Design Trust Welcomes New Greater Bay Area Advisory Council Members

20. 12. 2022

Marisa Yiu (Co-founder/ Executive Director), Kamsen Lau (Chairman, Board of Design Trust) and the Board of Directors are pleased to welcome new advisors to join Greater Bay Area Design Council: Helen So, James “JJ” Acuña and Manfred Yuen.

Helen So leads the Arts Innovation team in policy research and advocacy at Our Hong Kong Foundation, the largest public policy thinktank in Hong Kong. Her team’s policy recommendation proposal on the topic of Arts Tech was Hong Kong’s first-of-the-kind to actively call to action the arts and technology sectors to work together. Helen’s public service includes various advisory roles appointed by the Hong Kong Government: she currently serves as Member of the Advisory Committee on Arts Development, and Member of the Museum Advisory Committee. She is also Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum Board under the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. Ms. So holds a Master of Studies (MSt) in Musicology & Ethnomusicology at St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford. She is a cellist and continues to perform today.

James “JJ” Acuña is the founder and creative director of the Award-winning JJ Acuna / Bespoke Studio. Based in Hong Kong and Manila, Acuña’s considered and humanistic approach to the practice creates high-quality bespoke interiors and environments for hospitality, restaurants, retail spaces, workspaces, and homes. He designs for people who enjoy living well, seeing the world, and experiencing different cultures. Acuña studied Architecture at Cornell University (B.Arch ’04) and Columbia University (MS.AAD ’05).

Manfred Yuen founded Groundwork Architects & Associates in 2011, focusing improving the living environment of Hong Kong. Groundwork was later joined by CY Lau and Fiona Bao as the practice expanded into Southern China. In 2018, he co-founded Groundwork Shenzhen: a research arm of Groundwork that focuses on children play spaces and school designs. He was invited to be one of the speakers in 2019 at TEDx, Shenzhen, where he advocated humanistic and social responsibilities of architects. Manfred received his architectural training at University of Cambridge, the University of Hong Kong, and serves as an honorable advisor to the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Oxfam International, and the Shenzhen Women Federation.

Design Trust also thanks the continuing support of the wider advisory and trustee community enhancing the work of the leadership and staff team:

2022 Board of Directors and Leadership Team: Kamsen Lau (Chairman, Board of Design Trust), Marisa Yiu (Co-founder, Lead Curator/Executive Director), Denise Lau, Gabriela Kennedy, Ivan Pun, Elizabeth Chu and Jonathan Cheung.

Trustees:  Victor Lo, Alan Lo, Daryl Ng, Joyce Tam, Yama Chan, Joanne Chow, Yvette Ho, Vanessa Cheung, Angelina Kwan, Desiree Au, Ariel Shartkman, Bosco Law, Justin Ng, Jo Soo Tang, Stephanie Lo and Charmaine Ho.

Corporate Trustees: Chinachem Group and Chuang’s Consortium International Limited.

International Advisory Council: Eva Franch, Beatrice Leanza, Liu Xiaodu, Rodman Primack, Thomas Heatherwick, Lyndon Neri, Lars Nittve, Zoë Ryan, Tom Dixon, David Gianotten and Giovanni Alessi Anghini.

Greater Bay Area Design Council: Arnault Castel, William To, Eric Schuldenfrei, Aric Chen, Stephanie Poon, Winnie So, Ole Bouman, Tat Lam, Cole Roskam, Suzy Annetta, Keith Tam, Kate Jones, Marc Cansier, Clara Brito, Rong Zhao, Human Wu, Keith Lam, Helen So, James JJ Acuña and Manfred Yuen.