M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship M+ / Design Trust 研究資助計劃
M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship M+ / Design Trust 研究資助計劃
M+ and Design Trust are pleased to announce that Leah Hsiao and Flora Weil have been awarded the 2023 M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship.
Since 2015, the M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship programme has supported original research projects investigating issues relating to design and architecture in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and Asia through a transnational lens. In addition to expanding the current body of knowledge in these areas, the findings from the fellowship will inform research on the existing collection, future acquisitions, and other programmes at M+. Past Fellows include designers and historians Ling Fan, Joseph Grima, Juliana Kei, Daniel Cooper, Thomas Daniell, Hugh Davies, Fan Lok Yi, Sampson Wong, Oliver Elser, Yasmin Tri Aryani, Jason Lau, Mark Wasiuta, Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Emily Verla Bovino and Anouchka van Driel.
See below for details on the M+/Design Trust Research Fellowship 2023 awardees and their proposals.
About the Fellowship
Applicants are required to provide:
- a completed application form
- a full curriculum vitae covering education, professional experience, honours, awards, and publications, and
- two letters of recommendation (academic or professional) submitted directly from the referees
Applications for M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship 2024 will open in Summer 2023.
We welcome applications from individuals or groups whose areas of research are in design, architecture, or a related field. Applicants who intend to conduct research in Hong Kong should be Hong Kong permanent residents or have the right to live and work in Hong Kong. This fellowship does not constitute employment, and M+ and Design Trust will not be held accountable for the sponsorship of work visas.
Applicants should either hold a postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline or an undergraduate degree with a minimum of three years relevant professional work or academic research experience. Proficiency in spoken and written English is also required.
The following criteria are considered when assessing each application:
- original proposal that expands and reinterprets existing knowledge, or produces new knowledge, of design and architecture in or with an impact on Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and/or other parts of Asia, within a regional and global context,
- potential for expanding the understanding and scope of the museum’s collection, programming, and curatorial strategies in design and architecture, and
- proven ability of the candidate to undertake advanced research.
The fellowship will be awarded on a competitive basis by a committee comprising representatives from M+ and Design Trust. After the initial screening process, shortlisted candidates will be invited to an in-person or remote interview.
Design Trust was established as a grant-funding and community platform in 2014 by Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, a registered charity in Hong Kong since 2007. Design Trust supports creative projects that develop expertise and build research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines, from graphics, media, and architecture to the built environment, Design Trust aims to actively accelerate creative research, design, and the development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design.
The jury of the 2023 fellowship consists of Ikko Yokoyama, M+ Lead Curator, Design and Architecture; Shirley Surya, M+ Curator, Design and Architecture; Marisa Yiu, Design Trust Co-founder and Executive Director; Kamsen Lau, Design Trust Chairman; and Aric Chen, Het Nieuwe Instituut General and Artistic Director.
‘The two awarded proposals reflect the wide spectrum of M+’s curatorial interest through archive-based historical research in design and architectural production that have shaped the region in relationship to Hong Kong, as well as the use of varied methodologies in unraveling the role of design in and effect on ongoing social or ecological phenomenon across Asia’, says Ikko Yokoyama of M+.
‘Design Trust is proud to support awarded fellows Leah Hsiao and Flora Weil. Their proposals address and advocate the positive role of design through rigorous research from the past to the future, from Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and the Greater Bay Area to the global stage, looking at urgent challenges on education and climate awareness,’ says Marisa Yiu, Design Trust Executive Director.
Leah Hsiao is a historian whose research and writings explore the relationship between the Bauhaus and China, particularly through the dissemination and translation of Bauhaus art and design principles through the work of architects such as Walter Gropius and I. M. Pei. Hsiao’s research has been published in The Architectural Review and West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. She was a research fellow at the Bauhaus Lab: Global Modernism Studies at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in 2016. Hsiao received her PhD in History of Art from the University of York in the UK and is a lecturer at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China.
