Sensorial Estates x Hong Kong Pavilion // Experience Design

Hong Kong Pavilion 2018

For the London Design Biennale 2018 theme ‘Emotional States’, our team designed the experience, production, and design-build of the Hong Kong Pavilion. ‘Sensorial Estates’, focuses on the sensory experience of smell and its relationship with nostalgia and memory in the context of everyday life.

Exploring the emotionally profound link between smell and time/space, the Hong Kong Pavilion focuses on the exploration of how the sensorial experience of smell heightens nostalgia and memory within our everyday lives and how smells can take us back to physical places and states of being. If visitors have ever passed through Hong Kong, its sensorial estates are sleeping within the memory; the experience of the Pavilion, and its various sensorial estates, immerse the viewers into different emotive states through smell.

The research and development of this installation explore the sensorial representation of Hong Kong through an interactive, sensorial, physical, and tactile installation. It will aim to showcase emblematic cultural icons and experiences and capture local influences through site-specific objects and designs — representing the locality, regionality, and complexity of Hong Kong.

As the visitor moves through the pavilion to view the exhibited works and curated objects, they will interact with the scent experiences created within the space and through a variety of scratch-and-sniff wallpapers. The pavilion installation explores how ‘smell’ triggers our emotional state more intensively.

The spatial design and concept is theoretically inspired by Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, and graphically inspired by Andy Warhol and MC Escher. The final installation and exhibition is designed by the WE-DESIGNS team, and was commissioned to Wendy W Fok through the auspiciousness of the London Design Biennale Art Director Christopher Turner. Funding is made possible in part by the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office (London), and several private donors.

‘These distinctive smells and tactile shapes remain the most instinctual way I continuously experience and develop the nostalgia and memories of my Hong Kong identity, even from the other side of the world. And, I would like to use this installation to share that experience with the public.’
– Wendy W Fok, Lead Designer



London Design Biennale 2018 – Emotional States 

‘Emotional States’ has been chosen to provoke a broad interpretation across design disciplines, with immersive and engaging installations that interrogate how design affects every aspect of people’s lives – the way we live and how we live – but also influences our very being, emotions and experiences. Together the countries’ responses to the theme will present an exciting laboratory of ideas that will investigate the important relationship between design, strong emotional responses and real social needs.

Emotions are universal, with shared meanings that transcend borders. Installations will explore the full spectrum of emotions as classified by Charles Darwin, in his 1872 work, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal. These emotions are; Anger, Contempt, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise. 

Visceral exhibits and experiences will evoke moods and explore a particular country or city’s design story. National entries will ask: how does design evoke, communicate and manipulate emotions? How can design promote and support well-being? Conversely, how can design provoke and address anger and stress? How might emotionally durable designs reduce the impact of consumption and waste? What are the possible consequences of robots as emotional machines?

The powerful theme allows visitors to question some of the big issues of our time and interact with brand new work by world-leading architects, designers, scientists, writers and artists in a broad, vibrant exhibition.

@HKLDB18 #EmotionalStates #LDB18

London Design Biennale – Hong Kong Pavilion


This project is made possible in part by:

Hong Kong Economic Trade Office (London)
Parsons School of Design (New York)

Jeffrey Sun (New York)
Matthew Boras (New York)
Wendy W Fok (Hong Kong / New York)
WE-DESIGNS (Hong Kong / New York)
LAB-yrinth (Hong Kong / New York)


Design Lead
Wendy W Fok

Design Team
Camila Varon Jaramillo, Lead Producer & Designer
Eugene Ong, Graphic Design
Erin Lee Carman, Social Media

Lillian He, Head of Communications (Project)



Timeout London
Euronews (video)
BBC Radio
BBC London News
China Daily News
Bulgari Hotels
Unreserved Media
Google Arts and Culture


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Date: 2018 Client: London Design Biennale 2018 Location: Somerset House, London, England