Following its successful run in Singapore at the end of May, the Golden Pin Design Award and Taiwan Design Center jointly hosted the Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon at the Not Just Library venue at Taipei's Songyan Court on the afternoon of June 13. Specially invited guests included 2017 Golden Pin Best Design Award winner and Timonium Lake Studio designer Ho Chia-hsing; InFormat Director of Design Curation Wang Yao-pang; and Business Next magazine founder and previous Golden Pin Design Award judge Chan Wei-hsiung. The three shared their observations on design and culture from the perspectives of their own fields and personal experiences.
The Golden Pin Design Award has organized twenty-seven Golden Pin Salon events in twenty cities, including Taipei, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, since 2015. To date, eighty celebrated design experts and creative industry professionals have taken to the stage as speakers. Many designers and design enthusiasts have also participated in the salons, and the response has been extremely enthusiastic. Taiwan Design Center Deputy CEO Nina Ay says the Golden Pin Design Awards actively promote dialogue and exchange between domestic and international design circles. She also hopes the existence of the design awards will motivate Taiwan's designers to develop unique design ideas and build confidence in their own culture, thereby enhancing Taiwan's soft power.
The headline speaker at the Salon was Business Next magazine founder Chan Wei-hsiung, who now devotes his time to studying cultural and social changes. He spoke on a topic that has been of great interest to him lately: "Design and Taiwan-ness." During his talk, he shared his observations on several exemplars of domestic and international design and on his experiences serving as a judge for the Golden Pin Design Awards on multiple occasions. He also provided a roadmap for thinking about design. According to Chan, "Taiwan-ness" does not refer to night markets, Taipei 101 or other surface features. Instead, it refers to "Taiwan knowledge," the life reflections, accumulated over time, of the countless numbers of people who have lived in this unique geographical space. It is also about how we as people should face the challenges posed by nature. Chan referred to examples of design from different countries to encourage Taiwanese designers to think more deeply about the special qualities they have as independent individuals, and to really devote themselves to this geographical space. In this way, they can use their own experiences to explore the "Taiwan-ness" of their design.
Last year, Taiwan designer Ho Chia-hsing was inducted into membership in the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). In 2017, he also won a Golden Pin Best Design Award for the inaugural commemorative poster he designed for Soulangh Artist Village's Tainan Folk Art Performance Troupe Exhibit. Ho is known for integrating calligraphy, seal-carving, and contemporary art into his designs. He drew from his many years of design experience to speak on the topic of "Extracting a Design Vocabulary from Taiwan's Folk Culture – a Linear Method." He shared how he experimented with lines to create even more design possibilities, such as studying Taiwan's temple architecture and folk religious culture and using a contemporary design vocabulary to develop a unique design perspective. Ho mentioned that he believes that "creation comes from the land," and therefore the deeper one's understanding of the cultural fabric is, the easier it becomes to find one's own design and stylistic niche. He added that it is very important for designers and creators to ceaselessly explore creativity.
The final speaker was InFormat Director of Design Curation Wang Yao-pang. Last year, Wang won two Golden Pin Best Design Awards for curating the 2017 Creative Expo Taiwan theme pavilions Cultural Explosion and Up to 3742—Taiwan on the Top of the Ridge. Wang talked about "The Shape of Curating" and shared his fascinating design and curating experiences. He mentioned that his curatorial inspirations and ideas often come from interpreting fragments of everyday life, as well as the piecing together of little details from his life experiences. He used the 2017 and 2018 Creative Expo Taiwan events, the use of space at Keelung's former Second Precinct, and other real-world examples to expound on his views about curating. Wang said he hopes to use his exhibitions to subvert stereotypical perceptions of symbols and objects under the premise of respecting their intrinsic nature. He also seeks to stimulate the senses or thinking to spur a new kind of cognition.
At the conclusion of the salon, the organizers introduced the Golden Pin Design Award and Golden Pin Concept Design Award to the audience. The two awards are currently making their last call for entries. The submission deadline for the Golden Pin Design Award is 5 p.m. on June 28 (Thursday), while the submission deadline for the Golden Pin Concept Design Award is 5 p.m. on June 21 (Thursday). Designers are invited to take on this challenge!