▲ SongYanCourt is the new iconic landmark for the historic site at Songshan Cultural Park.
The Songshan Cultural Park has always been one of the main rendezvous points for Taipei’s hipsters, but did you know it’s been hiding a secret hub? A brand that has been brewing for just over a year — SongYanCourt — is formally opening its doors today. The emergence of SongYanCourt both conveys the essence of life’s beauty, while also establishing a haven for designers and creatives.
One Location, Many Functions
A multi-functional space for exhibitions, reading, shopping, and learning
According to a statement from the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwanese innovation is based at four design locations: Taiwan Design Museum, Not Just Library, Design Pin, and the American Innovation Center. The four locations are located within Songshan Cultural Park, forming a square. The square-shaped courtyard — evoking the image of the Chinese character for mouth (口) — combined with the phonetic sound for mouth, kou, inspired the name for the heart of the Songshan Cultural Park: SongYanCourt.
Visitors who walk into SongYangCourt can experience design from different angles. Taiwan Design Museum organizes design-focused exhibitions, where visitors can both get a glimpse of the latest trends, while also appreciating classic works. Design Pin allows visitors to assimilate design and aesthetics into daily life through a selection of both international and local products honored with Golden Pin Design awards.
The Not Just Library both offers hundreds of design magazines, periodicals, and books from all over the world, and also frequently holds discussions and events on design, art, and culture. The American Innovation Center promotes American technological innovation and culture, offering digital education courses such as 3-D printing, Maker, and blockchain. This place satisfies multifaceted aspects of design through exhibitions and performances, books and periodicals, creative works, and digital learning.
▲ The group photo for the press release at SongYanCourt (From the left: Joe Fang, designer; Chi-Yi Chang, Taiwan Design Center Chairman; Jang-Hwa Leu, Director General, Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs; De-Jian Liu , Chief Secretary of Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government; Justin Yu, Plan B Co-Founder)
Old Space, New Life
A check-in opportunity that can’t be missed
Justin Yu, leading the Plan b team, planned and designed ParkUp SYC, an iconic landmark for SongYanCourt. The branding plan for ParkUp focuses on improving the urban leisure environment. In 2017, they received the Taipei Design Award, the highest honor from the Taipei Mayor, and the Golden Pin Design Award for Best Design.
ParkUp SYC, the third part of the ParkUp plan, was inspired by the concept of creating a medium for the design community. The space is an integrated modular system that can be used in different ways — for relaxation, artisanal markets or exhibitions — and can adapt according to future public space needs. A metaphorical forest of creativity, the courtyard envelops visitors in an artistic and cultural atmosphere, inviting them to explore its depths to their hearts’ content.
▲ ParkUp SYC, the new landmark installation of SongYanKou, as seen from above — symbolizing the connection between the four corners of design at Songshan Cutural Park, inviting visitors to see exhibitions, read books, purchase cutting-edge designs, and explore creativity.
A Designer’s New Strength
Joe Fang Single-Handedly Creates a Visual Identity
As the Songshan Cultural Park brand was being created, designers from all over the world were invited to participate in different aspects of bringing the identity to life, including brand naming, site planning, and idea execution. Joe Fang, the head visual designer at Golden Horse, led the visual identity and space design, while Cowper Wang, a talented new media artist, was the invisible force driving the website platform, injecting original animation into the website.
In order to consolidate designers’ collective creativity and abilities, Songshan Cultural Park is publishing an independent periodical titled “CO-PAPER”, with Joe Fang acting as chief editor. The first issue focuses on the topic “Old space, new life”, interviewing botanical artist Lee Chi about “Stamen” — a piece of botanical art that links nature and architecture — for the cover article. They also invited designers and artists from all walks of life to share their opinions on creativity, including Pili Wu, Yamanda Yu, Mistroom, Laurie Anderson and Saiau-Yue Tsau. Printing just a limited number of issues, the first issue is being distributed for free. The stimulating cover and peaceful atmosphere of SongYanCourt invites readers to let their imaginations run wild.
▲ The cover of CO-PAPER featured botanical artist Lee-Chi about his simple yet exquisite artistic creations.
The Formal Opening of the SongYanCourt Membership Program
Come as close to the design hub as possible
In order for a human-centered design community to emerge, SongYanCourt created a member service platform. When SongYanCourt members purchase items at Taiwan Design Museum, Design Pin, and Not Just Library, they receive a point for every dollar spent. Points can be redeemed for discounts on exhibitions, readings, and for consumer products.
When members join during the designated opening period, they can add an extra member and receive 10,000 additional points while also taking advantage of other member benefits. Taiwan Design Museum, for example, holds exclusive, member-only tours led by the exhibition organizer. Furthermore, Not Just Library offers members a book about design as a welcome gift, and Design Pin gives first-time customers 50 dollars off any purchase over 1200 dollars, invigorating lives with sleek design that spark happiness and enhance satisfaction.