As a Design Trust Research fellow, Hsiao will investigate the formation of design education in the Greater Bay Area from the late 1970s to the 1990s within the context of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts as a manifestation of urban developments during the era of reform and opening-up in China. The research seeks to identify the processes and outcomes of translating design pedagogy and linking it to design practice and urban culture through the institution’s agency. Hsiao’s project also traces the dynamics of key exchanges with Hong Kong entities in reframing and applying modern design within both local and regional context, prompted by design and architecture related archives at M+.
Flora Weil is a designer, engineer, and artist whose works focus on exploring new narratives around the development of emerging technologies. Her personal practice focuses on challenging human centrality in design and science. Her projects have been displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Singapore Art Museum. As a researcher, Weil has led interdisciplinary projects with scientists in Tokyo to transform academic research into new products and platforms. She has a background in engineering, holds a double master's in design and innovation from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, and is a fellow at Transformations of the Human.
Weil’s project will examine collaborative infrastructural, experimental, and environmental responses that emerge from spring winds blown across the borders of China, South Korea, and Japan. The wind carries a mixture of sand, soot, and industrial particles. Weil’s research focuses on upwind locations, specifically resettlement and geoengineering sites in Gansu Province, China, where largescale anti-desertification schemes, digital terraforming, and climate migration programs have multiplied. By exploring how a design, with the concepts of planetarity and elementarity in mind, can materialise from mutual climate uncertainties, the research follows the fluctuations of territories, networks, and ecosystems which rise and fall while co-constituting each other’s boundaries.
Emily Verla Bovino
Emily Verla Bovino draws on the Hong Kong miniature as a means to explore the social life of architecture and urbanism in the city. In their fabrication and collecting, miniatures are a quiet way in which people narrate Hong Kong history, leaving poignant traces of how urban design in the world’s priciest property market is lived—the miniature is not only a design field, but also a method. Through interviews, conversations, and workshops with micro-modellers, miniaturists, enthusiasts, and collectors, Bovino investigates why people make miniatures, why they buy them, and why they build industries and friendships around them. The research also studies the practices of artists and designers who do not make miniatures but draw inspiration from them.
Emily Verla Bovino is an art historian, urbanist, writer, and artist based in Hong Kong. Her research explores intersections between contemporary art, architecture, and urbanism; she is currently focused on cultures of curation developed in Hong Kong civil society by mutual aid methods. Bovino received her MA and PhD in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of California, San Diego, where she was a grantee of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts. As former Professor of Art and Architectural History at SCAD Hong Kong, she founded and led the curatorial initiative Art Now! at the former North Kowloon Magistracy and was awarded the SCAD Presidential Fellowship for Research.
Anouchka van Driel
Anouchka van Driel studies China and the ‘cosmotechnics’ of fashion. Deploying techno-philosopher Yuk Hui’s concept of ‘cosmotechnics’ as a lens to frame recent developments in the fashion sector in China, van Driel’s research investigates the changing dynamics between designers and users/consumers through the highly mediated relationships of online platforms, and their impact on the design, creation, marketing, and consumption of garments and clothing, including the surrounding social ephemera of style. Moreover, the research explores the enormous impact on the fashion industry of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated and accelerated changes already in motion, effecting a new form of de-globalised production.
Anouchka van Driel is a curator, researcher, and innovation lead based in Beijing. She has been active in China’s creative sector for over a decade, collaborating with cultural organisations on curatorial projects. Van Driel also runs People’s Works, a platform for social innovation as part of the architecture studio People’s Architecture Office. Her research and curatorial projects focus on the social effects and implications of design across the disciplinary spectrum. Recent exhibitions include Social Design: Learning at Play (2019–20) with People’s Architecture Office, and the regenerative design exhibition Disruptive Matter (2020) for K11 in Hong Kong and Shenyang.
Jason Lau examines the design and impact of China-made mobile phones. With the intention to explore designs that propose alternative models to global conventions, he focuses on selected case studies, including the so-called dumsor phone—a mobile phone designed by a Hong Kong company and manufactured in Shenzhen that has found particular success as an export to Ghana. Lau’s research considers how Chinese designers use limitations as strategies, how the binary of mainstream and alternative can be redefined, and how unconventional designs can gain global influence.
