Design Trust Gala 2021 | WINTER PLAYSCAPES

23. 12. 2021



‘WINTER PLAYSCAPES’ is a collective testament to our community to gather and support the ongoing inspirational research, projects and ongoing granting projects to connect various generations, and which impact our city with optimism, energy and vibrancy of shaping our cultural community.” Marisa Yiu, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Design Trust (December 2021)


Design Trust, a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating platforms that support and stimulate the positive process of design through grant-making, community engagement, and the promotion of creative expression in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area region, partnered with Prada as the Title Sponsor for the gala dinner in 2021. The partnership between Prada and Design Trust is grounded in a shared vision to produce and support world-class creative projects that stimulate and facilitate cultural discourse and engagement across art, design and architecture. Returning as a title sponsor, since supporting the gala dinner in 2018, Prada once again presents the Design Trust Gala 2021 in support of play, community and collaboration.


Returning after a two years’ hiatus due to the pandemic, this year’s Design Trust Gala was successfully held on 16 December 2021 at the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel. Following the theme of “WINTER PLAYSCAPES”, guests were welcomed by grandeur interiors and an impressive snowy arch as an entryway to walk through. The annual fundraiser celebrated the seasonal juxtapositions of our city through an immersive, playful, and dynamic event set within a lush green environment. It was a full house with 360 attendees, including key industry leaders, celebrities, and community creatives coming together to support the NOG.


Design Trust Gala 2021 Lead Curator, Marisa Yiu and three Hong Kong based creative collaborators, William Lim, a renowned architect, an artist, designer, patron and collector shared his acumen of design to set the ambiance of the event interior; Elaine Yan Ling Ng, – one of Design Trust’s first grant recipients starting her work in Guizhou in 2015 on sustainable textile techniques, and today expanding new research on the role of material innovation created a unique interactive “Palm Tree” installation made of UV printed polymer and Swarovski crystals and recycled yarn from offshoots from Elaine’s studio ; and the youngest of three, is Mak Ying Tung 2 (aka Mak2), - a conceptual artist born in 1989, not defined by any medium; yet adding play and humour to contemplate contemporary issues through the study of Humanities. For the event Mak2 responded to the “Winter Landscapes” by interweaving her conceptual installation of a bed and wardrobe with the use of technology to blur boundaries between the artificiality and reality. Guests were welcomed to a venue that was decorated with palm trees, sunflowers, building landscapes, and elements of Design Trust Futures Studio’s micro-parks, which allowed the audiences to appreciate a natural setting and encourage open dialogues. For the first-time ever, the long ‘socially-connected’ table in this “WINTER PLAYSCAPES '' helped to facilitate how we share and collectively build an optimistic, playful, safe and healthy future together. World-renowned artist Cao Fei’s Nova film set the scene of the evening, and further in the evening a special performance by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble was staged at the Gala, inspired by field recordings of Design Trust parks project in Yi Pei Square Playground in Tsuen Wan.

Design Trust was proud to honour Dr. Henry Steiner at this year’s gala, where Dr. Steiner was presented with the DESIGN TRUST LEGACY AWARD 2021 by trustee Dr. Victor Lo, and Board Member Alan Lo, for his contribution to graphic design. Hailed as the "Father of Hong Kong Graphical Design", the 87-year-old Austrian graphic designer, who has been based in Hong Kong since the 60s, is the mastermind behind some of the most iconic brand identity and design projects, including the Hong Kong banknote for the Standard Chartered Bank, as well as logo creations for prestigious brands such as HSBC, The Jockey Club, Hong Kong Land, Unilever, and more.


For the Live Auction this year, there were 26 auction lots, thanks to the kind donations from artists and friends of Design Trust. Elaine Kwok and Georgina Hilton, renowned auctioneers of Christies co-hosted the live auction first time as a double-act between the two ends of the event gala, which featured a remarkable curation of arts and design masterpieces from renowned international artists and designers, such as Minoru Nomata (works donated by White Cube Gallery), Davide Balliano (work donated by Cardi Gallery), Zheng Guogu (work donated by Debbie Lo Creativity Foundation), Mak Ying Tung 2 (aka Mak2, work donated by artist and de Sarthe), Elaine Yan Ling Ng and William Lim. Design Trust was also proud to present for the first time in their auction: three unique NFTs by leading digital artists including Andrés Reisinger, Derry Ainsworth and Henry Chu.


“My excitement of being able to host and realise this year’s gala is beyond words and humbling to see so many collaborators come to support us,” says Marisa Yiu, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Design Trust. “It has been a very challenging 12-18 months for so many people and organisations, and I would like to thank everyone’s support from the bottom of my heart to make this year’s gala possible. We believe in design’s ability to build a positive impact on our daily life. This year’s theme ‘WINTER PLAYSCAPES’ is a collective testament to our community to gather and support the ongoing inspirational research, projects and ongoing granting projects to connect various generations, and which impact our city with optimism, energy and vibrancy of shaping our cultural community.”


Design Trust Gala 2021 was held at the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, who generously provided the venue for this year’s gala dinner. Proceeds from the fundraising Gala will go towards building robust initiatives on to benefit the public, such as the DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO “Play is for the People” micro-parks programme that is ongoing with key projects opened in neighbourhoods in Hong Kong and ongoing, and Hong Kong’s forefront role in research grants, design development projects, and community programmes for Design Trust.


