution to the textile waste crisis, by utilizing a new needle punching technique and machine, that can felt and merge different fibres into a new hybrid material within a short time, examining circular production by giving new life to textile waste, offering a tangible and creative solution to the crisis we face today. The team will conduct community workshops alongside experimental works.


“Street View, People's Architecture Office 2010-2020” by Zhe He and his team from People’s Architecture Office (PAO) is a publication chronicling social change from the vantage point of PAO’s works and the streets of contemporary China between 2010-2020. In the background of a society striving for a better life while confronting ever greater uncertainty, PAO’s design approach is optimistic in its humanist ideals while grounded in its connection to street life. This book presents everyday situations that inspire, and are triggered by, the work of PAO in the form of photography, drawings, writings, and built projects. Interwoven through the book are essays by diverse contributors from across disciplines, offering alternative views on the transformation of China, and its relationship to contemporary discourse.


Feature Grant Highlight

Henry Steiner and co-curators Keith Tam and Amy Chan


Looking back to Design Trust Feature Grant project highlight this May, "Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner" exhibition curated by Keith Tam and Amy Chan, opened at the HKDI Gallery from 10th April - 30th May 2021. The exhibition featured around 350 designs by Henry Steiner and archival materials. Since Steiner's arrival in Hong Kong in 1961, his keen eye for local visual language has opened a new horizon in the field of graphic communication, contributing to Hong Kong's visual culture in transformative ways. Prolific and pioneering in his approach, Steiner has created some of the most iconic graphic designs that have shaped Hong Kong's visual landscape. Some corporations for which he has created identity systems for include HSBC, Dairy Farm, Hongkong Land and Standard Chartered.


From top to bottom, from left to right: 

"Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner" exhibition.

HSBC visual identity system by Henry Steiner.

Dairy Farm visual identity system by Henry Steiner. Featured work of "Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner" exhibition.

"Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner" exhibition opened at HKDI Gallery.


“Looking is not seeing”, said graphic designer Henry Steiner. To him, looking is an active quest for solutions. We look to uncover. This exhibition aims to provide a deeper understanding of graphic communication, and Steiner's contribution in graphic design as a profession in Hong Kong since his arrival. Through examining his works from the 1960s through the 2000s, we hope to bring new insights into his approaches, providing an alternative reading of Hong Kong's developments through the evolution of graphic language.


This video shares on his process, his observations on characters and signs of Hong Kong.

Left: Stories - The Asia Magazine cover (1962). Featured work of "Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner" exhibition

Right: Hi-Graphic no. 5 magazine cover. Featured work of "Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner" exhibition

Images and video courtesy of Centre for Communication Design, Hong Kong Design Institute

Look closer to Henry Steiner’s iconic work for the Asia Magazine - It was the late 1950s when commercial jets began to take flight. The January 1962 issue of The Asia Magazine was a special edition for travel-hungry, jet-age Westerners who were keen to explore Asia. Being the design director of the magazine, Steiner orchestrates a story of an exciting voyage in Asia. Founded by Adrian Zecha and partner, The Asia Magazine began as a weekend colour supplement to an English-language newspaper circulating in Asia, covering travel, arts, business, and social issues in the region.

During Steiner’s postgraduate studies at Yale, he had the opportunity to work with the renowned conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp, and was fascinated by his idea of the ‘readymade’. Duchamp’s ‘readymade’ is a conceptual thinking process in which he selects objects from everyday life, and puts them in new contexts as works of art to challenge traditional art practice. Steiner appropriates this concept in his graphic design work by thoughtfully selecting and rearranging familiar objects to create new narratives.


More details on the exhibition are here.