Design Trust, a grant funding and community platform established by the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, has launched a micro-initiative conceptualised by Co-Founder and Executive Director of Design Trust Marisa Yiu.
Born to inspire collaboration within the design community in Hong Kong and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic, the initiative strives to offer solutions to pressing social and environmental needs through creative means and critical making.
To support the community, Design Trust has been providing flexible and responsive funding for creative projects and research initiatives that positively impact Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area region and internationally since 2014. Through this micro-initiative, Design Trust hopes to encourage giving back to the community in ways that allow for connection amongst the global crisis.
Critically Homemade was born out of a survey within the Design Trust community and collaborators beyond the registered charity. The initiative invited Design Trust grantees, fellows, advisors, Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS) mentors and mentees, as well as its extended local and international community, to create and prototype an object (maximum size 20 x 20 x 20cm) at home that responds to and offers solutions to current societal and environmental challenges. Designers were allotted three weeks each to create their object and were encouraged to collaborate and design for a wide-ranging audience.
“The desire to make things with our hands is universal and a significant human expression,”explains Yiu. “While some handicrafts are means of survival, making objects with our hands serves as a creative release. Restricted by the necessary social distancing during an unprecedented pandemic, many designers have expressed a need to connect, collaborate and create. It’s been months of questioning, thinking, and understanding our city, and the role our NGO can, in a small way, activate positivity to go beyond the current situation, add some levity and yet, be creative under constraints for our collective wellbeing. As a perpetual optimist, I believe design can enact positive change. This organic platform has accelerated these recent weeks, during the third wave lockdown, and showcases the humbling power of the community to come together to support each other.”
Representing a diverse cross-section of Hong Kong’s design community, “DESIGN TRUST: Critically Homemade” involves established designers to young creatives: DTFS mentor Michael Young, Seed grantees and mentees Florian Wegenast & Christine Lew, as well as friends of Design Trust such as UUendy Lau and prominent artists Peter Yuill and feng shui designer Thierry Chow to design veterans such as Alan Chan, Douglas Young, anothermountainman (Stanley Wong) and sustainability design advocate Johanna Ho.
After a successful exhibition and opening at Soho House, “Design Trust: Critically Homemade” will grow into a wider community exhibition and fundraising programme. Following the exhibition, a vetting procedure will determine which prototypes are developed into final products and selected to take part in a series of micro-community fundraiser programmes. These final objects will be part of a community fundraising programme of designer items and one-of-a-kind experiences.
All proceeds will go towards the ongoing funding of Design Trust seed grants in relation to the COVID-19 challenges and provide immediate support to social and design programmes that will benefit the wider community.