Cover Eric Schuldenfrei, Marisa Yiu, Emily Lam-Ho, Agnes Wong and Harris Chan at M+ on June 25

June 25 was a day to remember. Bright sunshine, happy people, and a Design Trust cocktail party that brought together the brightest minds in the city

Who?  Marisa Yiu, Emily Lam-Ho, Kent Ho, Suhanya Raffel, William Lim, Kamsen Lau, Harris Chan

When? June 25, 2022

Where? M+ museum

Here's what you missed:

Design Trust, an initiative of the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, hosted Research on the Move: Dialogues with M+ and Design Trust Research Fellows, which saw eight previous fellows from 2015 to 2019 present talks with Hong Kong-based design practitioners at a full-day symposium on the Grand Stair of the M+ museum.

The first-of-its-kind talk also engaged audiences from all over the world who tuned in via Zoom to listen to experts discuss topics ranging from collective authorship, artificial intelligence and the comeback of brutalism to archival research, urban research, virtual geographies in Hong Kong, and the future of tradition. The talks prompted a discussion about the fellowship project and researchers’ efforts in furthering the design and architecture discourse across Asia.

Ikko Yokoyama, lead curator of design and architecture at M+, gave an introductory speech to launch a series of presentations by the programme’s fellows: Oliver Elser, Yasmin Tri Aryani, Fan Lok Yi, Sampson Wong,Hugh Davis, Thomas Daniell, Juliana Kei, Daniel Cooper and Joseph Grima; and the organisation’s first ever research fellow from 2015, Fan Ling.

After the public dialogue, speakers and guests toasted a successful day at the museum’s private lounge, which is home to architect and artist William Lim’s Living Collection among other works by Hong Kong’s leading contemporary artists.

“This is a special and momentous occasion,” said Marisa Yiu, co-founder and executive director of Design Trust, who changed out of trainers to chic Prada heels to segue into the glam celebration. “We had a marathon of dialogues today which looked at the power of research and how we can expand beyond our disciplines to really impact Hong Kong. It’s been an exciting journey since 2014 when we founded Design Trust.”

Over the last seven years, M+ and Design Trust have worked together to support original research investigating issues relating to design and architecture in Hong Kong. Design Trust chairman Kamsen Lau remarked how impressed he was by the level of talent he had seen in the city but, more so, how exciting it was to finally be at M+ after his spending many months overseas. “Being able to occupy M+ after seeing it under construction for so long has been gratifying. There has been so much expectation for this space, and it has blown everyone out of the water,” he said to applause from guests including Emily Lam-Ho, Edwin Chuang and Harris Chan.

M+ museum director Suhanya Raffel agreed: “We were closed for four-and-a-half months [due to Covid-19] and now we are about to welcome our millionth visitor. This is an amazing thing to see. Sixty per cent of these people are young people. Clearly M+ is the coolest place to be.” The night was a whirl of champagne and laughter, elevating spirits and strengthening fellowships.

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