On the evening of December 1st, the winners of the Best Design Award, the most prestigious accolade of the Golden Pin Design Award and Concept Design Award, were revealed during the award ceremony at the Globe Playhouse, Taipei Performing Arts Center. This year, the awards organizer received nearly 8,000 submissions from 23 countries/regions, from which 25 Best Design Award and 2 Special Annual Award winners from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and Lithuania stood out in the final selection. On the Golden Pin Concept Design Award front, 3 rising designer teams from Taiwan claimed victory, securing both the trophy and a cash prize.
The Honorary Award of the year, recognizing designers dedicated to design research, promotion, and practice in Taiwan, or those who have significantly contributed to the industry, was presented to Taiwanese architect Joshua Jih Pan, who received formal commendation during the ceremony.
2023 Golden Pin Design Award: Winning works Showcasing Great Diversity, with the Special Annual Award Promoting the Start-Ups and Design Thinking into City Governance
The jury panels for the 2023 Golden Pin Design and Concept Design Award included 97 designers and creative experts from 19 regions, including Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, France, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Thailand, India, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Iceland, Canada, Vietnam, Norway, Turkey, Lithuania, and the Netherlands. Throughout the preliminary, secondary, and final selection phases, jury members undertook the challenge of identifying exceptional works from thousands of submissions. Among the international jury members who participated in the final selection in person were World Design Organization (WDO) President Thomas Garvey, renowned Japanese designer Kazushige Miyake, celebrated Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia, and Norwegian architect firm Snøhetta’s co-founder and APAC director Robert Greenwood. They all praised the submissions for their outstanding quality, global inclusivity, and diversity.
This year, 552 submissions in total were awarded the Golden Pin Design Mark following the secondary selection, 72 of which were later shortlisted for the Best Design Award in the final selection. In the end, 25 submissions were given the top honor, including 9 in the Product Design category, 8 in Communication Design, 5 in Spatial Design, and 3 in Integration Design.
Taiwanese manufacturers and design companies dominated the Product Design category with their exceptional design and manufacturing ability. Winners included Lo Lat Design’s delicately elegant “L Series” furniture, Qbi Globe’s “STEM Exploration Toy Series” designed for preschoolers and their parents, Adison Biomedical’s “3D Vein Viewer Locator” designed to improve IV injection success rate, BLKTEC’s “C1D” all-terrain bicycle wheel set, as well as NESPRESSO and YSTUDIO’s “Your Daily Keepsake Storage Box,” which is an ESG practice that transformed waste coffee capsules into useful gadgets. Two submissions from China also made the cut in this category, including Morus Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.’s innovative laundry dryer “Morus Capsule 2” and Danke (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.’s functional and aesthetic “Pidan Wheeled Pet Carrier—Ventilation Type.” The Lithuanian start-up Lava Drops also won the hearts of the jury with the exquisite craftsmanship for its “Infinite Fretless Drop Electric Guitar.”
▲ The GPDA 2023 Best Design Award winner: Adison Biomedical’s “3D Vein Viewer Locator”
▲ The GPDA 2023 Best Design Award winner: The Lithuanian start-up Lava Drops’ “Infinite Fretless Drop Electric Guitar”
▲ The GPDA 2023 Best Design Award winner: NESPRESSO and YSTUDIO’s “Your Daily Keepsake Storage Box”
Communication Design winners made up a diverse list. Whitelight Motion secured victory once again in this category with the “34th Golden Melody Awards Key Visual,” while Aaron Nieh Workshop’s “Fieldoffice Incomplete Works, 1994–” and Happ Design’s “Three Suns” clinched the award, showcasing unparalleled craftsmanship in publication. Several packaging designs also came out on top, including the “HEMEL Tea Drink Gift Box”—a collaboration between Taiwan’s HongJi Box Art and Japan’s Misawa Design Institute—and the “Taiwan Five Mountain Fragrance Series” designed by Goodays Global Inc. Atelier.63 distinguished itself with the brand identity design for Hualien Art Museum, which skillfully deconstructed the beauty of Hualien’s mountains and seas into a uniquely simple design language. Hong Kong’s Toby Ng Design, a Golden Pin Design Award staple, took home yet another award with “1611 Magazine” which redefined financial publications. Fellow Hong Kong design team A Hundred Times also made the cut with its “Prison Reform Project,” which used intuitive visuals to communicate heavy subject matters.
▲ The design team behind “Hualien Art Museum” project gave acceptance speech.
▲ Whitelight Motion secured the Best Design trophy once again.
▲ Hong Kong design studio Toby Ng Design has won the Best Design Award for the fourth time.
The competition was similarly fierce in the Spatial Design category. MetaHouse’s “Recycling Center in Kaohsiung Municipal Guang Wu Primary School” and Atelier TimeScape’s “Rongjin Gorgeous Time Park—Renovation of the Former Official Dormitories of Taihoku Prison” won for outstanding public space transformation projects. International winners include Thailand’s IDIN Architects for the experience-oriented shop front design in “NANA Coffee Roasters Bangna,” Thailand’s Chat Architects for the revitalization of an old fishing village in “Angsila Oyster Scaffolding Pavillion,” and Japan’s o+h architects for an inclusive indoor playground design in “Shelter Inclusive Place Copal.”
The winners in the Integration Design category include Serendipity Studio’s “LDB 2023 Taiwan Pavilion｜Visible Shop—Parts without Cover” and Kaohsiung City Bureau of Cultural Affairs’ “Power of Taiwan Design,” both of which showcased Taiwan’s incredible soft power in design, exhibition curation, and cross-industry collaboration. The Japan-based social design project “SHIBUYA FONT” received high praise form the jury for envisioning an inclusive collaboration model for designers, public welfare agencies, and private businesses that gives back to society.
