The Golden Pin Design Award and Golden Pin Concept Design Award 2019 announce a total of 71 finalists from designers in 6 countries or regions. There are 64 finalists in the Golden Pin Design Award and 7 finalists in the Golden Pin Concept Design Award from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. These finalists are all now in the running to win Best Design at the award ceremony in Taipei on December 5. 

Golden Pin Design Award

The 10 Final Selection jury members convened on September 23 at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei to judge all 624 Design Mark winners and narrow down a shortlist of finalists for Best Design. They selected 18 finalists in product design, 20 in communication design, 20 in spatial design, and 6 in integration design – 36 from Taiwan, 15 from China, 9 from Hong Kong, 2 from South Korea, 1 from Japan, and 1 from Germany. In addition to competing for the coveted Best Design trophy, the finalists can also be nominated for special awards championing circular design and social design.

Final Selection Jury Comments

President of the WDO – World Design Organization, Luisa Bocchietto is looking for sustainability in design, and although she sees some among this year’s finalists, she still hopes to see more in the future. Bocchietto appreciates designers who prioritize the use of natural materials, as well as those who incorporate local culture in their design thinking. Founder of tonychi, the award-winning design practice based in New York, Tony Chi is interested in design that shows self-reflection and a great sense of purpose from the designer, or as he calls it “the silent voice”. Chi sees a lot of design for preservation among this year’s finalists, in both tangible and intangible forms, relating to heritage and urban renewal.

President of the Taiwan Design Alliance, Apex Pang-Soong Lin feels that although product design has always been oriented towards the mass market, there are many products among this year’s finalists that have been designed specifically for marginalized demographics, which is a positive direction in terms of diversity and equality. Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Yuan Ze University, Ching-Yueh Roan pays special attention to humanized design, especially in product design. Roan explains that the relationship between people and objects is not cold, but warm or even nostalgic at times, and Taiwanese product design embodies this sense of nostalgia with its modern-retro style.

Rice Husk Beach Toys

Product design (Taiwan) by Dot Design Co.,Ltd.

This collection of three beach toys is made from rice husks, which makes them 100% biodegradable and eco friendly. The rice husks are collected from local farmers and combined with natural starch to produce the raw material, which can be recycled up to 5 times before disposal.

makesure cat litter box

Product design (China) by Shenzhen Lesure Technology Co., Ltd.

This cat litter box is designed for convenience and style; easy for cats to use, simple for cat owners to clean, and subtle in appearance. The look of makesure is inspired by round, soft form of mochi or Japanese rice cakes, and the enclosure comes complete with cleaning tools for added convenience.

Jewel Beetles of Taiwan

Communication design (Taiwan) by Yiche Feng

This book concludes years of research by two beetle-collecting hobbyists, Uitsiann Ong from Taiwan and Takaharu Hattori from Japan. It is the very first book devoted to Taiwan’s jewel beetles with pictures of 105 species, and it is published in English as an academic resource for international readers.


Communication design (China) by Sendpoints Publishing Co., Ltd.

BranD magazine has been inspiring graphic designers worldwide since 2012 by exploring brand design and collecting together creative ideas from all around the world in one place. It has been recommended by the Red Dot and iF Design Awards, and received high praise from graphic design professionals.


Spatial design (Japan) by TONERICO:INC

More than just a vehicle repair center and automotive aftermarket store, A PIT AUTOBACS SHINONOME caters to passengers, family and friends, as well as drivers. It aims to be a pitstop for both cars and people, offering books, food, beverages, and all the comforts of a modern Japanese retail store.

Hong Kong House

Spatial design (Hong Kong) by LAAB Architects

Part of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Hong Kong House is an art gallery and artist residence that aims to facilitate cultural exchange between artists from Hong Kong and the local residents in Echigo, Japan. Its architecture is designed to respectfully integrate with this peaceful, rural neighborhood.


Integration design (Taiwan) by InFormat Design Curating

An installation from the Hsinchu City Glass Art & Design Festival, LIGHT-DRIVING introduces a new chapter in the discourse of traditional craft, lifestyle, and design. InFormat Design Curating worked with local glass factories to create a space modeled on circular economy and local aesthetics.


Integration design (Taiwan) by sselectlab

Composed of exhibition space, accommodation space, and a design office, NIBUNNO aims to promote Taiwanese design and Taiwan-Japan design exchange. Located in Tokyo, this livable gallery is imagined as a space where people can come into contact with the latest Taiwanese design trends.

Golden Pin Concept Design Award

The 10 Final Selection jury members assembled on September 24 at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei to critique the 45 Design Mark winning concepts and select a shortlist of finalists for Best Design. They selected 1 finalist in product design, 5 in communication design, and 1 in integration design – 3 from Taiwan, 3 from China, and 1 from Germany. These finalists each have a chance of winning not just the coveted Best Design trophy, but also a share of the award’s TWD$1,200,000 (approx. USD$39,000) prize.

Final Selection Jury Comments

Founder of bod design corp., David Wang notices that many of the finalists address the topic of self-discovery, and he feels there is an opportunity for them to look deeper into social issues. Moving forward, Wang recommends those who are interested in self-discovery to follow this path into wider social issues. Founder of Business Next Magazine, Wei-Hsiung Chan comments on the animation entries from designers in China, many of which explore social issues such as domestic violence and alienation in urban contexts. Chan concludes that, aside from their mature creative skills, their films also offer deep and emotional insight about Chinese society.

Artist/Designer at multi award-winning Japanese design firm SPREAD, Haruna Yamada and Hirokazu Kobayashi are both attracted to design that solves problems. Yamada and Kobayashi explain that concept design is a challenge of gaining insight into emerging problems, engaging the problem through design thinking, and proposing a well thought out solution before it’s too late. Founder of Flaneur Culture Lab, Mei-li Liao advises future entrants to be aware that we’re living in a hyper-materialistic era of excessive design and production. Liao encourages designers to reexamine the process of design, learn about new materials, and consider social needs.

Chuan Dao Tourism Sightseeing Ticket Design

Communication design (Taiwan) by Jui-Hung Weng, Ya-Ling Wang, You-Ning Hou, and Fang-Yu Cao

Through intricately detailed illustrations, these tickets capture the spirit of popular landmarks and locations that can be visited by train in Taiwan. The designers emphasized signifiers such as rivers, mountains, and bird species in order to visually communicate the natural beauty in these tourist destinations.


Communication design (China) by Yu-Jiao Hu, Fei-Fei Li, and Xiao-Han Shen

This short film tells the story of a working class girl, growing up in modern day China, who is forced to give up on her dreams of becoming a writer. The characters and background layouts are beautifully illustrated by hand, adding a touch of empathy and emotion to this thought-provoking narrative.

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