Jason Lau is a fellow and PhD candidate in anthropology at the New School for Social Research in New York. His research focuses on innovations in China, with particular attention on mobile phone design. He previously taught at Parsons School of Design and has conducted extensive research across China, including in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. His 2013–2018 study on the paradoxical relationship between innovation and the long-standing practice of imitation in China led him to define the term ‘Chinese alternative design’. He holds an MPhil in comparative literature from the University of Hong Kong, and an MA and MPhil in cultural anthropology from the New School for Social Research.
The Team of Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta
Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta, of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in New York, investigate the intensifying urban development pressures in Southeast Asia, with a focus on computational and data-driven planning. Increased reliance on technology has fundamentally changed the way in which urban planning is carried out, and this tendency is often positioned as a way for developing cities to skirt traditional planning and move effortlessly into a computationally organised future. By studying selected cities across Southeast Asia, Lotfi-Jam and Wasiuta explores the deep implications of computational development and ‘smart’ urban futures for the region.
Farzin Lotfi-Jam is the director of Farzin Farzin, a multidisciplinary studio that designs spaces, software, and media, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at GSAPP. His research investigates how architecture and cities are transformed by digital technologies and their attendant power relations, looking at scales from the corporeal to the planetary. His work has been exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, MAXXI, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and elsewhere.
Mark Wasiuta is a Lecturer in Architecture and the Co-director of the Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture programme at GSAPP. He is the recipient of recent grants from the Asian Cultural Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Graham Foundation, where he is currently an inaugural Graham Foundation Fellow. His research exhibition practice focuses on archives and under-examined projects of the post-war period.
Oliver Elser examines a selection of Brutalist buildings in Hong Kong. Brutalism in the 1960s and 1970s was global in its reach, and heavy, concrete buildings produced during this movement can be found in almost every part of the world. Elser’s research responds to a set of questions: Was the Brutalist architecture of Hong Kong intended to prove the internationality of the local scene? Or was it a new concept of regionality, one that has a still undiscovered relationship to early postmodern ideas? How was Hong Kong’s Brutalism conceived in relation to mainland China and Taiwan? Watch Elser’s research fellowship talk.
Oliver Elser is a curator at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), where his work focuses on postmodernity, architecture models in the twentieth century, and Brutalism. In 2016, he served as a curator for the German Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. He co-founded the Center for Critical Studies in Architecture, a new research cluster of the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, the Technische Universität Darmstadt, and the DAM. As an architecture critic, he writes extensively for newspapers and magazines. He holds a degree in architecture from the Technische Universität Berlin.
Yasmin Tri Aryani
Yasmin Tri Aryani addresses the instrumentalisation and legitimation of traditional architecture in Indonesia, from the early postcolonial period through to the present. Traditional architecture has been used for different political agendas in Indonesia throughout the twentieth century, and it has also served as a reference for architects seeking new alternatives. Through a series of specific case studies, Aryani’s research unpacks the ways in which the state and architects appropriate this form of architecture, while considering the unintended consequences of the ethnic-based identity construction that can be read in buildings in Indonesia. Watch Aryani’s research fellowship talk.
Yasmin Tri Aryani is an independent writer based in Jakarta. Her research focuses on the analysis and visualisation of government-funded buildings in multi-ethnic and postcolonial countries. She holds an MA in Design Curating and Writing from Design Academy Eindhoven. Since 2012, she has contributed to various articles on interior design and architecture. Her project ‘Mapping the Way Home: The Role of Architecture in Constructing Contested Notions of Identity in Indonesia’ was nominated for the Gijs Bakker Award at Design Academy Eindhoven in 2018.
Hugh Davies examines the city’s character, architecture, and urban design as represented in popular video games. Davies surveys Hong Kong’s representation in a multiplicity of video game experiences over the past 30 years and explores the city in its varying incarnations, unearthing the correspondence between the actual and virtual. He considers the city through different overlapping areas of design disciplines. Watch Davies’s research fellowship talk.
