Following their designation as World Design Capital® (WDC) 2016, Taipei City continues to use design as a solution to address urban challenges. The 2022 Taipei Expo, the biggest city expo in Taipei (Taiwan), was held at Taipei Expo Park from the end of August to the beginning of September, attracting over 100,000 citizens. As many as 95% of all visitors expressed that they now have more in-depth understanding on Taipei City’s policy planning after visiting the expo.

Under the theme of ‘The Future Is Now’, Taipei Expo adhered to Taipei’s urban spirit of democracy, freedom, diversity, openness, and inclusion, and encouraged citizen participation, presenting six main areas in alignment with the UN SDGs – Sustainable Development, Urban Regeneration, Open Taipei, Inclusive Society, Innovative Entrepreneurship, and Smart City. From implementing sustainability and net-zero policies, to reinventing city axis, promoting citizen engagement, building inclusive society for all ages, creating innovative industries and living spaces, and finally, constructing smart city of technology through big data, the 2022 Taipei Expo presented Taipei’s achievements of resolving urban issues, as well as the city’s transition and growth. 

A display showcasing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The main visual of Taipei Expo was designed by WHITE Design Studio, featuring the most iconic architectural form in modern cities, a high-rise building, as the primary symbol. Professor Kung Shu-chang of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, who has long been concerned with the mechanism of city governance, served as the chief curator, and cooperated with curatorial teams Techart Group, Cogitoimage International Co., Ltd. and CHU-Studio.

City models on display at the Taipei Expo.

The expo broke the static framework of unilateral display and ignited multilayered discussion and communication through a bilateral design. The expo adopted lively and highly interactive design methods for virtual/real integration, such as immersive theater, light sculpture projection, digital interaction, city model, and dynamic video, to showcase Taipei’s journey of growth and transformation. Visitors could spend 30 to 60 minutes exploring the new and old of Taipei, listening to different perspectives and checking out diverse lifestyles. Moreover, the expo also featured an online VR showroom and digital interactive game to enhance visitor’s experience of online/offline integration.

The simulated big data centre at the Taipei Expo.

Based on the six main themes, the expo also planned several mini one-day tours for participants to further explore the cultural, innovative, historical, and recreational aspects of the city of Taipei, inviting citizens to venture beyond the exhibition venue and immerse themselves in the city streets of Taipei. 

Raising awareness of the key issues affecting civic well-being, the event offered a platform for public engagement and communication, pointing towards a future that has the power to transcend generations, cultures, ethnic groups, and built environments. Looking ahead, this year’s expo will hopefully continue to shape a more inclusive and sustainable path forward in Taipei.

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