15. 4. 2021

A Testament To Cross-disciplinary Creative Efforts And

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

[1] The Yi Pei Square Playground in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, before transformation
[2] 'The final Yi Pei Square design concept, "The Communal Living Room", was presented to the public as a prototype exhibition in January 2019
[3] The Yi Pei Square after transformation. Photo taken on April 15th 2021

(Hong Kong, 15 April 2021) Design Trust, an initiative of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, is pleased to announce the opening of its first of the four pilot micro-parks – Yi Pei Square Playground – in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, this spring for the enjoyment of the neighborhood and public. As part of the programme “PLAY IS FOR THE PEOPLE” (2018) under the Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS) initiative, the launch of the Yi Pei Square Playground 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 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 first pilot micro-park design into reality. 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 ‘communal living room’ in Yi Pei Square for the local Tsuen Wan residents, and encouraging the concepts of inclusive and intergenerational play, with design innovation generated out of a participatory process,” 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 Yi Pei Square Playground 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 Yi Pei Square, and continue to support the construction of the other three micro-parks in the Yau Tsim Mong and Central and Western districts in the coming years.”

Image from 2018 DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO workshop and design public reviews held at Spring Workshop, Wong Chuk Hang. April 2018

The Yi Pei Square proposal was designed by a creative, cross-disciplinary design mentee team composed of Stephen Ip (architecture and landscape), Kay Chan (industrial and product design), Christopher Choi (architecture and landscape) and Jonathan Mak (graphics and branding), mentored by Mimi Hoang (architect), international mentor for the project and led by Marisa Yiu, Lead Curator of the DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO community programme. It explores the idea of creating a “communal living room” within a densely populated residential area in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, that is surrounded by subdivided flats, suitable for residents of all ages. The design of the space incorporated the residents’ needs researched through a series of public engagement and workshops, facilitating multi-generational interactions for residents. The public space allows the public to enjoy the inclusive and custom-made play equipment, dedicated leisure and activities zones for different users as well as the specially designed graphics and floor patterns.

The Team -  DTFS’s Pilot Micro-Park in Yi Pei Square, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

For more information:

Design team of Yi Pei Square Playground. From left to right: Kay Chan (Industrial and Product Design), Stephen Ip (Architecture and Landscape), Jonathan Mak (Graphic and Branding), Christopher Choi (Architecture and Landscape) and Lead Curator Marisa Yiu (Co-founder, Executive Director of Design Trust). Mentor Mimi Hoang (Principal of nARCHITECTS, New York)

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 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.


Instagram:        @designtrust









About Design Trust Futures Studio

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 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 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.


Seventeen 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), Tsuen Wan District Office, District Council (Tsuen Wan) and Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) for their continued support of the programme for Yi Pei Square Playground pilot park project.


Notes to Press/Media
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More information on:
Yi Pei Square Playground
• Surrounded by densely populated buildings, Yi Pei Square Playground becomes a natural gathering space. Through site analysis, research, and public engagement, the design team observed an abundance of programmes and activities organised by local community groups, a lack of play facilities for children, as well as a lack of seating area at the existing site. Following multiple public engagement sessions, the designers’ design concept is to create a “Communal Living Room” with three different zones for different activities to be carried out by the existing playground users. These include a leisure/seating zone, an activity zone, and a play area, which will be connected through vibrant groundscape and graphic designs to infuse energy and vibrancy, and to encourage connection and interaction of different users.
• Design Trust Futures Studio 2018 was mainly funded by CreateHK (Lead Sponsor), Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation (Education & Community Outreach Partner) and various patrons and committee members of DESIGN TRUST initiative of the registered charity of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design. This programme started in January 2018 and formally concluded April 2019; after which the handover the conceptual works were passed to LCSD & ASD. From May 2019 to currently today April 2021 and ongoing Design Trust team members and curators continue to support the delivery works, with various agencies internally with external consultants and advisors to bring the project to life on a pro-bono basis and project basis as needed during various phases of the progrmme.
• The construction of the four parks is funded by the Government, except the Yi Pei Square Playground which is co-funded by HKJCCT. The funds are used solely for the construction work of the parks. LCSD, ArchSD, and concerned government departments are responsible for the maintenance of the playgrounds according to their respective ambit. ArchSD will be responsible for the maintenance of building structure and facilities (except electrical and mechanical installations, and play equipment related items). LCSD will be responsible for the maintenance of play equipment related items. EMSD will be responsible for the maintenance of electrical and mechanical installations, such as lighting, pump system, drinking fountain, etc.
•Public safety and public interests will continue to be the overarching principle and government departments will allow flexibility so as to ensure sustainability of the four projects as far as possible.
• Concept Design Main team for Yi Pei Square Playground pilot project for DESIGN TRUST FUTURES STUDIO is as follows: Lead Curator: Marisa Yiu (Co-founder/ Executive Director, Design Trust); Mentor: Mimi Hoang (Principal, nARCHITECTS, New York); Designer-Mentees: Stephen Ip (Architecture and Landscape), Kay Chan (Industrial and Product Design), Christopher Choi (Architecture and Landscape) and Jonathan Mak (Graphic and Branding). Other team members involved after April 2019 on the coordination of design between parties: Marisa Yiu (Design Trust); Yow Ko (landscape consultant), Sophie Zhou (Design Trust) and other members and volunteers. Details available on request.