Design Trust Grant Spotlight

21. 6. 2023

Design Trust is pleased to share a selection of highlighted grant projects, including ‘Trading Bays: Resilience Design Strategies for San Francisco Bay Area and China's Greater Bay Area’ exhibition led by Ashley Scott Kelly,  ‘Remaining Threads’ workshop by Ibiye Camp, ‘Automated Landscapes: Architectures of Work without Workers’ publication led by Marina Otero Verzier and Het Nieuwe Instituut, ISLANDERS 島民 map-zine issue 3 and ‘Thank you, next’ publication by Natasza Minasiewicz launch at Tai Kwun BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair 2023, ‘Innovation of Metal Folding Craft Based On Galvanised Iron Handcrafts Study in Hong Kong’ by Gamzar Lee exhibited at London Crafts Week 2023, ‘Reimagine Our Community’ exhibition by Annette Chu and Gabriel Lee and ‘Emergent Urban Ecologies’ installation by Jeroen van Ameijde.


Design Trust Feature Grant ‘Trading Bays: Resilience Design Strategies for San Francisco Bay Area and China's Greater Bay Area’ led by Ashley Scott Kelly

Images courtesy of Urban Resilience by Design team

The research project was displayed at Central Market, Hong Kong, featuring proposals from an ongoing collaboration between the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture and University of California Berkeley College of Environmental Design. Trading Bays explores how architects, landscape architects and planners engage with the concept of “resilience” in visioning the future by focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area and China’s Greater Bay Area.


The exhibition showcased design and planning proposals led by core team members including Mr. Ashley Scott Kelly, Dr. Eric Schuldenfrei, Mr. Ivan Valin, Dr. Cecilia Chu, Mr. Michael Kokora, and Prof. Chris Webster with teams and members of the University of Hong Kong and University of California, Berkeley between 2018 and 2023- a period in which both regions experienced significant shocks to environmental and economic systems. Emphasizing that resilient strategies are not based on simplified notions of technical efficiency, exhibited projects simultaneously push the limits of physical environments while testing capacities to govern and regulate diverse urban, landscape and coastal systems of the future.


Design Trust Seed Grant ‘Remaining Threads’ workshop by Ibiye Camp with Mills CHAT

Workshop image courtesy of Mills CHAT, project image courtesy of Ibiye Camp

Ibiye Camp’s recent workshop project with CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) of Mills took place during Art Basel Hong Kong 2023. Based on her ongoing research project “Remaining Threads”, Ibiye invited Hong Kong participants to re-imagine cloth by cutting and removing threads to create new textures. This process known as Pelete-bite, meaning ‘cut-thread’, belongs to the Kalabari culture in Buguma, Nigeria and the final pulled thread textile is called Injiri. “Remaining Threads” demonstrates entanglement of traditions, communication, bodies and machines, capturing the recent observation of Pelete Bite and many other tradition cloth techniques manufactured in the Greater Bay Area of China when Nigeria relies on textile imports from China, causing a transformation to the flow of trade. The ongoing research also looks into Sub-Saharan African traders residing in Guangzhou as mediators between the manufactures and exports to markets in the African continent. The project was previously exhibited at the 13th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art Shanghai.


Design Trust Seed Grant recipients ISLANDERS島民 map-zine issue 3 and ‘Thank you, next’ publication by Natasza Minasiewicz

Images courtesy of ISLANDERS島民
Images courtesy of Natasza Minasiewicz.

ISLANDERS島民 map-zine issue 3 and the publication concluding ‘Thank you, next’ by Natasza Minasiewicz were launched at Tai Kwun BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair 2023.


The seasonal map-zine from Peng Chau enquires into islands and their inhabitant lifestyles to develop original perspectives on sustainable living. Bilingual, thematic and based on research, interviews and observations, ISLANDERS bridges a gap between a community of old residents and newcomers, by revealing Peng Chau’s unique culture. With each issue of their zine, ISLANDERS examine an object of the ordinary life to uncover and discuss its structure. For issue 3, they take a close look at Peng Chau people’s wearables and how it has been shaping and shaped by the island culture.


Located in a building scheduled for demolition by the end of 2022, Natasza’s previous grant research exhibition ‘Thank you, next’ provides an alternative set of references to the built and natural environment and a note on Hong Kong’s persistent redevelopment. Formatted as a series of published articles, photography, conversations and installations, this work investigates the city’s modern architectural language together with its atmospheric condition, through a visual atlas of urban forms and geometries, materiality and historical narratives. This publication ends the project ‘Thank you, next’ with a documentation of last year’s exhibition in Jordan, a transcript of the panel discussion with guests Leelee Chan, Dr Cecilia L Chu, Charles Lai, Charlotte Lafont-Hugo and a conversation with Sin-tung Ko. Publication design with Studio Pianpian He and Max Harvey, and exhibition received additional support from AIA HK Chapter and Docomomo Hong Kong.


Design Trust Seed Grant ‘Innovation of Metal Folding Craft Based On Galvanised Iron Handcrafts Study in Hong Kong’ by Gamzar Lee

Project image courtesy of Gamzar Lee, exhibition image courtesy of Crafts on Peel.

‘Innovation of Metal Folding Craft Based On Galvanised Iron Handcrafts Study in Hong Kong’ by Gamzar Lee was exhibited at London Crafts Week 2023 as part of Hearts & Hands: Crafts of Hong Kong. Galvanized iron is a durable iron alloy coated with zinc, often crafted to be our daily utensils in the 1950s and 60s in Hong Kong, before the wide usage of plastic and stainless steel. Gamzar started his galvanized iron crafts apprenticeship in 2020 following the local Master Yu. He started his design exploration with reference to Origami and parametric design methodology. Based on continuous craft practice and a deeper understanding of galvanized iron material, this craft research project explores the potential of folding metal using industrial design software while integrating local heritage of Hong Kong.


Design Trust Seed Grant ‘Reimagine Our Community’ by Annette Chu and Gabriel Lee

Image courtesy of Annette Chu and Gabriel Lee.

The exhibition and research project “Reimagine Our Community” by Annette Chu and Gabriel Lee addresses the essential role of communal spaces in the city, and to improve atmospheric conditions of neighborhoods by extracting distinct urban characteristics and connecting them to people’s daily living experiences. Through observing, extracting and articulating urban fragments, the grantees imagine new, yet familiar communal spaces that speak their utopian imaginations for their neighbourhoods. The exhibition tested an alternative approach in developing communal spaces in Hong Kong, and provides possibilities of urban imaginations by architecture through a series of photographs, collages, drawings, physical models, videos and stories.


Design Trust Seed Grant ‘Emergent Urban Ecologies’ by Jeroen van Ameijde

Design diagrams and workshop documentation images courtesy of Jeroen van Ameijde, installation photos image courtesy of Jiahua Dong.

The research project and installation “Emergent Urban Ecologies” by Jeroen van Ameijde was recently showcased at Chak On Estate, Sham Shui Po. The research and installation investigates how public space seating can stimulate spontaneous socialising and community formation, to improve public estate facilities in the context of “Ageing in Place” strategies. The canopy was designed with digital design and fabrication methodologies, adapting the fabric shape to the desired shadow locations and optimising for structural performance. The project was developed through workshops of latest digital design and fabrication methodologies and applied to a public space in Hong Kong. By connecting digital tools to cultural issues in activating community spaces, the programme demonstrates a new field of application for socially driven computational design. This ongoing research project is with the School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, with contribution from Lightweight Works and APS Research Ltd.