Design Trust

Hong Kong recently saw the launch of Design Trust, a privately funded grant-providing foundation that aims to support the creative industries in Hong Kong and the greater Pearl River Delta region. As the city continues to work towards becoming a creative hub in Asia, the grants provided by Design Trust are welcome.

Open to applicants from disciplines as diverse as graphics, media, fashion and the built environment, the foundation’s grants fall into two categories — Research Fellowship Grants and Cultural Projects Grants — designed to allow beneficiaries to expand their portfolios, gain additional skills and develop much needed research.

This year’s Research Fellowship Grant partners with M+, a Hong Kong museum focusing on 20th- and 21st-century art, design, architecture and moving image, and is titled the M+ / Design Trust Fellowship Grant.

The inaugural grant recipient is Ling Fan, a designer, educator and entrepreneur whose project ‘Hong Kong as an Archetype: Revisiting Modernist Ideas of the City and its Urban Forms’ was selected from more than 40 applications. Fan’s research will explore the interpretation of Hong Kong’s modernist urban forms and the dialectics surrounding the city’s urbanisation; his aim is to sketch a critical understanding of the idea of a contemporary Chinese city.

The Cultural Project Grant provides grants to individual designers, architects, cultural practitioners and non-profit organisations for projects related to design and architecture within the greater Pearl River Delta region. This is geared towards developing local design talent and promoting them internationally via talks, exhibitions, installations and residencies.

The inaugural Cultural Project Grant recipient is MAP Office, founded by artist / architect duo Valérie Portefaix and Laurent Gutierrez. The winning project, entitled ‘Hong Kong is Land’, will investigate and document eight particular communities and their respective economies with the aim of establishing an inventory of the uneven growth within the city. The research will aid thought progression on issues such as urban planning, housing density and population growth, and the final project will travel internationally, starting at MoMA in New York and moving to MAK in Vienna.

The Design Trust board of directors is comprised of a formidable line-up of architecture, design, arts, media and business luminaries; we welcome their initiative.