Hugh Davies is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and investigator. His research explores technology histories, screen practices, and expansive games. Davies has held numerous leadership roles in the Australian arts and technology sector including Senior Lecturer in Media at La Trobe University, Board Chair of the Australian Network for Art and Technology, and Board Chair of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival. He was an Asialink resident at Tokyo Wondersite in 2017, researching games and play in Japanese art and society. Davies holds a PhD from Monash University, Australia. He has published widely on digital culture, contemporary art, and mixed reality games.
The Team of Fan Lok Yi and Sampson Wong
Fan Lok Yi and Sampson Wong investigate the movement of constructing ‘revolutionary playgrounds’ during the 1960s and 1970s in Hong Kong, predominantly focusing on the Shek Lei playground and its extended context in East Asia. The research joins the broader dialogue of how architectural practice and discourse were received in East Asia and Hong Kong during this period. Watch Fan and Wong’s research fellowship talk.
Fan Lok Yi is a curator and artist based in Hong Kong. Fascinated by untamed urban nature, unintended use of space, and other accidental poetics in the grand scheme of things, she works to reveal the connections between urban space, history, and the environment through research and collaborative artistic processes. She is the curator of Make A Difference Institute and has curated projects including Kwai Tsing Daily @ West Kowloon (2016–2017), Affordable Art Basel! (2014–2015), and Tin Shui Wai Topology (2014). Fan received her MFA from University of the Arts London and BA(AS) from the University of Hong Kong.
Sampson Wong is a Hong Kong–based artist, independent curator, and academic. His research and creative interests include urban theory and contemporary urbanism, socially engaged art, art and the public sphere, creative activism, Hong Kong studies, and urban nature. He co-founded the Hong Kong Urban Laboratory and the artist collective Add Oil Team, and co-curated the Emptyscape Art Festival (a triennial) with the curatorial collective Emptyscape. Wong was previously a lecturer at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Manchester; an MSc in Modernity, Space, and Place from University College London; and was trained in political science and political philosophy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Thomas Daniell's “Unbuilt Macau” examines unrealised proposals for reclaimed land in Macau in the period immediately prior to the former colony’s 1999 handover to China. Six main projects are explored: ZAPE (Zona de Aterros do Porto Exterior), NAPE (Novos Aterros do Porto Exterior), Nam Van Lake, Cotai, Novas Zonas Urbanas, and Hengqin New Area. These unbuilt visionary proposals by multiple architects, often arising through international competitions, can contribute to an alternative history for Macau, providing an instructive comparison with the built reality today, suggesting possible future directions. Watch research fellowship talk.
Thomas Daniell is currently a Professor in the Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering, in Kyoto University. Born in New Zealand, he holds a BArch with honours from Victoria University of Wellington, an MEng from Kyoto University, and a PhD from RMIT University. His doctoral dissertation received the RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Thesis in a Higher Degree by Research. Widely published, he is author of FOBA: Buildings (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005), After the Crash: Architecture in Post-Bubble Japan (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), Houses and Gardens of Kyoto (Tuttle, 2010), Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama + Amorphe (Equal Books, 2011), Kansai 6 (Equal Books, 2011), and An Anatomy of Influence (AA Publications, 2018). Also a practicing architect, his design work has been published and exhibited internationally.
Joseph Grima builds on his well-known work in the area of open-source, collaborative, decentralised, and non-hierarchical design by examining the contemporary design ecosystems of Shenzhen and the Pearl River Delta. In a region where innovation and iteration occur at a speed inconceivable elsewhere, Grima looks at how this ‘Open Design Archipelago’ offers a tangible expression of a new paradigm of design, where the acts of design and production frequently coincide and Western notions of intellectual property and copyright do not necessarily apply. Watch Grima’s research fellowship talk.
