Heartfelt reactions from the 2017 Best Design winners

Year upon year, Golden Pin entries get more numerous and more exciting; this year, the two awards received more than seven-thousand entries. In total, there are twenty-three Best Design winners in this year’s Golden Pin Design Award — 16 from Taiwan, 3 from Japan, 2 from China, 1 from Hong Kong, and 1 from Germany. There are just three Best De-sign winners in this year’s Golden Pin Concept Design Award, who don’t just win a trophy, but also NT$300,000 (about US$9,500) to help bring their concepts into reality.


The Jury Chair of the Golden Pin Design Award and Golden Pin Concept Design Award 2017, Kazuo Tanaka gave the opening remarks at the 2017 Grand Ceremony. This is the first year that Tanaka has served as Jury Chair for the competition. He praises the quality of this year’s entries, and looks forward to the award’s continued development with international designers.


“I would like to say congratulations to the Best Design winners,” Tanaka announced. “To everyone who has survived the examination, through many difficult challenges, this prize will certainly be your pride.”


The ceremony host, Mickey Huang entertained the audience with his bold personality, and quirky attire from official ceremony sponsor — Wisdom. Even Susann Lorenz-Michael, the representative of German Design Mark winner OCULUS GmbH, appreciated Huang’s humor. When she stepped on stage to accept her company’s award for ‘Universal Trial Frame UB 6’, Lorenz-Michael said she felt very nervous, however, Huang’s sense of humor certainly calmed her nerves somewhat.



The backdrop of the stage featured a digital, interactive screen, designed by Taiwan’s pioneering motion design studio — Bito. It maps converging motion graphics around the speakers on stage, reflecting Bito’s concept for the 2017 Grand Ceremony — “Hui” (Convergence). The Founder and Creative Director of Bito, Keng-Ming Liu received a sur-prise award for his behind the scenes work over the past two years of the Golden Pin ceremony, presented by Jang-Hwa Leu, Director General of Taiwan’s Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs.


Winner of 2017 Best Design in the Golden Pin Concept Design Award, AQUAIR is a team of young designers from Taiwan, Malaysia, and Honduras, who met at university in Tainan, southern Taiwan. Marco Villela, the design team member from Honduras, expressed his sincere gratitude to the communities who helped them succeed.



“This project started as an idea to help poor countries where people don’t have a lot of the things that we take for granted,” says Villela. “We are very, very thankful for this award, and I am very thankful to my classmates because we worked incredibly hard. It took us one year and a half to complete this project. I want to thank my country Honduras, because if it wasn’t for the people there, we wouldn’t be able to have this idea, or this amazing prize.”


Taiwanese animation studio, SimpleInfo Design won the Golden Pin Design Award 2017 Best Design in the Visual Communication category. Their video, ‘The Mystery of Victim Blaming’ aims to raise awareness around an important topic, which they say is widely misunderstood among Taiwanese society. Like many of this year’s Best Design winners, SimpleInfo is a group of young designers, averaging just 26 years old, who aim to change the world for the better.



“When I created this script, I had no idea it would be shared online so many times,” says Chih-Chyi Chang, Co-founder of SimpleInfo Design. “I really want to share this message with society.”


According to the designers, SimpleInfo’s day-to-day work is entirely crowdfunded. Upon receiving the trophy, Co-founder Stanley Wang held it high proclaiming, “We want to harness the positive energy from this award to change the world.”


‘2017 Creative Expo Taiwan | Theme Pavilion | CULTURAL EXPLOSION’ by InFormat Design Curating, won Best Design in the spatial design category. InFormat Director, Yao-Pang Wang shares the ideals of his peers in this year’s competition, believing strongly that Taiwanese designers can achieve their social impact goals by working together, and by expanding the design practice into new fields. “We try to get designers to do something that is not design; something to make our lives better,” says Wang.



Many of the Best Design winners from Taiwan are concerned with promoting Taiwanese culture, and traditional Chi-nese language. Designer of ‘Motion Type Project’ by Studio 411, Ting-An Ho could not be at the ceremony in person because he is currently serving mandatory conscription in Taiwan’s military. Motion Type Project is a motion graphic design for traditional Chinese fonts, of which there are very few. A friend of Ting came up on stage and read out the designer’s tongue-in-cheek address to the audience.


“If this letter is being read aloud, then it means that I not only won the Sing Song Karaoke Contest this month, but also the Golden Pin Design Award,” writes Ting. “In national service, I suspect that I cannot defend our home country, however, winning this honor could be regarded as a symbol of national salvation.”


Yen Hong-Lin, designer of the portable Chinese letterpress ‘Yi-Chang-Ming-Pien’, is a designer who supports the pro-motion of traditional Chinese language. “This is the only existing traditional Chinese letterpress in Taiwan,” says Yan. “This design is not a product; it is a tool, made in the hope that we can preserve the beauty of typography in Chinese language.”



Several of the Best Design winners, including the designers from DARE-BIKES, looked back on the disputes that led to their final products, which finally won the award. The designer couple behind Studio Lim and ‘Fibrewood Objects’, Patricia Lip and Yun-Ting Lin try not to spoil their love life with quarrels about work. Upon receiving the award on stage, the pair spoke of patience, compromise, and reconciliation.