Titled “aDapTable”, the Hamilton Street Rest Garden improvement project has transformed the original garden into an outdoor space where people can share a table with others. A large-scale communal table at the garden is surrounded by uniquely designed seating. The orientation of the seating enables the users to easily engage each other or find solitude moment. The centre of the tabletop is an abstract map that indicates the locations of the specialty shops of local craftsmanship – such as copperware, steelware, chopping boards and signboards – around the Hamilton Street area. During the concept design phase, the team worked with these local shops and used their specialty skills and materials to tailor-make prototypes of objects – including signage and lampshades – which are used in the park. These objects further connect the park with the community, welcoming the neighborhoods to share a table with others, and experience the present moment.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department, In collaboration with the Architectural Services Department, the former Policy Innovation and Coordination Office (that ceased operation from July 1st 2022) and Design Trust Futures Studio, carried out an improvement project for the rest garden. During the design process, the design team worked closely with members of the public, Yau Tsim Mong District Council and stakeholders in both public and private sectors through sharing and partnership in a combined effort to revitalize the public facility.
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 and community 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.
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About Design Trust Futures Studio (https://designtrust.hk/DTFS/)
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”. The 2018 edition continued this momentum with a new theme “Play is for The People” in designing and creating new micro-park designs for Hong Kong. In 2019, the theme and concept is focused on “Heritage is Innovation”, exploring the difficult yet animated definitions of Hong Kong identity, what it means to be a tourist or touring, shaping conversations on "Conservation", and finding new ways to open up heritage sites to build new narratives of the role and place of heritage – not as a static subject but a dynamic living and inspiring process. Collaborated with Hong Kong Palace Museum and Project Twelve, the 2022 edition “Heritage is Creative Generation” is an accelerated version of DTFS, looking into how the act of collaboration and experimentation can creatively passed on to future generations, to generate and inform new material techniques whilst respecting tradition.
About “PLAY IS FOR THE PEOPLE” (2018) under the Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS) initiative (https://designtrust.hk/design-trust-futures-studio-2018/)
Since 2018, DTFS has been working alongside public and private agencies including Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Architectural Services Department and the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office (ceased operation from July 1st 2022). 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 Flyover in Hill Road, 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. From 2019 onwards Design Trust committed and volunteered to continue the efforts.
Originally 18 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 designer 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.