Joseph Grima is an architect, writer, and researcher based in Milan. He is a partner at Space Caviar, a design research office operating at the intersection of architecture, technology, politics, and the public realm. In addition, he is currently the Creative Director of Design Academy Eindhoven and Chief Curator of design at the Triennale di Milano. Grima was previously the Director of IdeasCity at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; Unit Master at the Architectural Association in London; Editor-in-chief of Domus magazine, the renowned contemporary architecture, design, and art magazine; and Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture, in New York. He has curated or participated in exhibitions in numerous international venues including the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Triennale di Milano, and the Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. He co-curated the inaugural Istanbul Design Biennial in 2012 and was the Co-Artistic Director of the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Grima is a graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture.
The Team of Daniel Cooper and Juliana Kei
Daniel Cooper and Juliana Kei's project ‘76 Countries and One Administrative Zone: Hong Kong in World Expos’ investigates Hong Kong’s representation on the international stage, focusing on the 1964 New York World’s Fair and Expo ’70 in Osaka, and how those events helped construct and reinforce an image of the territory via a complicated interaction of objects, building technologies, identity, and colonial expectations. Watch Cooper and Kei’s research fellowship talk.
Daniel Cooper’s research explores the role that science and technology have had in changing conceptions of architectural practices in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, revolving around historiographic methods that subtly negotiate objects and people. Cooper was Assistant Curator at carriage trade, a non-profit gallery in New York. He has held editorial positions at Columbia Journalism Review and Cabinet magazine, and is currently expanding his practice into the design and product development of executive desk toys. Cooper holds an MSc in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology from Columbia University and a BA in Comparative Literature from Hampshire College.
Juliana Kei is a Lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Liverpool. Her research explores the role of tradition in post-war British architecture through an intellectual biography of Theo Crosby, a founding partner of the design firm Pentagram. In 2013, she worked as an Assistant Curator for the Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. Kei practiced architecture in New York, London, and Tokyo prior to returning to Hong Kong, where she helped set up a satellite office for the Shenzhen- and Beijing-based architecture firm Urbanus from 2011–2013. Kei received her PhD in History of Design from the Royal College of Art, MA from Columbia University, and BArch from the University of Hong Kong.
Ling Fan’s research aims to recuperate the idea of the ‘Chinese city’ as a modernist project that began in the 1940s by conceptualising it according to two extreme logics: one driven primarily by political power, as exemplified by Beijing, and the other being propelled by economic power, as in Hong Kong. The dialectics between Hong Kong and Beijing, representing the economic and the political, introduce an archetypal contrast that appears and reappears throughout China’s recent history of urban development in ever-new incarnations. In this context, Fan examines how Hong Kong, coming from its own, unique geopolitical situation, represents a critical passage for understanding the emergence of the contemporary ‘Chinese city’. Watch Fan’s research fellowship talk.
Fan’s fellowship is supported by Spring Workshop, a non-profit arts space in Hong Kong committed to an international cross-disciplinary program of artist and curatorial residencies, exhibitions, music, film, and talks.
Ling Fan is a speculative designer, educator, and urban entrepreneur. Trained as an architect, he works at the boundaries of architecture, design, urban theory, and media technology. He is the co-founder of Tezign Tech & Design, a start-up bridging creative talents with real-world social and business problems. In addition, he founded FANStudio in 2010, a practice straddling art and architecture, and was the Founding Innovation Director of C-Pod (Crystal Platform for Open Design), the design think tank for Crystal CG, from 2008 to 2010. Fan taught architecture, media art, human-environment interaction, urbanism, and interdisciplinary design at China Central Academy of Fine Arts and the University of California at Berkeley.
Fan has received numerous awards, including the Contemporary Young Art Criticism prize from Art Observation journal; the Focus on Talent Award from the Martell Art Foundation and Today Art Museum; and the National Art Special Project grant from the China National Scholarship Council. His work has been exhibited at prestigious events and fairs including Beijing Design Week, the Gwangju Biennale, the Shanghai Art and Design Biennale, and Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. Fan received a DDes from the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, an MArch from Princeton University, and a BA from Tongji University.
Image at top: Shek Lei Playground, 1969. Photo: HKSAR Government
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