“DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade” Prototype Exhibition Highlights and Programmes

8. 10. 2020

“DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade” Prototype Exhibition opened on Monday 21 September 2020 at House Studio of Soho House Hong Kong, for a two-week exhibition until Sunday 4th October 2020. Since its formation, “DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade” has been a micro-initiative rooted in the idea of community, recognising its essential role in paving a positive and inspiring way to connect the community during COVID-19 challenges and uncertainties faced by all industries. With Soho House as our Exhibition Venue Partner, we were able to create the opportunity to bring together designers, creatives, and a broader public community in the showcase of 76 object prototypes created in response to a collective brief. This micro-initiative conceptualised by Marisa Yiu (Co-Founder / Executive Director of Design Trust) expresses innovation, reflection, lightness and hope, represented by the transformation of our DESIGN TRUST “D” from its typical dark blue hue to a multi-coloured rainbow of hope. This rainbow is a message of optimism and resilience that parallels the intention of this micro-initiative, where small acts of making, and gestures of generosity expand to more support within and around communities.

Since its founding in 2014, Design Trust has built a tight-knit community of creative individuals across many cities, and collectives focusing on research. Through this micro-initiative, Design Trust continues to bring its inspirational community together to benefit the wider public. To support the community, Design Trust provides flexible and responsive funding for creative projects and research initiatives that positively impact Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area region and internationally. Through this micro-initiative, Design Trust encourages giving back to the community in ways that allow for connection amongst the global crisis. The programme’s next phase is powered by a generous patron community and brand ambassadors such as kapok, Chinachem, ZS Hospitality Group, WOMANBOSS, COLOURLIVING and VSFG group to help realise the prototypes into a late Fall/Winter showcase.

The “DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade” Prototype Exhibition was held in House Studio of Soho House Hong Kong.

Installation view of DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade Prototype Exhibition

On the foreground, Kacey Wong’s COVID-19 Series presents highly sought-after household items in a gem-like time capsule along with Michael Young’s Antibacterial Door Handles; Li Fu’s Samurai Chopsticks and Donn Holohan’s Under/Exposed.

Ming Shan Connie Yuen’s Paper travels on virus days

DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade window display at Soho House Hong Kong

TACTILE FAMILY by Aron Tsang and Hera Lui, NAPP Studio

Under/Exposed by Donn Holohan and Elspeth Lee, Superposition

World of Interiors by Sam Jacob

DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade Programme Portfolio
Click here to read more about our participating designers and their prototypes.


DESIGN TRUST: Family Making Workshop

With some of our local participating designers, we invited families to come and engage with the prototypes from our exhibition in a selection of interactive workshops and activities.

Bob Pang and Allan Chong from AaaM Architects led one of our family workshop activities with their “CAN” play prototype

DESIGN TRUST x DEZEEN Virtual Design Dialogue

As our international media partner for the exhibition, we collaborated with Dezeen on a live-streamed design dialogue featuring a selection of our initiative’s participating designers. The discussion was moderated by our Lead Curator, Marisa Yiu (Co-Founder / Executive Director of Design Trust) and Aric Chen (Curatorial Director of Design Miami Fair and an advisor on Design Trust’s Greater Bay Area Design Council). Participating designers included: Elaine Yan Ling Ng, Xavier Tsang, Julie Progin and Jesse Mc Lin, Joel Austin and Queenie Li, Adam Hudec, Michael Young, Chi Yan Chan of Collective, Sarah Lee and Yutaka Yano, Clara Brito, Soilworm Lai, Nikolas Ettel, Lidia Ratoi and Annie Lye, Frédéric Gooris, UUendy Lau, Natasza Minasiewicz, Shuyan Chan of AaaM Architects, Aron Tsang, and Anouchka van Driel of People’s Architecture Office.

Participating designers along with moderators Marisa Yiu and Aric Chen

Upcoming Programmes


In celebration of creative processes, making and makers, DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade designers will be participating in Create Day, a twenty-four hour digital programme of designer processes, makers and their work launched by London Craft Week on Saturday 10 October 2020, 1-3pm HKT.

No prior registration is required, please watch on Create Day.

Fall/Winter Showcase

In keeping with our collaborative spirit within the design community, Design Trust is thrilled to announce that a selection of our prototypes will be produced by our Design Trust Champions and available for purchase, where all proceeds and funds raised will be donated back to support Design Trust’s ongoing efforts to address the current Covid-19 challenges and to provide immediate support through our granting programmes.

Prototypes are undergoing vetting and selection and will be announced in two weeks time produced by our Design Trust Champions: kapok, WOMANBOSS, COLOURLIVING and ZS hospitality. More details to be announced as more DESIGN TRUST Champion brands and partners are joining this effort.

DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade Prototype exhibition continues to expand to the wider community, culminating in a series of activations in Hong Kong, the region and internationally from Suzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, to Bangkok, and Melbourne. More details to be announced.

A small launch to share on designers works and prototypes was held on Sept 19th 2020 to mark the launch of the micro-initiative


Lead Organiser 

Design Trust

Design Trust Champions 

Kapok, ZS Hospitality Group, Chinachem Group, WOMANBOSS, COLOURLIVING, VSFG

Design Trust Leaders 2020 

Joyce Tam, Stephen Cheng, David Au, Tai Ping, Kamsen Lau, William Lim, Michael Ling, Jennifer C. Liu, Merlin Swire, Selina Kong

Design Trust Influencers 2020  

Evan Chow, Stefan Rihs, Inna Highfield, Geoffrey Chuang, Ivan Pun, Yenn Wong, Angela Chow, Justin Ng, Aron Harilela, Jackson Chow, Jo Soo Tang

Exhibition Venue Partner 

Soho House Hong Kong

International Media Partner  


Social Enterprise Collaborator  

Cookie Smiles


Design Trust would like to thank individuals who are making this platform possible:

Committee and Advisory members: Alan Lo, Marisa Yiu, Ivan Pun, Denise Lau, Gabriela Kenndey, Alfred Lam, David Au, Desiree Au, Geoffrey Chuang, Inna Rodchenko-Highfield, Jason Basmajian, Jonathan Cheung, Joyce Tam, Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Sean Fitzpatrick, Shera Law, Stefan Rihs, Aric Chen, Eva Franch, Keith Tam, Lars Nittve, Marc Cansier, Shin Wong, William To, Zoë Ryan, Robert Cheng, Bastian Wong, Aaron Lau and Arthur Kuipers.

Prototype Exhibition, Event Management & Curatorial Team:

Marisa Yiu (Lead Curator/ Creative Direction), Joyce Li (Assistant Director, Programmes, Media & Events), Cindy Tai (Manager, Production); Naomi Altman (Curatorial Support; Editorial); Melissa Kong (Event Support), Rosalia Leung (Exhibition Design Co-ordination).