The Design Trusts Futures Studio is a program bringing together Hong Kong creatives, under the concept of ‘Heritage is Innovation’. Through this theme, we created a site-specific lighting installation for the 1936 built Haw Par Mansion. Our studio investigated found / leftover artefacts, and this lighting installation intends to spark new conversations about Hong Kong’s heritage and how this may extend to other cultures and communities. 

The restoration of Haw Par Mansion presented many leftover materials, which were now sitting outside the mansion. Among the materials, were traditional Chinese roofing tiles. We decided this artefact was a material that not only resonated with Chinese heritage but also with Har Paw Mansion itself. The tile’s iconic form and glaze are each handmade and have their own characteristic and form. 

Creating the Totem Tile Lights we want to create a sense of discovery within the mansion. While usually installed high up, the roofing tiles are highlighted by LEDs, brass and marble, and designed as free-standing floor lights to be examined close-up by spectators. The back of the tiles was kept open, revealing an internal slotting structure, which usually remains unseen. The installation combines several craft techniques forming it into an intersection of craft, heritage, and innovation.


Concept & Design: Studio Florian and Christine

Program Organiser: Design Trust Futures Studio


Material Exploration: Studio Florian and Christine

Production: Studio Florian and Christine, Kong Hing Kau (Metal) To Wing Stonemason (Stone)

Photography: Studio Florian & Christine, Design Trust HK

Workspace: MakerBay