Taiwan Design Festival: Let the World See Taiwan
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 3, 2011
Summary: The world's first World Design Congress convened in Taipei on September 30. Works by 1200 designers from 34 nations will be on display. This is the world's largest multidisciplinary design event ever held. It is being referred to as the "UN General Assembly of the design world." After three years of intense competition, Taipei was awarded the right to host the event. It won out from a field of 19 competing cities, from 13 competing nations. This shows that Taiwan design is internationally recognized. The World Design Congress will be held on Taiwan. In response, the government has named this year "Taiwan Design Year." This shows the role design plays in the cultural and creative industries.
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The world's first World Design Congress convened in Taipei on September 30. Works by 1200 designers from 34 nations will be on display. This is the world's largest multidisciplinary design event ever held. It is being referred to as the "UN General Assembly of the design world." After three years of intense competition, Taipei was awarded the right to host the event. It won out from a field of 19 competing cities, from 13 competing nations. This shows that Taiwan design is internationally recognized. The World Design Congress will be held on Taiwan. In response, the government has named this year "Taiwan Design Year." This shows the role design plays in the cultural and creative industries.
The World Design Congress is the "General Assembly" of the International Design Alliance (IDA). The World Design Congress refers to three design groups: The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda), and the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI). In 2007 the three design groups formed in the International Design Alliance. The 2011 World Design Congress is the first major design conference since the IDA was formed. Full mobilization by officials and private individuals in Taipei cinched its bid to host the event. The World Design Congress represents the founding of the IDA. Guests include former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho, former London Development Agency Deputy Director and Director of Development and Environment Peter Bishop, Massachusetts Institute of Technology SENSEable City Laboratory Director Carlo Ratti, RDI Royal British Design Award organizer and RSA Design Director Emily Campbell. These heavyweights will give lectures and participate in seminars.
Taiwan won out over its numerous competitors for several reasons, One of them is Taiwan's design. Assessing design ability involves a variety of indicators. One of these is international design awards, This is an objective and public assessment standard. Taiwan has received many of the four major awards. These include Germany's iF and Red Dot awards, the United States' IDEA award, and Japan's G-Mark award. In 2003 Taiwan received only 16 awards. In 2010 it received 1017 awards, including 28 Gold Prizes or First Prizes. In 2010 Taiwan designed products won the most iF design awards in Asia. It won an amazing 10% of all awards presented. The World Design Conference includes a special "Taiwan Design Light Show," where visitors can see international design awards Taiwan has received over the years. They include products which received First Prize awards, Visitors can experience first hand the magic and creativity of design.
Taiwan has shone in the international design community. This is why Taipei is confident in its bid for the honor of "2016 World Design Capital." Will it be chosen? The successs of the World Design Conference could make a difference.
Every two years the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design selects a "World Design Capital." In 2008 it was Turin, Italy, In 2010 it was Seoul, Korea, In 2012 it was Helsinki, Finland, Which city will it be in 2014? The assembly will announce the winner in Taipei. When Seoul was chosen "World Design Capital," the entire city went all out. It was as if the city was reborn. The world was stunned with admiration. Design ability is a form of soft power. It takes time to develop, It cannot be "fast tracked." But sometimes developing national strength requirs a clear goal. Such a goal can motivate an entire society to develop their collective strengths.
Having a positive goal is always a good thing. It can motivate a city or a nation. It can win respect and recognition from the world at large. It is far better than remaining mired in endless bickering over meaningless trivia. Most lacking on Taiwan is a system whereby people can work together to strive for a common dream. A person without dreams has no drive. A society without dreams has no future.
The World Design Congress is a professional design forum. But for the general public, the exhibition being held at the Songshan Cultural Park, the Nangang Exhibition Hall, and the World Trade Center Exhibition Hall One, is a rare event. A single exhibition will enable visitors to see product design, interior design, multimedia design, and fashion design. Included are works of top designers, from here and abroad. International design masters have brought works from afar. A "100 Contemporary Taiwan Designers Exhibit" will also give the public an insight into three generations of designers on Taiwan, and their Interdisciplinary design ability.
From now to the end of October, the World Design Congress and Exhibition will enable Taiwan to see the world, and the world to see Taiwan.
「世界設計大會」是國際設計聯盟（ＩＤＡ）的會員大會。所謂的「世界設計大會」是指國際三大設計團體：國際工業設計社團協會、國際平面設計社團協會與國際室內建築師設計師團體聯盟。這三大設計團體在二○○七年組成「國際設計聯盟」，二○一一年的「世界設計大會」是ＩＤＡ成立後的第一屆大會，台北在官方與民間的全力動員、努力下，取得主辦權，被認為具有「開創ＩＤＡ大會典範」的重要使命。這次大會邀請了包括前芬蘭總理Esko Aho、前倫敦發展局副局長暨設計發展與環境處處長Peter Bishop、美國麻省理工學院感應城市實驗室總監Carlo Ratti、英國ＲＤＩ皇家工業設計獎主辦單位ＲＳＡ設計總監Emily Campbell等，多位重量級的來賓進行專題演講或對談。