Portland Street Rest Garden -First Pilot Micro-Park In Yau Tsim Mong District Opens to Public on 23rd September 2021

29. 9. 2021






A Testament To Cross-disciplinary Creative Efforts And

Collective Participations From Diverse Communities from Hong Kong, the Region and Beyond

The Portland Street Rest Garden design concept, “Portland”, was presented to the public at a prototype exhibition in January 2019 featuring the prototypes and team collaborations.

 (Hong Kong, 23 September 2021) Design Trust, an initiative of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, is pleased to announce the opening of its first pilot micro-park in Yau Tsim Mong District – Portland Street Rest Garden – in Yau Mau Tei neighborhood, Hong Kong. As part of the programme “PLAY IS FOR THE PEOPLE” under the Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS) 2018 initiative, the launch of the Portland Street Rest Garden is a testament to Design Trust’s continuous and dedicated efforts in bringing together the local communities and other stakeholders from both private and public sectors to transform the unique concepts by cross-disciplinary design experts into meaningful outcomes that impact society or public spaces in Hong Kong. 


Curated and conceptualised by Marisa Yiu, Co-founder, Executive Director of Design Trust, DTFS is Design Trust’s flagship programme that launched in 2017, advocating for the positive values of design in the role for shaping a better Hong Kong and the region we live in. “We are thrilled to be able to go beyond conceptual ideation to bring our pilot micro-park design into reality in Yau Tsim Mong District. It is an outcome of numerous site research and analysis, various public engagement sessions and collective efforts from public and private agencies, aiming at introducing this unique design at Portland Street for the Yau Tsim Mong residents and visitors to enjoy, and injecting new energy and ideas with minimal intervention,” says Yiu. “I extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the patrons and institutions involved – from private and public agencies, individual donors, advisors to all the contractors, and I look forward to sharing this wonderful mentor-mentee design to the community very soon.”

Yiu continues, “The revitalised Portland Street Rest Garden is the culmination of many months of discussions, refinements and collaborations across the board. It demonstrates how creative curiosity can challenge norms to improve the design of public space for the benefit of the public. I invite the wider Hong Kong community to enjoy the transformed Portland Street Rest Garden, and continue to support the construction of the other two micro-parks in the Yau Tsim Mong and Central and Western districts in the coming months.”

Images from 2018 DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO Concept Presentation and discussions in April 2018.

Mentor Sam Jacob and Mimi Hoang skyping at the DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO Introductory Workshop in February 2018.  

The Portland Street Rest Garden proposal was designed by a creative, cross-disciplinary design mentee team composed of Kam Fai Hung (architecture and landscape), Xavier Tsang (industrial and product design), Wendy Wu (architecture and landscape) and Ricky Lai (graphics and branding), mentored by Sam Jacob, international mentor for the project. Located in Yau Tsim Mong District with the highest population density in Hong Kong, the team discovered a need to create a familiar yet innovative space to enhance the quality of leisure space for residents and park users, and to create a positive impact in the local community. They worked along with non-governmental organisations, stakeholders, designers and the community to put forward a refreshing park with vibrant visual identity and natural green respite for the enjoyment of the public.

Members of the concept design team of Design Trust Futures Studio “Play is for the People”, Portland Street Rest Garden from left to right: Lead Curator Marisa Yiu (Co-founder, Executive Director of Design Trust);  Designer Mentees: Ricky Lai (Graphics and Branding), Kam Fai Hung (Architecture and Landscape) and Xavier Tsang (Industrial and Product Design), also not in the photo,  International Mentor Sam Jacob (Principal of Sam Jacob Studio) and Designer Mentee Wendy Wu (Architecture and Landscape).

The transformed Portland Street Rest Garden is now a multi-functional space for the users, with a permanent park innovatively creating movable furniture system in an open space, increased number of seats from 16 to a maximum of 81 as per the design process related to the elderly demographic users, which creates flexibility and community participation for various functions within the space. The thoughtful selection of fuschia and pink tone plants and newly planted species including climbers and bamboos also creates higher greenery density, pleasant sensory experience and positive energy for the neighborhood.


Main Features of Portland Street Rest Garden:

Vibrant fuchsia and pink hues provide sense of inspiration and renewal

Movable furniture to build flexibility

Seasonal plants in vibrant pink tone to create positive energy

Innovation of terrazzo materials for public park


DTFS’s Pilot Micro-Park at Portland Street, Yau Tsim Mong, Hong Kong

For more information:




Images from Design Trust Futures Studio Portland Street Rest Garden pamphlet



The next micro-park, The Sitting Out Area (SOA) under Hill Road Flyover in Shek Tong Tsui, Central and West District is a work in progress. Concept design team for this park includes Curator Marisa Yiu (Co-founder and Executive Director of DESIGN TRUST), Mentor Gary Chang (Founder, EDGE Design Institute), Designer Mentees Zoey Chan (Architecture and Landscape), Jose Fu (New Media and Technology), Aron Tsang (Architecture and Landscape) and Andy Cheng (Architecture and Landscape). The design concept is to maximise space under the Hill Road Flyover, and to create an innovative and inclusive park that responds to the users’ needs. By introducing a new spatial design, the design team aims to create more openness and diversified uses for the existing user groups. 


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.

Website: https://designtrust.hk/ 

Instagram: @designtrust

Facebook: www.facebook.com/designtrust








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”. 


About “PLAY IS FOR THE PEOPLE” (2018) under the Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS) initiative

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 designed 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 and manager 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.

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 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.

Design Trust thanks the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office (PICO), Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), Yau Tsim Mong District Office, District Council (Yau Tsim Mong) and Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) for their continued support of the programme for Portland Street Rest Garden pilot park project.

Design Trust Futures Studio Media Highlights

Design Trust is grateful for the continued support and recognition we receive from the media. Since its recent launch on 23th September 2021,  the first DTFS micro-park in Yau Tsim Mong area Portland Street Rest Garden has received wide attention from publications. We are pleased to share press highlights on Design Trust covering the community impact of the Design Trust Futures Studio programme, as well as the design team's efforts to facilitate positive changes to the neighborhood by blending new and old elements. Coverage highlights include South China Morning Post, Vogue Hong Hong, HK01, The Standnews, Hong Kong Economic Times, Hong Kong Economic Journal, TVB, Mingpao, Sing Tao Daily, The Standard and Wen Wei Po amongst others.

SCMP 24th September 2021 coverage on the Park's new features of fuchsia and pink hues and movable furniture

providing a sense of renewal and positive energy to the community.

HK01 23th September 2021 coverage

Design Trust Futures Studio Fall/Winter 2021 Community Tour Map

Download here