▲ The “Echooo” outdoor light show transformed the exterior walls of the New Taipei City Art Museum into a mesmerizing canvas for projection mapping accompanied by melodies, attracting numerous spectators.
The 21st Taiwan Design Expo, held in New Taipei City for the first time, wrapped up its 17-day run with an impressive turnout of 6.58 million visitors. The vibrant and creative design personality test captivated both local and international audiences, amassing over 200 million online views and attracting more than 11 million participants to take the test. The newly established official event LINE account rapidly gained over 600,000 followers in a short period, while visitor satisfaction ratings collected from exhibition surveys reached an impressive 85%. Revolving the main theme, “〇” the Expo vividly showcased the unique features of New Taipei’s circular city, illustrating the transformative power of design in reshaping the city’s landscape in terms of nature, diversity, industry, and lifestyle!
The interior space of the New Taipei City Art Museum was opened for the first time to host the Taiwan Design Expo, featuring ten spectacular exhibitions. Designed by architect Kris Yao, the new museum, inspired by the flourishing reeds along the SANXIA & YINGGE riverbank, beautifully blending with surrounding natural landscapes. It serves as the centerpiece of the SANXIA & YINGGE CULTURE CREATIVE project and emerges as the fresh cultural landmark for the next phase of New Taipei City’s future.
With Five Major Exhibition Areas and Fourteen Themed Displays, The Expo “〇” the Diverse Beauty of New Taipei City’s 29 Districts
The curatorial team engaged 414 designers and design teams to present a rich and diverse exhibition that vividly captured the multifaceted character of New Taipei City. This city not only boasts expansive geographical areas but also hosts a myriad of industries. The five major exhibitions areas and fourteen featured themes delved into various topics such as the beauty of New Taipei’s mountains and rivers, the narratives of immigrants from diverse ethnic groups, the innovative evolution of manufacturing, the urban style of the lifestyle industry, the future of circular sustainability, lifestyle advocacy of the younger generation, the city’s culinary delights, and the preservation of local industry heritage. The diverse spectrum of themes is the epitome of New Taipei City, offering viewers a window to explore the city’s diversity and inclusivity through the design expo.
▲ A1 Nature 〇 ” When Mountains and Rivers Start” showcases the cultural landscape nurtured by the vast mountains and rivers of New Taipei City.
▲ A3 Making 〇 “@®©” displays the innovative transformation of manufacturing in New Taipei City, shifting from the blue-collar workforce nicknamed as “black hands” to artisanal craftsmanship.
▲ A4 Living 〇 “The Round City” employs conveyor belts, which are indispensable in the consumer economy, to vividly showcase the lifestyle and fashion brands of New Taipei City.
▲ A5 Circular 〇 “FORMOSAT-O” offers a circular economy solution for the sustainable navigation of the Earth’s future.
▲ A7 Trendy 〇 “Life in Circle” presents the lifestyle advocacy of New Taipei’s youth through music composition and AI virtual characters.
▲ A8 Yummy 〇 “Food in Circle” highlights the flavors of New Taipei’s mountains, seas, and lands through local cuisine and food served exclusively in the expo market.
▲ A12 Generate 〇 “The New Next” delves into the Old Street of Yingge’s ceramic arts, allowing people to rediscover the lineage and manufacturing prowess of Yingge’s ceramic industry.
The Entire City Becomes A Stage for Designs with The Help of Circular Line, Public Line, Echo Event, and City Redesign
The “Circular Line” span the New Taipei City Hall in Banqiao District and the five stations and carriages of the New Taipei City MRT Circular Line. Each district’s uniqueness was reinterpreted in the exhibitions they hosted. Additionally, it marked the first time MRT carriages were redesigned, incorporating local industrial elements, showcasing the beauty of craftsmanship, and making them a “moving museum”. “Public Line” meticulously organizes 129 “Sin Pak Li Ho! (Hello, NEW TAIPEI CITY!)” cultural tour routes, guiding travelers to explore the city’s charming scenery from mountains to oceans. “Echo Event” circles up the active dynamics of various districts in New Taipei City, connecting multiple exhibitions and activities, and transforming every nook and corner of the city into a stage for designs to flourish.
