Taipei (Taiwan), 6 December 2021 — Having drawn nearly 8000 entries from 28 countries around the world, the Golden Pin Design Award Ceremony was held on 4 December 2021 in Taipei. After a three-stage selection process, the two judging panels ultimately selected 31 Best Design winners and two Special Annual Award winners of Golden Pin Design Award, and three Best Design winners of Golden Pin Concept Design Award, along with one winner of the Special Annual Award – The Farglory Award. The winners included designs hailing from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, the United States, Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s secondary and final selections were both conducted online, with judges from Taiwan and abroad collaborating remotely to select this year’s winning designs. The judging panels for the two awards were comprised of 98 design experts hailing from 14 countries. This was the largest panel of judges to date, and included an impressive lineup of professionals across several fields, such as British designer Tom Dixon, Japanese graphic designer Taku Satoh, founding partner of Dutch architectural firm Mecanoo Francine Houben, Thai graphic designer Tnop Wangsillapakun, editor in chief of benchmark Japanese design magazine AXIS Katsutoshi Ishibashi, the CEO of Danish design promotion organization The Index Project Liza Chong, and various Taiwanese designers like the chairman of GIXIA Group Co. Hsieh Jung-Ya, the founder of JL DESIGN Johnason Lo, and AGI member Lin Xiao-Yi.

One of the GPDA 2021 Best Design Award winners, PANDAID by NOSIGNER

2021 Golden Pin Design Award

This year’s Golden Pin Design Award saw 115 entries from all participating categories nominated for Best Design. In the end, only 31 designs were selected, including eight in the Product Design category, nine in Communication Design, nine in Spatial Design, and five in Integration Design. Finally, two designs were selected to receive the Special Annual Award, which recognizes outstanding projects in the fields of social design and circular design.

A number of well-known manufacturers submitted entries in this year’s Product Design category, including ASUS, BenQ, HP and Casio. The entry from Roland Corporation was named winner, due in part to their timely and innovative designs in response to current trends. Winning designs in the Communication Design category included works such as the COVID-19 prevention info website PANDAID, created by Japanese designer Eisuke Tachikawa and his design firm NOSIGNER, and Hebe Tien’s music video for One, after Another, shot by Grass Jelly Studio. Another winner in this category, Hong Kong design studio Toby Ng Design, has now received the Best Design trophies three years in a row. The studio struck gold again this year with its winning design Uth KLUB, a brand identity made for Hong Kong’s K11 Art Mall membership program.

The winning designs in the Spatial Design category were varied, with many Taiwanese designs working towards the rejuvenation of old spaces, such as J.C. Architecture’s Not Just Library, Forest Wood Archi-Tect’s Maker Space – Popup Taipei, and ChingChing Interior LAB’s barbershop Agreeable Keep No.47, which was converted from the chassis of an MC8 bus. The winning designs from abroad were also impressive, including works such as Thai architectural design firm Creative Crews’ farm homestay project Ahsa Farmstay and Singaporean firm Formwerkz Architects’ unique courtyard house design Cloister House. The winners of the Integration Design category were all from Taiwan, and produced works that spanned exhibition planning, school environment improvements, and firefighting equipment redesign. The designs all showcased their ability to integrate concepts from differing fields.

This year’s Special Annual Award for Social Design went to S.SELECT LAB and ZUO STUDIO’s Public Health Center Re-Design project. Their optimization and redesign of New Taipei City’s Xizhi District and Yingge District public health centres received praise from the panel of judges, with final selection judge Johnason Lo, founder of JL DESIGN, highlighting the manner in which the overall design focused not only on usability, but also considered the long-term management and how their design could provide a model for the Taiwanese public health sector. In addition, the Special Annual Award for Circular Design went to Zen Zhou Social Enterprise Co., Ltd.’s Zen Zhou Biodegradable Treepot. British industrial designer and final selection judge Tom Dixon praised its eco-friendly and low-tech design for providing a simple and effective solution for plants growing in harsh conditions.

