The Golden Pin Design Award is the Asian design accolade that emerging designers all want to win. Established in 1981, there is a longstanding respect for the award among the design communities of Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. Therefore, winners are part of an elite group in the Chinese-speaking region.
This year, there were a total of 2,932 entries from 1,385 companies in 21 countries, and just 697 of those were selected for the coveted Design Mark. From those Design Mark winners, only 80 made it into the Final Selection for the chance to win 2018 Best Design. This year’s jury was the largest in the award’s history, comprised of 76 design experts, judging over three rigorous selection stages. The Final Selection jury featured the likes of Dutch design visionary Ad van Berlo (VanBerlo Group), Japanese graphic designer Kashiwa Sato (Samurai Inc.), American architect Edmond Bakos (Champalimaud Design), and Singaporean creative maverick Chris Lee (Asylum).
Arguably, many of the best designers are seeking out local identity and harnessing their culture as a differentiator in the global design industry. The richness of Chinese language and its cultural nuances certainly plays a big part. These designers especially shine through in the award’s new Integration Design category, which celebrates professional curation, ambient experience, and other ephemeral projects that integrate multiple categories of design together.
Organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economics, and executed by Taiwan Design Center, the award is a hallmark of the Taiwanese design authority’s role in Asia. It discovers the latest trends and leads the industry forward by championing those who represent the best in design. To give you a taste, here are seven outstanding Golden Pin Design Award 2018 Finalists from Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong, who are all in the running to win Best Design at the Grand Ceremony in Taipei on November 29.
- WOOMOON is a glass collection for the Moon festival events at the WOOBAR in Taipei’s W Hotel. The collection is made by Spring Pool Glass Industrial Co., using recycled champagne bottles from the bar itself. An aspiring young designer, Pili Wu has grown from leaps to bounds over the past few years, solidifying his identity by designing for temples, tea shops, and restaurants. To global brands like W Hotel, he represents a powerful source of localization.
- Designed by Pili-Wu Design (Taiwan – Product Design, Homeware)
- The Fading Font is a social impact project, which visually expresses the memory loss. The design team aims to draw attention to an escalating issue in China where upwards of ten million elderly people suffer from Alzheimers disease. Composed from Heiti and Songti font styles, some strokes are cut and transformed, while dash lines are added to fragment the character. Thus, the font is weak in terms of readability and legibility, but the basic function remains.
- Designed by Beijing Hanyi Information Technology Co., Ltd and Mcgarrybowen (Shanghai) Advertising Company (China – Communication Design, Font design)
- The Affairs is a newspaper that captures the heart of Taiwan’s hip and cultured millennial generation, increasingly referred to as the wenqing. It was founded by the editor-in-chief at The Big Issue Taiwan, and first published in June 2017 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. It publishes licensed translations of articles from the New York Times and the UK’s Guardian newspaper, as well as the voices of Taiwanese thought leaders on a range of subjects.
- Designed by The Affairs Medium Ltd. (Taiwan – Communication Design, Publications)
- Yinchuan Han Meilin Art Museum is a monolithic building on the border of Inner Mongolia, which is designed to merge with its mountainous surroundings. The building’s masonry utilizes an Ashlar facade to match the type of stone found throughout the Helan Mountains. Inside the museum is divided into four exhibition halls, an interactive exhibition space, and spaces from where visitors can observe the beauty of sunlight, cascading across the natural landscape.
- Designed by SUNLAY (China – Spatial Design, Architecture and structures)
- Mist Encounter is a microclimate art exhibition that took place in the outdoor plaza at Taipei Fine Art Museum, raising awareness about the climate’s fragility. The interior of the exhibit has a number of layers, created by hanging fabric and the dense fog, which visitors disappear into as they explore inside. The exhibition took place while the museum was undergoing renovations, and its purpose was to uphold the museum’s relevance for visitors during the closure.
- Designed by Serendipity Studio + Kuan-Wei Chen Architects (Taiwan – Spatial Design, Public Space)
- Prismverse is a branded art installation for the Dr.Jart+ V7 Toning Light skin brightening product, which was presented to consumers at a shopping center in Shanghai. It is made from a 10-meter wide LED floor, housed inside a diamond-like, mirror-walled structure, which creates a fantastical light art performance along with ambient music by sonihouse. A touchpoint on the product at the center of the exhibit acts as a switch to start off this luxury, branded experience.
- Designed by XEX / XCEPT (Hong Kong – Integration Design, Ambient Experience)
- Soundscape of Body is a performance for the University of Hong Kong 2018 Body Donation Day, led by the university’s Body Donation Programme, which provides cadavers for medical students. Its purpose was to encourage the audience to reconsider the value of their body after death. The soundscape is created by a low energy laser device, which scans a three-dimensional cross section of the body and translates it into ambient sound. It was conceived as a creative way to commemorate life and
- Designed by Dimension Plus (Hong Kong – Integration Design, Ambient Experience)
Daniel Cunningham is the International PR & Marketing Project Manager and the International PR manager of the Golden Pin Design Award