Upcoming: Design Trust Futures Studio Micro-parks Publication Launch

20. 9. 2023


Micro-park Pilots, Prototypes and Protocols for Positive Impact

Design Trust Futures Studio:

from Smallness, Playfulness to Community Impact


Sample page from the upcoming publication

Design Trust, an initiative of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of Design Trust Futures Studio Micro-Parks Publication. With the completion of four micro-parks Yi Pei Square Playground, Portland Street Rest Garden, Sitting-out Area under Flyover in Hill Road and Hamilton Street Rest Garden, the forthcoming publication provides an extensive review of Design Trust Futures Studio 2017 “Small is Meaningful” and Design Trust Futures Studio 2018 “Play is for the People” programmes and the subsequent construction process, as well as documentation of the built parks, ongoing research survey and insightful reflections from the public, private and communities on the future of public space in Hong Kong. As a finale moment of more than five years’ work and creative collaboration on public space in Hong Kong, the publication strives to provide valuable lessons and recommendations for future public and private community partnership in the region.


Curated and conceptualised by Marisa Yiu, Co-founder, Executive Director of Design Trust, Design Trust Futures Studio 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 concept design into reality across Hong Kong. It is an outcome of numerous site research and analysis, various public engagement sessions and collective efforts from public and private agencies since 2018, aiming at introducing unique design to public space in Hong Kong, and injecting new energy and ideas with minimal intervention. The publication is a culmination of such efforts as a testament of cross-disciplinary creative efforts and public private community partnership” says Yiu. “I extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the partners involved – from private and public agencies, partners, advisors to all the contractors, and I look forward to sharing this wonderful journey through this publication very soon.”


Expanded upon Design Trust Futures Studio 2018 “Play is for the People” documentary book, the upcoming Design Trust Futures Studio Micro-Parks Publication reveals the design process of four design teams: Yi Pei Square Playground team of Stephen Ip, Kay Chan, Christopher Choi and Jonathan Mak mentored by Mimi Hoang; Portland Street Rest Garden team of Ricky Lai, Xavier Tsang, Wendy Wu and Kam Fai Hung mentored by Sam Jacob; Sitting-out Area under Flyover in Hill Road team of Aron Tsang, Andy Cheng, Zoey Chan  and Jose Fu mentored by Gary Chang; and Hamiton Street Rest Garden team of Sylvia Chan, Vivian Ng, Samuel Wong, Elaine Tsui, and Owen Chim mentored by Stanley Wong in 2018, while also presenting a comprehensive documentation of the construction and implementation process of the four micro-parks. Edited by Marisa Yiu and Zheng Zhou, the publication features critical reflections and interview transcripts from more than 20 architects, designers, experts, academics and researchers including Elizabeth Diller, Richard Hassel, Donald Choi and Fan Lok Yi, providing a critical examination of public space and community partnership from DTFS programmes and constructive lessons learned from this process. The volume also includes post-occupancy survey findings developed by Design Trust team in collaboration with DTFS2018 mentee designer Kay Chan and Design Trust Seed Grant recipient Massimiliano Dappero during the summer of 2023, continuing the discussion on how the micro-parks and public space in Hong Kong could be shaped in the region for a collective and inspiring future.


“This unexpected, yet urgent Design Trust Futures Studio Micro-Parks Publication 2023 edition is a culmination of editing 2017, 2018 editions with highlights into a comprehensive documentation of the built microparks that have enlivened our city, during the height of the pandemic” Yiu continues, “I do hope this book gives us inspiration into a process to unveil its potential and making the invisible process of design research and production visible that adds value to all walks of life and restore the importance of public, private and community-based partnerships. The micro-park programme that was conceived as speculative and conceptual, and now built into reality, deepens our passion for exploring new modes of collaboration and many individuals that show care and compassion throughout the journey. That in itself is inspiring.”

Image from 2018 DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO Concept Presentation and discussions

Since 2018, Design Trust Futures Studio (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 (that ceased operation from July 1st 2022). As conceptual designer and lead organiser, DTFS led and engaged, conducted research and design of four micro-parks as public spaces of the future. 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.


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.


More details on the publication launch and distribution arrangement will be shared soon on Design Trust’s website and social media.