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Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design Launches Design Trust

The recently announced grant-making initiative aims to support talent locally and beyond.

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BY Janice Seow

September 18th, 2014


Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design (HKAoD) has set up a new Design Trust with the purpose of providing flexible and responsive funding for projects that stimulate design talent, research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Pearl River Delta Region (GPRD).

The Trust comprises two grants: Fellowship Grants in partnership with established international institutions and Cultural Project Grants.

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In collaboration with the M+ Museum for visual culture by Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, the Fellowship Grant has been named M+ / Design Trust Fellowship 2014-2015. This programme, open for application internationally, will support an original research project investigating issues relating to design and architecture in the GPRD region. M+ will also be utilising the findings from the fellowship to inform future acquisitions and other programmes. The successful fellow, to be announced in mid-October 2014, will receive a monthly stipend of approximately HK$40,000 (approx. US$5,150), for the duration of the fellowship. More information can be found here.

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In Cultural Project Grants, seed grants starting at HK$10,000 will be available to individual designers, collectives and registered non-profit organisations engaged in the GPRD. The grant seeks to support projects and activities that are relevant to design, the built environment and content-based cultural work. These include but are not limited to talks, exhibitions, residencies, overseas research projects and creative installations. Grant proposals globally are received via the Design Trust website, with a panel of evaluators convened to review and shortlist successful proposals. The inaugural grantee will be announced in mid-October 2014. More information on Design Trust, its grants and the application process are available here.

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“We founded Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design eight years ago as a springboard for emerging designers to showcase their works via programmes and events such as DETOUR and the Hong Kong Designers Exchange. Through the years we’ve learnt from the design community of a critical need for responsive funding to kick-start projects. This is where Design Trust comes in and how we can best position ourselves and our network of trustees and patrons to provide support that is relevant to those who need it most,” says Alan Lo, Chairman of HKAoD.

Design Trust will be launched in stages, with an official public announcement in November 2014 at The Ambassadors’ Ball, the HKAoD’s annual fund-raising gala. The current focus for Design Trust is fund-raising to build up its seed capital and reserves. For their first year of operations, the Trust aims to offer two fellowship grants and up to eight project grants, with a total value of over HK$850,000.