Hualien is situated at a junction where tectonic plates meet. Frequent orogenies taking place over tens or hundreds of millions of years have come to form Hualien’s unique and exquisite landscape, and also paved the way to this place’s much sought-after natural mineral resources. The mines in Hualien hold more than 300 billion tons of marble. It is home to not only white, grey, and black marble, but also serpentine. The steady supply of stones and meticulous processing have made Hualien’s marble famed throughout the world, and Hualien known as a “Marble Kingdom.” With the shift in world economic markets and the emergence of environmental awareness, the stone industry has come to be seen as a polluting industry that is far from sustainability.
To this means, the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan Design Research Institute jointly launched the “T22 Local Industry Revitalization via Design Project,” which aims to “reshape Hualien as Taiwan’s first industry hub with a brand image of sustainable development.” After integrating stones with artisan craftsmanship in co-branding designs in 2022, the project further proceeds to regional revitalization in 2023 through the “Open Factory” initiative. As more people are invited to learn about Taiwan’s marble and serpentine processing brands and the factories after renovations, the public is given a chance to explore the mines and to understand the charms of stones. By taking an everyday approach to design, stones are transformed to objects that enrich everyone’s daily lives.
“T22 Hualien” unites Hualien’s stone manufacture factories and unique designer brands with an elite team of consultants, including the leader of design procurement in Japan, Yu Yamada, founder of fashion startup MSYAMING, Yaming Feng, and founder of REnato lab, Chia-Hsiang Wang. The project also includes SME coaching, exhibitions, and procurement in the pursuit of environmental protection and sustainability. After more than one year of countless communications, meetings, and revisions, T22 Hualien has brought warmth and a brand-new image to Hualien’s stone industry using one-of-a-kind craftsmanship and branding. A brighter future has been formed for these stones.
[Don Loong Enterprise x googoods design]
Reshaping a Rigid Image! Paving the Way to a More Sustainable Granite Industry
Founded in 1987 and famed for its professional and solid granite manufacturing capabilities, Don Loong Enterprise Co., Ltd. is the largest granite supplier in Taiwan and boasts of clientele ranging from celebrated Taiwanese architect T.D. Lee, Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR), and Taipei Metro. In pursuit of its brand philosophies of quality, environmental preservation, and energy conservation in recent years, Don Loong works with googoods design, which participated in T22 projects twice, aiming to counter the common stereotypes regarding the stone industry’s environmental pollutions and to help everyone understand the circular economy behind the stone industry. The current rebranding focuses on the three principles: “Reliable,” “Visionary,” and “Sustainable.” Not only is the company’s initials “DL” used to increase brand awareness, but the core concept of the granite’s solid nature is also adopted to embody Don Loong’s image of professionalism and steadfastness, and the enterprises’ hard and soft skills.
On the other hand, an exhibition area is set up in Don Loong’s factory premises to showcase its corporate background, factory map, samples, and surface finishing treatment processes. With a consistent brand image and simple symbols and texts, the exhibition strengthens visual communications with Open Factory participants. The electronic railings with the replaceable stone colors also add excitement and diversity to the factory experience, while the outdoor DIY area with the white perforated boards also enriches participants’ experiences with the stones. As the time and markets change, the Open Factory initiative opens up new windows of opportunity to the stone factory, and encourages more people to understand the stone industry’s unique and mesmerizing charm.
[TungTa Marble x NAKNAK]
A Small Room with Large Imagination: In Dialogue with Professional Stone Materials
Having perfected its marble manufacturing techniques for half a century, TungTa Marble is the only Taiwanese brand capable of mass producing marble tiles that are as thin as ceramic tiles. Its proprietary techniques and quality marble tiles have made TungTa a favorite among European countries and America, as well as international five-star hotels. Focusing on flexibility during the renovation, NAKNAK revolutionizes the way people feel about exhibition space, and creates a venue that allow for timely adjustments based on contingent needs.
This small, multifunctional space of less than 20 pings not only houses an office and a display on TungTa’s technologies but also conveys the brand’s visions, and communicates its sensibilities with its audience. From the front doors, exterior of the factory office, to the interiors, layers of space gradually unfolds near, mid and far with the new rebranding and experience that TungTa Marble wishes to offer its customers. The cool color tones of the walls shows off its no-fuss professionalism while the brand logo exuded a quiet confidence. TungTa’s unique marble tile technology is showcased as a part of the factory building’s exterior to highlight its uniqueness, while designer furniture are placed to facilitate the exhibition and communications. Customers are encouraged to freely interpret stone processing and enjoy the interactive experience. Marble is no longer cold and distant, but rather, an everyday object that evokes imagination.