Among those featured and present during the evening were Marisa Yiu – the co-founder/ Executive Director of Design Trust, host of the evening, and Alan Lo, former Chairman of Design Trust; along with luminaries and renowned designers, curator and patrons of the arts such as Dr. Victor Lo, Vivienne Tam, Adrian Cheng, Hilary Tsui, Jonathan Cheung, Ming Wai Lau, Desiree Au, Edwin Chuang, Geoffrey Chuang, Kristine Li, Vickie Li, Yenn Wong, Ruth Chao, Charmaine Ho, Denise Lau, Jimmy Chan, Nelson Chow, Emily Lam-Ho, Federico Tan, Donald Choi, Joanne Chow, Andre Fu, Eric Schuldenfrei, Chi-Wing Lo, Jason Magnus, Natalie Magnus, Alan Chan, Mimi Brown, Victoria Owen, Alfred Lam, David Au, Inna Rodchenko-Highfield, Pauline J. Yao, Jehan Chu, Joyce Tam, Veronica Chou, Benjamin Cha, Bosco Law & Shera Law, William Lim and guest moderator/co-host James Chau for the evening. Kamsen Lau (Chairman of Design Trust) zoomed from Shanghai, Ivan Pun (Myanmar), Rosey Chan (London) and Nathan Clements-Gillespie (Rome) joined virtually on zoom for a special key moment and co-host James Chau as moderator for the event.

A special Design Trust Pledge event video was created involving the Board and Leadership team members and various creative collaborators

Over the last eight years, Design Trust has built a strong community of creative individuals and collectives focusing on positioning Hong Kong as a leading centre of design in the region, as well as globally.  We are so empowered by all of your contributions and supporting our growth. Fundraising proceeds go towards building robust initiatives to benefit the public, and Hong Kong’s forefront role in research, design development projects, and community programmes to keep the positive momentum for microparks projects under Design Trust Futures Studio, and curatorial fellowships and the shaping of new projects.


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The Design Trust Gala 2021 Benefit Committee

Kamsen Lau, Marisa Yiu, Alan Lo, Joyce Tam, Denise Lau, Ivan Pun, Desiree Au, Alfred Lam, Emily Lam-Ho, Jonathan Cheung, Julia Liu, Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Rosey Chan, Shera Law and Stefan Rihs


The Design Trust Gala 2021 Organiser and Sponsors

Lead Organiser: Design Trust

Title Sponsor: Prada

Creative Collaborators: Marisa Yiu, William Lim, Elaine Yan Ling Ng and Mak Ying Tung 2

Venue Partner: Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel

Auction Partner: Christie’s

Champagne & Liquor Partner: Perrier-Jouët Champagne

Gala Production Partner: The Ad Region

Wine Partner: Bellefont Belcier 

Rum Partner: SelvaRey

Media Partner: Vogue Hong Kong, Tatler Hong Kong, Dezeen

Communications Partners: Sutton, Advisory Council

Trophy Design Partner: LASVIT 

Entertainment: HKNME

Co-host/moderator: James Chau


Co-Founder and Executive Director 

Marisa Yiu


Board of Directors 

Kamsen Lau (Chairman), Alan Lo, Denise Lau, Gabriela Kennedy, Ivan Pun and Joyce Tam.


About Design Trust (

Design Trust was established in 2014 by Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, a registered charity in Hong Kong since 2007, as a grant funding platform. Design Trust supports creative projects that develop expertise, build research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines from graphics, media, architecture to the built environment, Design Trust aims to actively accelerate creative research, design and development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design.


About Design Trust Futures Studio (

Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS) is a long‐term flagship programme that makes visible the processes and positive role of design in the culture of contemporary design and production. The programme stems from a project‐studio concept that promotes life‐long collaborations through a mentor‐mentee programme. DTFS is a cross‐disciplinary initiative created and conceptualised by Marisa Yiu, Co‐founder and Executive Director of Design Trust. Experts from different fields will contribute to the mentor‐mentee teams in the exploration of materials, production, and put forth the positive value of design of public spaces in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and internationally. In 2017, we examined the theme of smallness in Hong Kong and how it can be harnessed to create meaningful change with the theme “Small is Meaningful”.


Since 2018, DTFS has been working alongside public and private agencies including the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and Architectural Services Department. From January 2018 to April 2019, DTFS’ “PLAY IS FOR THE PEOPLE” programme was sponsored by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK), while Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation was the Education & Community Outreach Partner. As conceptual designer and lead organiser, DTFS led and engaged, conducted research and design four micro-parks as public spaces of the future. These locations include: Portland Street Rest Garden, Hamilton Street Rest Garden, the Sitting-Out Area under Hill Road Flyover, and Yi Pei Square Playground. The aim is to transform the micro-park designs into reality, with Architectural Services Department as the works agent and Leisure and Cultural Services Department as the client of the parks. Capital works and support for the construction of the Yi Pei Playground were sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and funded by the Hong Kong SAR government. The three other parks capital works are supported by the Hong Kong SAR government.


Seventeen mentees formed the four multidisciplinary design teams, accompanied by one mentor per group, to overlook the projects including advisors from different fields. Led by Marisa Yiu, the team of mentors consist of local Hong Kong-based architect Gary Chang (Founder, EDGE Design Institute) and artist, photographer and designer Stanley Wong (anothermountainman) alongside international mentors Mimi Hoang (Principal, nARCHITECTS, New York) and Sam Jacob (Principal, Sam Jacob Studio, London). Richard Hassell (Co-founder of WOHA) has also been providing ongoing support and guidance to the teams as international workshop mentor, along with Elizabeth Diller (Founding Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro) and her team, who shared their design philosophy and processes for the Highline and other public space projects at the DTFS 2018 Research Study Tour in New York.