Design Trust 2022 October Cycle Grant Recipients | January Cycle Call for Grants

20. 12. 2022

Design Trust 2023 January Grant Application is now open. Since its establishment in 2014, Design Trust has been offering grant support to individual designers, curators, collectives as well as non-profit organisations. Share with us your ideas and proposals by 20th January 2023. We are also pleased to announce the Grant Recipients from the 2022 October grant cycle. The upcoming projects include research topics on local design, crafts and cultural communities, as well as architecture and urban culture from Hong Kong to GBA.

Design Trust offers grants to individual designers, curators, collectives and non-profit organisations for projects and activities that are relevant to various design disciplines. These grants support projects relevant to the context and content of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Cities within the Greater Bay Area include: the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and the nine municipalities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province. We support innovative, thought-provoking investigations in various design disciplines from graphics, media, wearables, architecture to the built environment; and actively aim to accelerate creative design and research development of meaningful projects. These projects include but are not limited to: talks, exhibitions, residencies, research projects and creative installations.

DESIGN TRUST SEED GRANT fosters a culture of experimentation, testing and sharing. It is awarded to individuals seeking to kick-start a meaningful and intellectual project with social, educational, economical or environmental impact for communities. Seed Grants may support applicants who have a project in the pipeline that needs additional resources, as well as emerging designers, and young scholars. Design Trust highly encourages applicants from Hong Kong and the region to apply for this grant to support projects showcasing work at international venues, symposium or international biennales to showcase prototypes, or works relevant to architecture.

DESIGN TRUST FEATURE GRANT fosters cross-disciplinary projects focusing on the Greater Bay Area region. Projects awarded have a wide-reaching audience and may be sited in an exhibition or biennale venue with international recognition and standing. This grant supports international exchanges between a Hong Kong/ China based collective with an international renowned cultural institution. It aims to excel, share and build new knowledge and unique positions on the value of design, critical research and provocative outcome.

Applications for the next grant cycle will close on 20th January 2023. Apply now!

Grant Recipients from the 2022 October Grant cycle:

“Innovation of Metal Folding Craft Based On Galvanised Iron Handcrafts Study in Hong Kong” by Gamzar Lee, aims to explore the possibilities of applying parametric design methods to metal folding techniques to create a new series of practical products with galvanized iron and its traditional jointing technique. In collaboration with local craftsman Master Yu in Hong Kong, this project explores the potential of folding metal to design crafted products using industrial design software, and will introduce how the traditional jointing method he learned can assemble the folded pieces from 2D to 3D. With an emphasis on the practicality of traditional craftsmanship and the controllability of parametric design, the project seeks to revive Hong Kong metal handicrafts with a contemporary approach.


Zansyu Type Design” by Adonian Chan, is an ongoing cultural research and type design project on the topic of “Hong Kong Beiwei” which is a classic Chinese calligraphy style, and named as one of the most recognisable visual art forms in the streets of Hong Kong. Built upon his earlier Design Trust Seed Grant project “Hong Kong Beiwei Kaishu”, the project aims to continue to revitalize Hong Kong Beiwei into a digital font called Zansyu. The project celebrates Chinese Type Design’s focus on design craftsmanship, attention to nuances, and its essential role in our everyday communication and cultural exchanges, which is to date a highly underestimated creative practice.


“Interior Sketch Series: Indie Bookstores in Hong Kong” by Rolling Books, is a publication research project embarking on an investigation of how organic growth interior design evolves in our unique Hong Kong spaces. Designer/illustrator Ikey Poon will use her perspective drawings to illustrate local indie bookshops beyond imagination, narrating how “microscopic” spaces are utilized to promote reading experience. The study will include significant bookshops in various perspective, illustrating the 3D floor plans of bookshops through elevating angles, enlisting the little decorations and handwritten notes ever present in those unique spaces. The published illustrated book pays homage to the ever struggling indie bookshops scene, whilst engaging the community research and participation.


“Your Kitchen Is Your Dining Room Is Your Greenhouse” by Leyuan Li, explores the emergence of urban farming in domestic and urban spaces in the Greater Bay Area, by proposing a set of spatial installations that speculate on ways of collective living through the lens of food production. The design project stems from emerging urban farming in domestic spaces over the past decades, particularly during the pandemic. Together with a series of photographs, architectural drawings, interview materials, and spatial installations, the project investigates a new spatial typology that intersects the functions of a greenhouse, a kitchen, and a dining room. By facilitating the interplay between farming and preparing food, between delivering and consuming food, and between caring and sharing food, the design project suggests new spatial possibilities of urban farming that compile agricultural and social activities in the community, digging at the entrenched ecological and cultural care for food.


“Hong Kong Estate Centres as Public Amenity” by former Design Trust Seed Grant recipeints Jeffrey Cheng and Kris Provoost, is awarded a Feature Grant to continue its growing research about the architecture of 150 Hong Kong estate centres constructed between 1965 to 2005, a richly innovative yet eminently endangered blueprint for public amenity design in Hong Kong. The unique building type typically integrates mall, market, services and public space to support the day to day lives of half of Hong Konger's population. Over 150 centres were constructed, beginning with Wah Fu Estate in 1965 to the mass privatization of estate centres in 2005. Yet, in the absence of systematic study, the merits of this previously unnamed building type are largely unknown and threatened with neglect. The project addresses the timely needs to remember and celebrate the tailored-to-Hong Kong community building legacy.


“Behind The Books” by Mary Chan, is a publishing archive research project. Visual culture book publishing is a creative and design process that gathers, produces, and sustains stories of an era, of people, of places, of mementos, in the form of books. These books are carriers for heritage conservation of a city, and tell stories with its physical quality. The project’s visual culture publishing archive exhibition and series of community programs, serves as a communication basis to share and reflect on the value of books as physical cultural carrier in the art and design culture of Hong Kong, social responsibility of book publishing, as well as the right perception of what and who involved in publishing and bookmaking process, and material conservation of physical publication versus digital, acting as an inspiration for current and future publishing practitioners.


“Sand, Stone, Mountain” by Lily Zhang and Wataru Shinji, negotiates the distance between humans and nature through a series of gardens and installations, to promote how raw materials could connect the act of building with the earth itself. Sited in the historic Dawan Ancestral Hall built in 1793 in Pingshan, Shenzhen, this exhibition exemplifies the process akin to the practices, culture, and building tradition of the Hakka people who previously resided with this land, utilizing nature in its raw state to create space, and who currently to this day still live in this area of rich heritage. “Sand, Stone, Mountain” not only represents and celebrates the heritage of Hakka culture and architecture, but also reflects on the growing public awareness on a low carbon footprint way of life and a climate resilient living model, growing from minuscule to monumental in scale, with all three elements connecting humankind on a planetary level.