▲ The interchange point at Banqiao Station showcases the vision for the “Three Rings and Six Lines” traffic infrastructure blueprint of the city, establishing a new imagination for transportation construction.
Aside from various exciting exhibitions and activities during the event, “City Redesign” showcases the remarkable results of introducing design perspectives into urban governance in recent years. The transformations will remain a staple in citizens’ everyday lives long after the exhibition, including the inclusive parks in Shulin and Banqiao, aesthetically appealing campus spaces in Yingge and Sanxia, and revitalizing public markets in Wugu and Sanchong. Each venue is tailored to match its distinctive culture and requirements, focusing on equitable accessibility for all users. These efforts revolutionize the traditional concept of public spaces, enhancing the life experience for all.
▲ The Xizhi District Health Center in New Taipei City has bright and clear signage and a spacious layout, breaking the existing stereotypes for health centers.
Combining Resources Together, the Taiwan Design Expo Assists The City in Accelerating Its Transformation
In hosting the Taiwan Design Expo for the first time, New Taipei City pays tribute to the city’s past accomplishments through curating design exhibitions while leading citizens to contemplate future urban challenges. Notably, this year’s design expo is not just a 17-day event but also encompasses the “Project 365 On The Way” initiative launched 365 days before the exhibition. The project dives deep to discover urban issues by gathering voices from various communities across the city. Collaborating with government agencies, private entities, and design teams, it uncovers citizens’ needs and proposes potential solutions. Within the Policy Lab, the initiative addresses issues such as the “aging population” and “declining birthrate”, while the Culture Lab explores “urban-rural” and “ethnicity” topics. The initiative has already begun the preliminary transformation of classrooms at Xinpu Junior High School and Xintai Junior High School, creating “intergenerational learning” spaces and revamping the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital campus signage for an “age-friendly” environment. Successful field studies and experiments conducted during this Design Expo paved the way for future applications in other towns, drawing more people into engaging with urban issues through design.
At the same time, The Industrial Development Administration,Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Taiwan Design Research Institute joined forces to promote the “COC Interdisciplinary Industrial Innovation Platform”, leveraging design perspectives to drive industrial participation in urban innovation. For instance, the Taiwan Kodomo Pavilion responded to the trend of going green by establishing a sustainable mother-infant brand. The Aromase Hair Care Pavilion demonstrated a sustainable circular economy experience. The “T22 Local Industry Revitalization via Design Project ” selected Yingge as the pioneer location as early as 2019. Following extensive transformation efforts over the years, the new generation in the local ceramic industry came together to introduce the “YINGGE OPEN HOUSE” series, injecting renewed vitality into the historic ceramic town.
▲ Action 〇 “Project 365 On The Way” invites citizen engagement, collecting feedback from local communities and citizens to create an ideal home for all.
▲ COC Innovation Platform showcases multiple industrial innovation themes and collaborative outcomes with the added value of design.
For 21 years, the Taiwan Design Expo has not only successfully highlighted the influence of design but also gradually become an integral part of urban governance in recent years. It reimagines local characteristics and reshapes urban living spaces, evolving from a mere exhibition to a social movement. Starting from Pingtung in 2019, the Expo traveled through Hsinchu, Chiayi, and Kaohsiung and concluded in New Taipei City this year.
Hosting the Taiwan Design Expo encourages collaboration between city governments, citizens, and design professionals. Using design to address critical issues, they collectively aim for a people-centered, comfortable urban lifestyle and rebrand city images. With the world reopening after the COVID-19 crisis, the Design Expo actively participates in international relations, attracting renowned visitors from various countries. The 2023 Taiwan Design Expo successfully wrapped up in New Taipei City. Looking ahead, the 2024 Expo will be held in Tainan, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the city’s inception. We eagerly anticipate the brand new cityscape of the ancient town under design-led urban governance!