Further extending the visual concept of the ceremony, the stage was designed to mimic a transmission channel

2021 Golden Pin Concept Design Award

This year’s Golden Pin Concept Design Award saw seven entries nominated for Best Design, with three designs from Taiwan and Japan ultimately being chosen, each receiving a cash prize of 400,000 NTD. Final selection judge Liza Chong, CEO of Danish design advocacy organization The Index Project, pointed out that she was glad to see the creative solutions the young designers of this year’s nominated designs proposed in response to environmental issues, climate change, and medical care in the future. Many of the nominated designs were refreshingly creative and also grounded in solid research, which pleasantly surprised the judges.

The three winning designs all received high praise from the judging panel. Black Soldier Fly Educational Cultivation Device, created by Taiwanese designers Liu Sha-Wen and Wu Sheng-Yao, realizes the composting capability of the black soldier fly by designing an easy-to-use cultivation device with intelligently integrated processes. Taiwanese designer Wu Yu-shin’s Inflatable Stretcher is equipped with all the medical equipment required for first aid rescue while also being able to inflate in under a minute to become a stretcher. Lastly, The Mark of Emi is an animation by Japanese designer Momoka Furukawahara that uses simple pencil sketching and negative space to conjure up a minimalistic image of a teenage girl and describe the complex emotions of adolescence. Though simple in presentation, the work radiates emotion and is extremely relatable.

The Golden Pin Concept Design Award collaborated with the Farglory Foundation this year to establish the Special Annual Award: The Farglory Award, which aims to encourage creative conceptual design in pan-architectural applications. The winner of this award, Taiwanese designer Lai Hanyu, will receive a cash prize of 200,000 NTD for Stormwater Membrane System, a conceptual design for water collection and circulation system integrated into the facades of urban buildings. Final selection judge and Japanese graphic designer Taku Satoh pointed out that the issue of coexisting with water resources is an important one both in the present and for the future. The award was given out by Farglory Foundation CEO, Yang Shunqin.

Renowned Taiwanese Producer Isaac Chen Crafted the Ceremony Based on the Theme UPLOAD

This year’s awards ceremony was crafted by renowned Mandarin music industry producer Isaac Chen, who based the event on the concept of UPLOAD, a critical step for designers as they present their work to the world and one that signifies that whenever a design is completed or fulfilled, it is done so in the hope of bringing the world an additional piece of beauty. The concept also signifies that the Golden Pin Design Award is like a portal for outstanding designs, which in turn can be discovered and promoted to a wider audience through this portal. The key visual was drawn up by emerging designer Yang Shi-Ching, who used the concept of UPLOAD to construct a rhythmically ascending piece of visual imagery symbolic of a stairway in powerful contrasting black and white.

This year’s ceremony was held at a professional television studio, with Isaac Chen overseeing the production team behind several Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards Ceremonies. Director Qiu Huan-sheng, who has been involved in the visual design and music video production of multiple megastar concerts, was in charge of motion design for the ceremony. The live stage was designed by Li Shi-qi, who used layers of multi-angled screens and LED light bands to transform the stage into a transmission channel. Li collaborated with lighting design team Rokerfly Design to suggest the flow and speed of uploading through flexible lighting layouts that allow the designers’ work to be displayed and appreciated. In order to create an immersive experience, a tunnel of light at the entrance of the venue draws the guests inside. Discontinuous lighting created the illusion of speed, transporting guests into a surreal virtual realm.

A tunnel of light at the entrance of the venue draws the guests inside

Now entering its 40th year, the Golden Pin Design Award has continued to attract design talent from across the globe to since its 2014 transition to the international stage. As the scope and scale of the competition continues to increase, many outstanding designers have used the Golden Pin Design Award as a platform to propel their works into the spotlight, as it serves as a benchmark of design excellence that is not to be missed by aspiring designers. The Golden Pin Design Award will continue to provide high quality design certifications for markets, industries, and society, and through this process help to raise public awareness of the value of design in bettering quality of life.

About the Golden Pin Design Award Group
Held annually, the Golden Pin Design Award is the longest-running international design award that celebrates products or projects expressly created for Chinese-speaking communities, offering entrants an unprecedented opportunity to prove their prowess in the world’s largest market. The Golden Pin Design Award Group is executed by the Taiwan Design Research Institute and organized by the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry of Economic Affairs acts in an advisory capacity.

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