Entrants into the Golden Pin Concept Design Award are encouraged to consider philosophies, ideologies, principles, or areas of thought attributable to huaren (Chinese-speaking) culture or lifestyles in their submitted concepts, as well as the Chinese concept of zhongguan While separately the words mean ‘center' or ‘middle' and 'to observe’ or 'to watch’ the meaning of the combined phrase is much deeper–something akin to ‘mastery gained from the perspective afforded those at the center of things.’
Many designers entering works into this year’s competition seem concerned with the preservation of Chinese or local heritage. From Taiwan, “The King of Taiwan”, “The Lights of Taiwan”, and “Good Old Time” map local landmarks–in this case traditional carved stone lions, vintage street lights, and decades old grocery stores–and present them in a digestible guide for visitors and residents alike to explore. In a similar vein, “A Guide to Chinese Funerals in Singapore” by Singaporean designer Elsa Ng Hui Shan offers younger generations insight into dwindling customs and beliefs, and is themed around a Chinese proverb often associated with death.
A number of works entered this year take on the social circumstances affecting people living in communities in the Greater China region. A poster series called “Angry Ink” by Taiwanese designers Jia-Zhe Pan and Cheng-Hsin Chen provides an outlet for pent up stress by encouraging people to punch, hit, or hammer the paper, while another series called “Out of the Common” addresses the concerns felt by China’s news stand owners, who are overlooked casualties of the rapid decline in print media readership. Through “Whisper”, Chinese designer Cao Fan sharply presents everyday phrases, greetings, and wishes in poster form to highlight the Chinese attitude toward life.
Some Design Mark recipient works appear to be grounded in a certain place in the Greater China region, be it an ancient historical site or a contemporary city. The shape of Gather Round–rattan and bamboo lampshades by Taiwanese designer Chih-hsuan Chou–is inspired by ancient Fujian Tulou residential structures, while a spatial design entry by Chinese designers Chen-hua Yu and Jia-he Zhou transforms a Neolithic jade factory in Tonglu County, Hangzhou into a preservation-conscious tourist destination. A tea set called Love in Bloom is inspired by the native orchids that are grown and celebrated throughout Taiwan’s oldest city, Tainan.
Even something as practical as the redesign of public toilet facilities can be inspired by ancient Chinese thinking. Gentolet, a gender-neutral toilet sharing system, is inspired by “I Ching, the ancient text of Taoism, which explains the relationship between growth and decline,” notes Taiwanese designer William Lai in his entry form. Nine Odes, a fashion collection by Chinese designer Shi Xiao-dong is similarly inspired by centuries old texts, such as the Jiu Ge or Nine Songs poetry anthology, and styles dating to the Qin and Han dynasties.
“The subjects of the designs from both Taiwan and China are broader when compared with last year, focusing on areas such as climate change and societal shifts; many works also indicate a consideration of the humanities,” says Tony K.M. Chang, Regional Advisor of International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) and a member of the Secondary Selection jury.
“There are 3,000 entries this year, but the number of entries are not important because the core achievement of the Golden Pin Concept Design Award will be to effectively share the idea of zhongguan with the international design community” continues jury member and Chair Professor at Asia University Department of Visual Communication Apex Pang-Soong Lin.
Other design professionals in the 2016 Secondary Selection jury include Jun-Liang Chen, General Manager of Freeimage Design Co., Ltd.; Taddy Ho, Director of Operating Committee of BBDO Taiwan Advertising Co.; Cheng-Neng Kuan, Vice President of Shih-Chien University; Jiayang Lin, Professor of the Tongji University College of Design and Innovation; and Jamy Yang, Founder of YANG DESIGN.
About the Golden Pin Concept Design Award
Running since 2015, the Golden Pin Concept Design Award is one among three awards in the Golden Pin design award group. The annual competition is open to submissions from students, professionals, and corporations from around the world, and accepts product and project design concepts in four design disciplines. Entries are assessed in three stages by a carefully selected international jury. All entrants that pass the second round of selections are awarded a Golden Pin Concept Design Award Design Mark and a certificate. Best Design of the Year winners receive one of three cash prizes awarded, each worth NT$300,000 (approx. US$9,800). The Golden Pin Concept Design Award is executed by the Taiwan Design Center and organized by the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry of Economic Affairs acts in an advisory capacity.
The below dates may be subject to change.
Final Selection: October 2016
Award Ceremony: early December 2016
For the latest news on the Golden Pin Design Award, visit:
Official Website: http://www.goldenpin.org.tw/en/