Design Trust Grantee Project Featured Stories

16. 3. 2020

Design Trust is proud to share the innovative work by our Feature Grantees and Seed Grantees. Our featured grant stories this quarter includes ‘Dementialand’ by Feature Grantees Ire Tsui and Yanki Lee at Enable Foundation; ‘Social Network Factory’ by Feature Grantees James Shen, Zang Feng and He Zhe at People’s Architecture Office (PAO); ‘Ise Bay Project: The story of Amanami’ by Seed Grantee Laurent Gutierrez and Valerie Portefaix at MAP Office; and ‘’ by Seed Grantee Lam Lai and her team at

“DementiaLand” by Ire Tsui and Yanki Lee of Enable Foundation at Dutch Design Week. Image courtesy of Enable Foundation


Dementialand is a design research project initiated by Design Trust Feature Grantees Ire Tsui and Yanki Lee of Enable Foundation, which investigates citizens’ responses as well as professional services on dementia care in Hong Kong and sparks new insights internationally to tackle this global health issue through socially innovative design.

Community engagement in collaboration with Hong Kong Housing Society reached 1,600 HK citizens with a comprehensive, immersive experience for the public to learn more about the symptoms of dementia and tackle misunderstanding that patients only suffer memory loss. Further exchanges in Copenhagen and Eindhoven engaged with a further 10,000 audiences and provided opportunity for cross-disciplinary exchange between Enable Foundation’s design research team with dementia social care and services experts, designers and public.

The project also includes the production of an experiential prototype jacket, co-designed with London-based designer Pascal Anson, which aims to remove stigma and raise awareness around dementia. This was exhibited at Dutch Design Week to 20,000 visitors consisting of practicing architects, designers, medical experts, artists, students and family members and carers of people living with dementia.


“Social Network Factory” by James Shen, Zang Feng and He Zhe of People’s Architecture Office (PAO). Photograph by A Tian.


Design Trust Feature Grantees James Shen, Zang Feng and He Zhe of People’s Architecture Office (PAO) drew inspiration from the bustling everyday social activities that are common in the streets of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Their project ‘Social Network Factory’ addresses how design planning on a newly developed urban setting can foster a sense of belonging and social connection.

Installed outside Design Society in Shekou, Shenzhen, ‘The Social Network Factory’ activates public space by stimulating the gathering of people and activities, acting as a place of connection. The installation enables the public to explore different ways of interaction and learning, and was accompanied by an exhibition titled “Social Design: Learning at Play - Ten Years of People’s Architecture Office”.

Functioning on a human scale, small horns allow people to speak indirectly to each other while large horns are occupiable and provide cover for social activities. The installation’s twisting tubes recall the maritime and industrial heritage of Shekou. They become telescopes, periscopes, and public furniture that facilitate the gathering of people and act as an instrument for discovering new and unexpected ways of aural, visual, and physical interaction.


Left: Exhibition at Milan Triennale 2019 as part of Broken Nature, curated by Paola Antonelli
Right: HK High Island by MAP Office

Design Trust Seed Grantees Laurent Gutierrez and Valerie Portefaix of MAP Office, based in Hong Kong, are inspired by the coastal regions and the specific economies, ecologies and communities. The research titled as ‘Ise Bay Project: The story of Amanami’ develops from a field survey, with photographic, video and interview of the local population to preserve and archive a way of living and knowledge of Ise Bay cultural heritage, and reflect on the economy of subsistence as a possible way to re-activate customary knowledge. The subjects of the study, Japanese Ama divers, represent a unique living example of an aquatic lifestyle that is characterised by interaction with the sea and neighbouring terrestrial communities and a strong bond with nature. Their way of living, foraging seafood and seaweeds, preserving and cooking existed within their constructed landscape for 3,000 years and they exemplify a unique intangible cultural heritage.

The exhibition of the output was presented at Milan Triennale 2019 as part of “Broken Nature” curated by Paola Antonelli, an exhibition celebrating design’s ability to offer powerful insight into the key issues of our age.

Left: Technical set up at Twenty Alpha Hong Kong before the event
Right: Poster head. Graphic images by Tap Chan

Design Trust Seed Grantees Lam Lai and her team at 02022020.SPACE launched an online platform to initiate performance as dialogue across Hong Kong, Barcelona, Leiden and Seoul on 02 February 2020.

The project titled ‘02022020.SPACE’ aims to connect different practitioners from various disciplines, and capture their responses to this special date though audience participation and expanding the boundaries of community across cities. The project embraces the concept of time zones entering the day sequentially, a new design work, installation or live performance will be launched at each time zone. Participating creatives from Hong Kong included Tap Chan, Karen Yu & William Kuo, Heidi Law, Nadim Abbas, Lam Lai, Steve Hui, Wen Chin Fu, Tak Cheung Hui and more.