A commitment to design and research fuels the Design Trust-OMA collaboration for this year’s Ambassadors Ball
“Not only by migration do cities change completely, but the countryside also changes,” says architect David Gianotten. “As long as these changes keep coming, the countryside will change with us, and will probably be even more advanced technologically than the city itself.”
It’s the day before the Ambassadors Ball 2018, the fund-raising gala by the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design’s grant-giving initiative, Design Trust. Gianotten, managing partner of the luminary architectural firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), is taking a precious hour off to elaborate on this year’s theme.
We’re at the Lobby Lounge at the Kerry Hotel. Marisa Yiu, Design Trust co-founder and executive director, tells us about their partnership with OMA – Gianotten and Rem Koolhaas, legendary architect and founder of OMA, have been invited to serve as creative directors for this year’s gala.
“What’s interesting is their insistence and persistence on research and pedagogy. At our foundation, we believe in design thinking, research and content building, rather than just the outcome,” she explains. “There’s a real commitment to process, and to investing in resolving or challenging issues in a strategic way.”
The projects funded by Design Trust’s grants are a reflection of this. Since its inception in 2014, the platform has supported numerous projects impacting material and conceptual culture in Hong Kong and around the Pearl River Delta, from the production of new building and design materials out of local waste in partnership with local artisans (Studio Florian + Christine’s Future Sea Craft) to researching and preserving craft and graphic artefacts (Adonian Chan’s exploration of Hong Kong’s Beiwei Kaishu typography).
It’s an ethos that mirrors that of OMA. The research-based firm proactively invests a percentage of their profit to research, says Gianotten, not only to address the changing needs of society, but also to plan for them – and lead the charge in the process.
這天是Ambassadors Ball 2018舉行前的一天；是次籌款晚宴由香港設計大使成立的專案資助平台信言設計大使舉辦。頂尖建築公司Office of Metropolitan Architecture(OMA)的執行合夥人Gianotten花了一小時寶貴時間進一步解釋本年活動的主題。
來到嘉里酒店大堂茶座，信言設計大使聯合創辦人兼執行總監姚嘉珊小姐(Marisa Yiu)跟我們細意分享跟OMA的合作；Gianotten及OMA創辦人兼傳奇建築師Rem Koolhaas更獲邀成為本年盛典的創意總監。
經信言設計大使審批資助的項目正好反映以上所言。自2014年成立以來，此專案資助平台便致力支持香港及大珠江三角洲地區的設計專案，並與當地工藝師(Studio Florian + Christine的
This year’s gala theme, in fact, is based on research: ‘Hyper Environment’ is a riff on current work by their sister company, the think tank AMO, exploring the shifting dynamics within and between cities and countrysides.
“The fact that more than 50 percent of the world’s population now live in cities has become an excuse to ignore the countryside,” says Koolhaas in a statement. “I have long been fascinated by the transformation of the city, but since looking at the countryside more closely in recent years, I have been surprised by the intensity of change taking place there.” The project will be presented in an exhibition at the Guggenheim in the fall of 2019.
More than a theme for the ball itself – title sponsored by Prada, with auction lots featuring silk screen prints donated by OMA, and installations by Design Trust grant recipients Michelle Poon and Matthew Hung – ‘Hyper Environment’ is intended as a prompt for attendees, something they can engage and try to understand.
“Let’s be straightforward – tomorrow will also be about food and drinks and raising money,” says Gianotten, adding that having fun is all part of the work. “It’s not going to be deep and we’re not going to preach research. But we’re going say there’s something behind what they’re all trying to support.” // Future Sea Craft)聯手進行研究和保育工藝與文物(Adonian Chan探索香港北魏楷書的創作)。
是次由Prada主要贊助的盛典更遠超乎主題本身的意義，拍賣品包括由OMA捐出的絲網印刷作品、信言設計大使資助計劃得主Michelle Poon和Matthew Hung打造的裝置，Hyper Environment就是能激發參加者的熱心，好讓他們主動投入更多、了解更多。
BID FOR GOOD Scenes from the Ambassadors Ball held at the Kerry Hotel Grand Ballroom, where art, furniture, as well as exclusive experiences were donated to the auction block in support of Design Trust's initiatives. 積極推動 Ambassadors Ball於嘉里酒店Grand Ballroom舉行，當中的藝術品、傢具和獨特體驗均獲捐作拍賣用途，旨在支持推動信言設計大使的項目。
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange designed by OMA (top left). Pieces from Studio Florian + Christine’s 'Future Sea Craft' (top); notes and exhibits from 'Designing the Spectacle' by Information Design Lab (above). 超凡設計 左上是OMA的Shenzhen Stock Exchange。右上為Studio Florian + Christine的Future Sea Craft；上圖為Information Design Lab作品Designing the Spectacle的筆記和展品。 DESIGN THINKING AND BEYOND