Long acknowledged as a global manufacturing leader in electronics, textiles, plastics, and semiconductors, Taiwan has engendered an economic miracle with factories of varying sizes in each region forming diverse industrial parks that boast significant scale and distinct characteristics. They not only reflect trends over time but also serve as a wellspring of national pride.
Nevertheless, as economic priorities shift and environmental issues gain prominence, Taiwan’s industrial parks confront the urgent need for upgrade and transformation. Rich in history and culturally significant, these factories must discover a shared juncture of potential that blends contemporary design and vitality while preserving their intrinsic essence.
Against this backdrop, the Industrial Park Redesign initiative orchestrated by the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (IDB, MOEA) and executed by the Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI), has come to the forefront. This innovative and forward-looking endeavor, grounded in the pivotal concept of “the parkification of open industrial zones” strives to cultivate a social sphere that nurtures harmony and mutual benefits between manufacturers and local communities.
▲ Reshaping the industrial parks creates an open environment that benefits both manufacturers and neighborhoods.
Selecting 4 from 62 industrial parks across Taiwan, removing barriers, and expanding public space
As the economic foundation in Taiwan, 80% of 62 industrial zones have been fully developed over 30 years but closed off and viewed as polluted areas with prerequisites geared toward functionality and safety control. In alignment with social responsibility, the Industrial Development Bureau initiated the Avant-Garde Aesthetic Benchmarking Project for Industrial Parks in 2021. The project entrusted TDRI with introducing design mindset and aesthetic management. Collaborating with diverse professional consultants, the institute conducted over 80 on-site visits and numerous meetings over 2 years to enhance 4 demonstration zones: Shulin, Dayuan, Taichung Harbor Related, and Dafa industrial parks. The objective was to incorporate contemporary human-centered designs.
Optimizing traditional industries, particularly their distinct factory cultures, poses a complex challenge as successful co-creation necessitates meticulous foundational planning. TDRI recognizes the pivotal importance of gathering internal feedback and avoiding precipitous decisions in pursuit of objectives. Thus, the initial emphasis was on revitalizing service centers and their surroundings as a model for reciprocal gain. “By introducing the design process, we aim to establish a benchmark, exemplify human-centered environments in industrial parks, and replicate this methodology,” affirmed Chi-Yi Chang, President of the TDRI. As visible barriers are dismantled, public spaces unveiled, and user-friendly amenities installed, avenues for heightened public engagement and enriching dialogues can naturally unfold.
▲ Demolishing access control walls to create a neighborhood-friendly corner park in the Shulin Industrial Park.
Implementing a comprehensive and progressive design process
Analyzing, integrating, and gathering exceptional talents with a comprehensive and incremental design process has been a hallmark of TDRI. This includes the Collaborative Discussion and Co-Creation Platform with problem-solving among all contributors as a communication hub for stakeholders, interdisciplinary consultants, and design teams. The Design Research and Survey phase effectively defines innovative goals, clarifies project requirements, and combines research insights with practical strategies across the 4 demonstration zones.
The essence of Design Planning involves assessing needs through interviews with key figures, which entails attentive listening of current situations and aspirations from local stakeholders to shape phased implementation plans. The purpose of Engineering and Review is to synchronize design pacing with construction reviews, adeptly avoiding unnecessary delays. Application and Diffusion is a futuristic process where the pioneering 4 major industrial parks will hopefully lay the foundation for a universally applicable approach encompassing all 62 industrial parks in Taiwan.
▲ An environmental assessment of the industrial park identifies and organizes common main issues and needs.
Clarifying phased renovation priorities to successfully transform the public image of demonstration zones
As part of the initial cohort of Taiwan’s 4 prominent industrial parks on revitalization, each park confronts distinctive scenarios demanding tailored solutions. While design methodologies may not be universally transposable, shared hurdles impeding public involvement are evident including extensive developmental lineage that has perceptibly estranged from local communities underused service areas, a shortage of public amenities, and a dearth of consistent signage.
▲ A lack of comprehensive planning for signage results in diverse and cluttered information.
▲ Left: Past focus was primarily on vehicles and less on pedestrians.
Right: Road signs with abstract images lacked consistency.
TDRI has formulated key renovation stages that encompass demolishing walls, streamlining traffic flow, installing suitable and seasonal plantation, and reclaiming walkways for pedestrians and trees. Architectural representation is being honed to accentuate service perception, culminating in the establishment of a consistent and easy-to-understand signage system.
