PHOTO ESSAYS/Taipei Design and City Exhibition 2015: We are the power

10/20/2015 05:58 PM

If you have any interest in the symbiotic relationship between social design and contemporary urban development, you should ensure you catch the last days of thought-provoking Taipei Design and City Exhibition 2015. Held until Oct. 25 in the Cultural and Creative Park, the exhibition is a myriad of progressive ideas, rousing visions and practical plans to transform Taipei into a city which speaks to the needs of its citizens and subsequently advance society as a whole.

The captivating exhibition is a culmination of some of Taiwan’s most impressive voices in social design. Visitors will need little encouragement to become completely engrossed in the visionary ideas which abound for a more innovative and socially aware Taipei. By doing so, the exhibition hopes to stimulate visitors to not only consider the high value of social design, but to moreover reflect on their own position and capacity to positively impact the environment around them.

(Photo: Monica Mizzi)
(Photo: Monica Mizzi)
One highlight of the exhibition is the presentation of more socially-conscious takes on Taipei’s MRT map. Each revamped map seeks to identify and address a deficiency in the current model. For example, Hsu Po-hsuan and Chen Yin-wen’s “Taipei Metro map” was designed with the distinct needs of foreigners at the forefront, whereas Huang Rui-yi and Peng Yu-rui ’s “Greenery MRT map” illustrates through a visual key Taipei’s green spaces -- or lack thereof.

(Photo courtesy of Wang Te-fan)
(Photo courtesy of Wang Te-fan)
In another exhibition, Chyi Chen-han shows through his redesign of iconic Taiwanese public uniforms how even in the aesthetics of uniforms social identities are created. Thus, by creating more aesthetically and functionally sound uniforms, he argues that workers’ sense of self and their work can be significantly impacted in a positive way.

This year’s exhibition is the largest and most interactive of the exhibitions held to date. With 2016 heralding Taipei’s time to shine as the World Design Capital, the event is part of a series of exhibits promoting this exciting feat.

What exactly is social design?

According to the organizers of Taipei Design and City Exhibition, “Social design is not an object, a slogan or a theory; on the contrary, it has enormous power to continue promoting the transformation and growth of cities.” The core concepts of social design encompass the belief that by banding together as a collective force, individuals can reshape social for the better. It encourages ordinary citizens to become enlightened members of an urban community, and through its multifaceted approach, advances citizens’ entire standard of living.

What can you expect from the exhibition?

A series of more than 100 designers and creative workers with energy and ideals who have come from different fields to present exhibits dealing with issues such as environmental sustainability, social housing, sustainability indicator systems, smart cities, the public image of civil servants, citizens’ movements and international experience. There are eight large exhibit areas, forums and workshops, and co-creation experiences which allow visitors to get involved personally and become aware of the influence of social design.

(Photo courtesy of Wang Te-fan)
(Photo courtesy of Wang Te-fan)
What does this year’s theme represent?

The theme for this year’s exhibition, “We Are the Power: Social Design With (In) Taipei” is an effort to represent the inner contours of social design from different points of view and inspire a practical orientation. Guided by the belief that cities’ power and vision come from the people who live there, the exhibition aims to encourage Taipei’s design energy and social consciousness by investigating social design and inviting the people of Taipei to create urban values together.

To end, it seems fitting to leave these words from the exhibitions’ organizers which poetically summarize the importance of social design --

“Like an orchestra, the value of creating a story together is to appreciate the individual voice brought from each participant, whose contribution is equally important.”

Exhibition Dates: Until 10/25 (Sun)

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Open daily); Friday from 10:00-20:00

Venue: Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Warehouse 4 and 5

No.133 Guangfu South Road, Xinyi District, Taipei, 110

松山文創園區營運中心 台北市信義區光復南路133號

Transportation: MRT Sun-Yat-Sen Memorial Hall Station, Exit 5 (Blue Line)

Ticket: Free entry

Please visit the official webpage for further details

(By CNA intern Monica Mizzi)

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