The winners of the 2019 Young Pin Design Award, the premier design award for Taiwan’s young designers, have been announced. The awards ceremony took place today (May 5) at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1. Vice Economic Affairs Minister Lin Chuan-neng, Political Deputy Education Minister Lio Mon-chi, Industrial Development Bureau Deputy Director General Yang Chih-ching, Taiwan Design Center Chairperson Chang Chi-yi, and Good Design Association Chairperson Yu Chun-ming attended the event and helped to confer the awards, highlighting the importance of design education. This year, there were 40 recipients of the “Young Pin Design Award,” 72 recipients of the “Young Pin Sponsor Award,” and three recipients of the “Special Entrepreneurial Potential Award.” The eight winners of the highly anticipated “Best Design of Young Pin Design Award” were announced by representatives of the juries from the eight respective award categories: Alan Yi, Gina Hsu, Liao Jun-yu, Florence Lu, Cowper Wang, Yu Feng, Effie Huang, and Agua Chou. Winners received a cash prize of NT$100,000 and a certificate in recognition of their hard work and to serve as a starting point for their next creation.

This year, the organizer received 6,315 submissions from 137 departments at 65 schools. Of that number, 822 works were selected as finalists. Ultimately, 123 works received an award. The competition was extremely fierce. Shih Chien University had 14 winners among the eight winners of the “Best Design of Young Pin Design Award,” the 40 winners of the “Young Pin Design Award,” and the three winners of the “Special Entrepreneurial Potential Award,” the highest number of any school. National Taiwan University of Arts finished in second place with six winners, followed by Kun Shan University in third place with five winners.

Many of the award-winning works this year manifested a complete maturity and potential for future development, grabbing the attention of juries. “Fashion Design” category juror Sun Hua Chen said the concept of “1945 Koufuku” was clear, and the silhouettes and use of materials were both quite mature, and he could see the keys to this brand’s future formation. “Packaging Design” category juror Wang Ching Fu said the more mass-oriented products are, the more difficult they are to design. The topics broached by “Tissue 36” were very life-oriented. Students can use careful observations of all aspects of life to face up to design issues with a pragmatic attitude, and in the end results may almost reach the state of mass production. Cowper Wang, convener of the “Digital Multimedia” category, indicated that both the script writing and artistic arrangement of “The Sea Within the Room” flowed extremely well. The work dealt with serious issues but was presented using aesthetics, and this contrast stunned the jury. Meanwhile, Gina Hsu, convener of the “Craft Design” category, stated that the unforeseen circumstances that emerged during the production process of “Kanaami X Glass” became part of the work, ingeniously transforming the original shortcomings into distinguishing characteristics. She added this work has the experimental spirit of craftsmanship, and she felt the creator’s sincerity.

With regards to the overall execution of the student works this year, “Product Design” category convener Rock Wang said the works were full of free expression. There were traditional expression techniques, as well as innovative displays, with an extremely wide variety. Meanwhile, “Fashion Design” category juror Justin Chou mentioned that many students labored over materials, and successfully applied their growth environments, personal experiences, or travel experiences to their works. He added this was rarely seen in the past, and he hopes it will continue in the future.

In terms of the judging criteria, Agua Chou, convener of the “Social Design” category that made its debut this year, indicated that many students are still accustomed to viewing social design from a product design perspective. In reality, social design is about using an innovative point of view to revisit an object or an industry. The final product does not necessarily have to be an object, as it can be a system to reflect on concepts. She added the works that attract her attention are those that are able to connect with their actual targets and realistically understand issues and requirements. “Packaging Design” category convener Liao Jun-yu said packaging design is actually a very logical type of knowledge, and cannot be too extravagant or too simplistic. Designers also have to take economic costs, social environments, and other issues into consideration. For him, “appropriateness” is extremely important. Meanwhile, “Fashion Design” category convener Florence Lu mentioned that this year’s “Fashion Design” category presentations differed from those of previous years, as students not only orally presented their works, but also included photographs of their works in the submissions, allowing the jurors to more completely understand their creations in a shorter amount of time. “Packaging Design” category juror Andrew Wong discovered that many students qualified for the finals in different categories, but only prepared a single presentation. His advice is to prepare a different presentation for each category from that category’s perspective in order to highlight its specific characteristics.

A number of the jurors, including Cowper Wang, Kevin Ho, and Vii Chen, concurred in their advice to students who are about to enter the workforce. They said students must hold onto their passion and not forget their original aspirations. Hom Liou, who served as the curator of this year’s “Young Designers’ Exhibition” and as a “Spatial Design” category juror, added that he hopes students will come away from this exhibition and selection process with a better understanding of and a greater belief in themselves. They will only be able to courageously express what they believe to the world after they come to an understanding of their own traits layer by layer. “Visual Communication” category convener Yu Feng said before students start thinking about their future designs, they must first figure out what the value of design is to society, and find their own professional niche in this sense. This is the only way to ensure they have the driving force necessary to move forward.

This year, the Young Pin Design Award has once again teamed up with the Ministry of Education to allow winners of the Best Design of Young Pin Design Award to directly qualify for the “Scholarship Program for Overseas Study in Arts & Design.” This will not only give the new generation of Taiwanese design talents more opportunities to shine, but also cultivate professional design talents with international outlooks. Scholarship recipients will be able to study abroad for one year and will also receive a subsidy of NT$1.5 million. It is hoped this opportunity will encourage Taiwan’s students to connect with the world.