This piece was originally published on Fabrica Blog.
The Mills had the pleasure to welcome Hong Kong Chief Executive Mrs. Carrie Lam, GBM, GBS, as well as Secretary for Commerce & Economy Mr. Edward Yau, GBS, JP, to visit The Mills site in Tsuen Wan. During the visit, we got to show our distinguished guests a glimpse of what is to come, including highlights of Fabrica’s future space, key tenants and potential activities at Shopfloor and also CHAT’s current summer programme “Let’s go build a textile village” exhibition. Some of the key discussion items during the day’s visit included the following.
(Founder of The Mills Vanessa Cheung and the team brought Hong Kong Chief Executive Mrs. Carrie Lam
as well as Secretary for Commerce & Economy Mr. Edward Yau to visit The Mills.)
CHAT: Bringing the community together through heritage, arts, and textiles
During the visit, our guests really enjoyed the little bits of heritage interweaved throughout the site- be it the physical design and revitalization of certain spaces in the site or the elements of history brought out through the exhibits and showcases. In particular, a key mission of The Mills is in bringing the community together to celebrate Hong Kong’s heritage in textiles and CHAT’s current summer programme has strived to engage the community together for this celebration. From working with local students and local Tsuen Wan public to weave the dragon art piece for the exhibition to engaging former textiles industry folks to tell stories and lead workshops at the exhibition- each part has been designed to allow the community to come together. There’re so much depth and stories in history worth remembering and we hope the continued celebration of heritage will continue to allow our future generations to understand and re-connect to the legacy of our past.
Fabrica: Creating a new center of innovation and experimentation
We would always tell the story about The Mills as one of “connection” and one element in particular is about “connection to time”. If CHAT is a way to celebrate the past, Fabrica can be said to connect the past to the future. During the visit, our guests were shown around the area where Fabrica would be hosted in the future, including a ~10,000 sq ft area of co-working spaces and event space as well as a state of the art ~3,000 sq ft Fabrica Lab (consisting of various equipment and machinery for rapid prototyping of techstyle products). In addition to Fabrica’s space and lab, Fabrica would also have a Fabrica Shop on the Shopfloor to display techstyle related products/ services and retail technologies of startups in our community. The vision for us is to create a new center for experimentation, where be it creating the first prototype of their product at Fabrica Lab or testing out new retail ideas at Fabrica Shop, The Mills itself can be a place for experiment and if something works here they can then take it out and scale it elsewhere. In addition to being an innovation center for startups and corporates, part of the lab, as well as the shop, will also be fully opened to students and public as a way to interact and be exposed to the latest technologies globally.
(Co-director of The Mills Fabrica Alexander Chan introduced Fabrica to Mrs. Carrie Lam.)
The Mills: Building a community through heritage and innovation
Overall, the larger mission of The Mills is to build a new center of heritage and innovation for the wider community. Be it telling the story of heritage or interacting with interesting technologies of the future, we hope that this center would become a new destination for the wider community to gather, learn and experience the highlights from our collective past and our shared future.
The Mills will officially be opened in December 2018, so stay tuned to a new chapter with us soon. In meantime, for startups or institutions/ corporates interested in the work of Fabrica or in the office/ event space at Fabrica space, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.