[Gau Yang Yi Enterprise Co., Ltd. x CHU CHIH-KANG space design]
Preserving the Best of the One and Only Ser
Gau Yang Yi Enterprise is founded by San Tai Stone, which owns the only mass production serpentine mine in Taiwan. Having pioneered the industry in importing diamond wire saws in the 1990s, San Tai moved toward richer mines and opened the way to modern mining in Taiwan. To date, it continues to offer steady supplies of high-quality rough serpentine and construction materials both at home and to overseas markets in China, Korean, and Europe. “To renovate is to reorganize. We keep what’s good, and get rid of the inappropriate mess.”
Thus, CHUH CHIH-KANG space design sorted through the factory’s functional areas and spaces, and hoped to highlight Taiwan’s unique serpentine processing as well as the beautiful forest backdrop through the factory renovations. Recalling how stunned he was the first time he saw the serpentine mines, the designer opens up the factory and lets sunlight, winds and views of stones and plants in the mines into the space via sunroof. Natural lights shows the perfect form of the stones while the central serpentine island serves as a display of Gau Yang Yi’s processing finesse. The factory lighting and colors of the machinery are adjusted while traditional spray paint is still adopted in the tour guidance descriptions. Client workflows during procurement processes are further facilitated and improved while the factory continues to retain and cherish its distinctive, unique hallmark as Taiwan’s only large-scale serpentine products manufacturer.
[Huang Chi Stone Co., Ltd. x Bud.t Design]
Speaking Up for Hualien, Our Hometown! Basking in Nature while Immersed in Dialogues with Stones
Tucked away in this 10,000 ping stone factory is a small and glowing place. Open the doors and you will find yourself in a treasure mine. Founded in 1973, Huang Chi Stone produces over 10,000 tons of rough stones each year. It specializes in engraved white marble, Bianco Carrara, silver fox marble, Montmartre grey, and various types of jade and more. In 2020, Huang Chi broke new ground and came up with a revolutionary smart stone selection system, in which stones hot off the production line are scanned and uploaded to the cloud platform (cloud.hcephoto.com). Shifting the spatial highlight from stones to people, Bud.t. Design took this renovation as an opportunity to delve into what stones especially mean to the key industries in Hualien.
The display of objects of different sizes can strengthen brand image and awareness. Contemporary aesthetics prevail in the overall style. Transparent glass materials and arc-shaped aluminum zinc magnesium boards are used to reflect the light from the mountains and the sky from afar into the factory. The ingenious blend of natural colors makes one appreciate the majestic and exquisite nature of stones even more. The factory, a novel blend of the old and the new, is both exhibition hall for products and gallery for artworks. It showcases the irreplaceable beauty of the natural stones, the cutting-edge processing technologies, and the 50th anniversary milestone of Huang Chi. Boasting its leadership in the marble market, the factory has evolved itself into one that balances aesthetics with modern industrialization.
T22 Reinterprets the Ties that Bind Hualien and its Stone Industry
Since 2019, the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan Design Research Institute have jointly launched the “T22 Local Industry Revitalization via Design Project” which aims to approach the trending regional revitalizations via design thinking and crossover collaborations. One by one, regional plans have been completed at Yingge and Beitou, and the “Stone Manufacturer – Hualien” in 2022 aims to revitalize the stone industry chain by encouraging the public to understand more about marbles, serpentine, and granite, among other natural ores formed over millions of years.
Identifying the challenges faced by Hualien’s stone industry, the T22 project strategizes the development of the circular economy business model in the stone industry through integrating the image of the manufacturing location with the viewpoints of professional procurers, introducing the experiences and skills of interdisciplinary experts, and cultivating programming awareness for the successors in the manufacturing scene. The Open Factory initiative, which aims to promote the charm of the region and manufacture, is proposed to bring together a manufacturing eco-chain and foreground the stone industry’s culture and technical expertise. Shortening the physical and affective distance between the public and the stone materials, T22 recreates an industry hub that specializes in factory visits and thereby brings the consumers closer to the manufacturers.
Going forward, T22 will invite more procurers, architecture enthusiasts, retail and wholesale channels, and consumers to rejuvenate the overall stone manufacturing scene exclusive to Hualien. Hopefully stone will come to memorialize the contemporary times and space. T22 will continue to tell the story of Hualien’s stone industry, and let design thinking take root in this beautiful region.
T22 Reinterprets the Ties that Bind Hualien and its Stone Industry
Organized by Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Executed by Taiwan Design Research Institute
- SME Coaching – Yu Yamada, the leader of design procurement in Japan
- Exhibition and Procurement – Yaming Feng, Founder of fashion startup MSYAMING
- Circular Economy and Sustainability – Chia-Hsiang Wang, Founder of REnato lab
Participating Brands X Designers
- Don Loong Enterprise Co., Ltd. x googoods design
- TungTa Marble x NAKNAK
- Gau Yang Yi Enterprise Co., Ltd. x CHU CHIH-KANG space design
- Huang Chi Stone Co., Ltd. x Bud.t. Design