▲ Thailand’s IDIN Architects for the experience-oriented shop front design in “NANA Coffee Roasters Bangna, won the Best Design Award. The representative of the design team gave acceptance speech through a video.
▲ The GPDA 2023 Best Design Award winner: Japan’s o+h architects “Shelter Inclusive Place Copal.”
There were two Special Annual Award winners this year who put forward exemplary design work or made significant contribution to the industry. Bunkyokusei LLC’s “Project Typeface: Creating Your Own Font through A Year of Tear-off Calendar” married tradition with technology, allowing users to create their own sets of fonts by following playful instructions. The jury hoped that Bunkyokusei LLC’s win can encourage more young start-up teams to pursue their dreams and turn ideas into reality. The other winner was PiliWu-Design’s “Taitung City Branding Project: Incorporating Design into Public Policies” which proposed a series of revitalization and transformation solutions informed by designer insights and strategies, demonstrating how design thinking can be applied in city governance.
2023 Golden Pin Concept Design Award: Taiwan’s Young Designers Made a Splash
Competition at this year’s Golden Pin Concept Design Award was as intense as ever. The jury for the final selection shortlisted 5 submissions for the Best Design Award from the 38 Mark winners who passed the secondary selection. The final winner lineup featured three submissions, all from Taiwan, each of which was awarded a NT$400,000 cash prize. Thomas Garvey, who was on the final selection jury, praised the shortlisted works for their outstanding quality and uniqueness. Garvey was especially impressed by the winners’ passion to tackle real-life issues through design and showcase the beauty of the land where they stood.
▲ The GPCDA 2023 Best Design Award winner: “Sample Mt.”
The 3 winning works featured design creativity praised by the jury. Pin-Jung Chen’s “Wake Up! Fast Fashion! — Upcycle Footwear Workstation” proposed a shoe-manufacturing process that required only one single material and invited the general public to participate in the manufacturing process and learn about the value and possibilities of a circular economy. Ciao-Yun Hong and Fang-Hsi Lin’s “Sample Mt.” was a collection of cube-shaped desserts that evoked the imagery of mountains in Taiwan, a unique concept with a striking presentation. Yu-Jing Weng, Ru-Yun Li, Xin-Ting Ke, She-Fan Yen, and Wei-Jing Xie’s “Firefly” adopted a visually pleasing style for their solution for popular science education. The project excelled in both conceptualization and design methodology.
A Refreshing Rendition of The Ceremony Designed by A Top-Notch Team Through ‘Superload’
Once again, this year’s ceremony was helmed by famed mandopop producer Isaac Chen, whose team has produced high-profile awards in Taiwan, such as the Golden Horse Awards and Golden Melody Awards. The theme of this year’s awards ceremony was “superload,” which explored designers’ desire to break free from conventional constraints and pursue self-transcendence despite the formidable challenges they face in life. The key visual, designed by Shi-Ching Yang to reflect the ceremony’s theme, featured a fictional content creator exuding a cool and playful style. Inspired by the Golden Pin Design Award, this fictional creator is ready to burst with creative ideas within their dynamic mind.
The stage and scenic design were orchestrated by the veteran stage designer Hui Chen, renowned for her notable contributions to productions like the Hollywood blockbuster Life of Pi and numerous plays and concerts in Taiwan. For the stage of the Golden Pin Design Award ceremony this year, the central stage featured an arc arrangement of six rectangular displays. These displays presented vibrant and dynamic visuals meticulously crafted by the upcoming video production company, JNE Vision Production. The innovative stage design, coupled with expansive visuals, provided a captivating backdrop for showcasing the remarkable works of both winners and nominees.
▲ The host for this year’s ceremony is Ming-Chu Chen, marking her debut as the solo host for grand ceremony events.
▲ The show opened with a warm-up act by popular singer-songwriter ANPU with her signature warm voice.
▲ Actor-turned-singer Rhydian Vaughan performed two songs highlighting his unparalleled on-stage charm and dual talents.
This year’s ceremony was emceed by Ming-Chu Chen, a Taiwanese host on the rise. In fact, the 2023 Golden Pin Design Award ceremony marked her first time as a solo host at a major award ceremony. Her ability to smoothly switch between Mandarin and English allowed the show to flow naturally and made overseas contestants feel at home. The show opened with a warm-up act by popular singer-songwriter ANPU, who performed two of her classics, Zhe Shi Jie Ru Ci Mei Hao (“What A Wonderful World”) and Zui Hao De Shi Guang (“A Flash and How It Lasts”), with her signature warm voice. During the intermission, actor-turned-singer Rhydian Vaughan performed two songs he wrote, Feng Che (“Windmill”) and Cong Jin Yi Hou Ni Zi You Le (“And Henceforth You Are Free”), highlighting his unparalleled on-stage charm and dual talents. In addition to prominent designers who made up the jury panels, the award organizer invited famous actors, singers and music producers to serve as presenters and witnesses to the annual celebration of top-notch designs, including Peggy Hsu, Queen Wei, Chin-Lan Chang, Esther Liu, and record producer Owen Wang.
▲ WDO (World Design Organization) President Thomas Garvey and Shikuan Chen, Chief Design Officer of Compal Electronics, Inc., jointly presented the awards.
Winning works currently on exhibit at the Taipei Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
The list of winners is now accessible on the official website. Furthermore, the 2023 annual winners’ exhibition “Multidimensional Hyperplasia” is currently on display at the Taiwan Design Museum in the Taipei Songshan Cultural and Creative Park until Sunday, March 17, 2024. Design lovers are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity and visit the exhibition, experiencing firsthand the incredible winning works!