There are two major events in Taiwan’s design circle. One is the Taiwan Designers’ Week in fall, the other one is the Creative Expo Taiwan in spring. This year’s Creative Expo Taiwan gathered various cultural and creative brands, and covered across Taipei’s three biggest cultural and creative parks, the Taipei Expo Park, the Huashan 1914 Creative Park and the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. It has attracted channel buyers from Taiwan and all over the world, and greatly satisfied all the design enthusiasts, some of them might even have spent too much money!
Like all other international design exhibitions, Creative Expo Taiwan has also picked the top 5 products that best represent Taiwan’s local customs, and presented to them the Cultural and Creativity Trend Awards. These products try to replace the local icons that are boba tea and fried chicken chop, by combining beautiful design and Taiwan’s local features, and used their own aesthetics to raise the curtain for the World Design Capital series of events. Let’s take a look at the 5 nominees now!
The dying traditional crafts have always been the focus of designers. From the bamboo and wood crafts years ago to this year’s winner the shell ginger rolling chair, the designers have redefined and revived the traditional craft industry with their unique perspectives.
The first time I heard of shell ginger was from a Liu Xingqin(劉興欽) comic book I read in my childhood. Braiding shell ginger fiber into hemp rope is a tradition, it’s also part of the collective memory of many old fishing and farming villages. The shell ginger rolling chair designed by the half Taiwanese, half Japanese Yamakawa Design has brought back memories of the Japanese occupation. Combining shell ginger braiding with a fashionable leather finish, gives new life to this nearly lost material.
Do you know that Hualien is actually a world-famous place of origin of marble? When marble is being grinded, a lot of filings are left behind during the process, Blacktail’s Marble Filing Collection recycles these filings, grind them into dust and then remake them into fashion accessories, while retaining the original texture, temperature and touch of marble. The natural flow of the dust gives each pouch its unique pattern of grain, you will never carry the same bag as anyone else.
Cork expert Balance Wu Design has done it again! This time he merged biodegradable plastic and cork into BIOPOP. Biodegradable plastic provides great acoustic resonance, when put with the antiseismic and sound-absorbing nature of a cork base, it becomes a natural device that is environmentally friendly and mild in texture.
Remember those traditional windows with iron grilles you see inside alleys? They used to be everywhere and come in all sorts of patterns handmade by experienced craftsmen, and not too long ago, they were still the image of Taiwan. Making their debut, the Alleys landscape turns window grilles into porcelain items, by cleverly combining our everyday items with distinctive patterns. The wave design on the cups also adds a little practicality to them.
Staring the time captures the image of birds resting on water and turns it into desk lamps. The astonishing woodcraft adds much warmth to the home appliance, and transforms the LED into pale moonlight. On its seemingly wobbling base, you can explore the rural sentiment from the carefree past.
Additional showtime, the tin craft drinking vessels
Tin craft is another dying traditional industry of Taiwan, Woo Design focuses on the revival of it, and made use of the purification effect tin has on water to design the innovative decanter series, Langyun(浪雲). During the exhibition, wine tasting was offered and the experience was full of surprises. The wine tasting also made their product the longest queue highlight of the entire exhibition, and by the way, Langyun is being crowdfunded and open to pre-order!