Within the Shulin Industrial Park, strategic actions including demolishing access control walls, designated separate lanes for pedestrians and vehicles, and transforming driveways into street plazas are clear strategies. The design team’s objective is to cultivate a lush and vibrant ambiance with well-crafted and welcoming public space for social interaction. In the Dayuan Industrial Park, expanding the landscape of the frontyard, reducing plant heights, refining building facades, and addressing road level disparities are marked areas in need of improvement. Our partners hope to instill ethos marked by trust, congeniality, and accessibility as a fresh image of Dayuan.
▲ Rich seasonal plantation and street furniture in the corner park of the Shulin Industrial Park (Service Center).
▲ Removing the iron bars from building facades to express the openness of service and communication in the Dayuan Industrial Park (Service Center).
Shifting focus to the Taichung Harbor Related Industrial Park, the transformation is to establish a verdant communal area amidst the traffic in the frontyard and outdated building facades. This entails diverse areas, streamlined traffic flow, and a human-centered environment. Notably, the voluntary reduction of manufacturing areas substantially expands walkways. Within the expanse of the Dafa Industrial Park, characterized by its aged development, immediate attention is required for the assorted and disorderly road patterns. The design of user-friendly information with a unified color, consistent walkways, and a consistent signage system are all urgent priorities.
▲ Converging traffic flow effectively on one side transforms the frontyard into a verdant communal area.
▲ This serves as a comfortable space for passerbys to walk their dogs or take a rest (Taichung Habor Related Industrial Park Service Center).
▲ The increase of pedestrian space encourages manufacturers to respond and collectively create a human-centered public environment (same as above).
▲ Surrounding businesses (Modernsolid Industrial Co., Ltd.) join the human-centered approach by retracting factory space for walkways.
▲ Removing unnecessary information and signage in the Dafa Industrial Park for clear and concise guidance.
▲ Proposing consistent signage system applicable to various scenarios for Taiwan industrial parks.
Inspire the Public with Aesthetic Imagination of Diverse, Open, and Friendly Environments
In the wake of design introductions, we received predominantly positive feedback from stakeholders. The director of the Dayuan Service Center revealed that “Seeing the beautiful view every day brings a sense of delight and relaxation at work.” The director and personnel at the Taichung Harbor Related Service Center expressed that “Expanding the frontyard and incorporating green spaces and shaded areas have rendered the environment more welcoming and spacious. Visiting companies have also perceived the improvement, likening it to a Japanese sense of order. Convenience store clerks have lauded the upgrade from the prior state to be one that is overall aesthetically pleasing.” The director of the Dafa Service Center remarked that “The participation of the aesthetics design team commissioned by the central government has formed a new look to the industrial parks.” Meanwhile, the director of the Shulin Service Center believed that “By throwing a sprat to catch a mackerel, the demonstration zones have the potential to drive our manufacturers into action.”
The optimization and parkification has effectively embodied and actively promoted our core principles. From the start of the design process, our focus has been on attaining individual ideal states of low-maintenance management and the metamorphosis of the ambiance surrounding service centers. This allows immediate recognition of the integration of a pleasant public experiential sphere within the urban fabric. As the hub for consolidating resources and mobilizing initiatives, TDRI will continue to champion a people-centered urban perspective and spark the public’s aesthetic vision of public, open, and friendly environments.
Organized by Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Executed by Taiwan Design Research Institute
Demonstration zones｜Shulin, Dayuan, Taichung Harbor Related, and Dafa industrial parks.
Stakeholders｜Cambridge Engineering Consultants. Inc., Industrial Parks Administration Office (Northern, Central and Southern Region), Manufactures Association（Shulin, Dayuan, and Taichung Harbor Related industrial parks.), Insutrial Park Service Center（Shulin, Dayuan, Taichung Harbor Related, and Dafa）
Project Consultants｜Jieh-Min WU, Shu-Yuan WU, Shu-Hsien CHOU, Chia-Chang YANG, Jr-Gang CHI, Ray S. C. CHU, Hsi CHAO, Po-Hung LIU, Chad LIU, and Chiao-Chun SU
Shulin Insutrial Park｜Designed by HIIARCHITECTS; Construction Supervised by YU CHING DESIGN; Constructed by LI ZHAN Construction Corp.
Dayuan Insutrial Park｜Designed by ArchiBlur Lab; Construction Supervised by B+P Architects; Constructed by HONG YE Construction Corp.
Taichung Harbor Related Insutrial Park｜Designed by Üroborus Studiolab and YU CHING DESIGN; Construction Supervised by Hung-Yu HUANG Architects; Constructed by JIA YUAN Construction Co.
Dafa Insutrial Park｜Designed by Taiwan Institute of Landscape Architects (sidewalk); Construction Supervised by JIANG TU Construction Consultants; Constructed by HO YUAN HSING Construction Co.
Signage system researched and designed by Chinese Industrial Designers Association; part of detail design and made by JIA DIAN DESIGN Co.