Robert Wong is a Hong Kong registered architect and a member of Royal Institute of British Architects with over twenty years of professional experience and academic training in architecture, design and urban development planning. Over the years, he has been actively involved in community services. As a Project Development Director of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council, he is passionate to use humanities design projects in helping the poor, elderly and the disadvantaged.
Robert was awarded the Hong Kong Ten Outstanding Young Person 2015 and Hong Kong Humanity Award in 2017 to recognize his achievement in the architectural profession and his contribution to community. In 2016, Robert was selected as the Top 3, the Changemaker of the Year in 4th ElderCare Innovation Award 2016 in Singapore. In the architectural professions, Robert has continuously received different design awards including design competitions in Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong.
Building up on Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council’s rich experience of elderly service and its architectural design, Robert worked together with his colleagues to publish “Construct Miracles for Seniors – Reference Booklet for Elderly Service Project Design” in China in 2016.
“Architects are not only serving those with resources, but also the poor and the underprivileged.”
The Seniors, The Designers – A design experience to create an age-friendly environment with the elderly in Hong Kong
Design is an experience for the older person to enjoy to create meaningful retirement.
The participatory design approach was adopted to design and build an Elderly-Friendly Public Furniture in Morse Park in Hong Kong from November 2016 to December 2017.
- i) The public furniture is one design solution made up by various unique design component.
- ii) A group of elders (18 elders from 4 districts) were recruited to be participants in the design process.
iii) Elders were trained / shared with basic design skills. Each elder involved in forming the park furniture layout and sketching the preliminary concept of benches. Elders had a chance to present their design ideas to the government officials.
- iv) An 1-to-1 mock-up was built in the park to allow elders to give detailed feedback on site.
- v) Architects and designers were the design facilitator and they transformed elders’ sketches into people-centred design solution.
- vi) Through the liaison and engagement with the elderly, different elderly friendly design details and elements were included in the public furniture to ensure it would be safe and comfortable.
vii) Towards the site work completion, elders and their family members joined the celebration event to share their design experience with the other users in the park and also to showcase the elderly-friendly design details in park furniture to the community.
viii) With positive feedback from the elders, the phase 2 design work using the participatory design approach will be conducted again in 2018.