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Taiwan Pavilion: Design Reflections

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The debut of the Taiwan Pavilion at Milan Design Week is a convergence of fifteen Taiwanese studios and brands, presenting a nuanced exploration of Taiwan’s rich cultural heritage and forward-looking approach through diverse disciplines. Curated by Eric Yu and Tsung-Yen Hsieh, the exhibition titled ‘Who is going to raise the questions? The questions are designed in Taiwan’ examines the role of design in contemporary society and the value of design thinking in addressing complex global challenges.

Design Gallery showcases an immersive experience that ponders art and introspection, with the entire exhibition hall dotted with ‘dialogue’ and ‘thought’ balloons that evoke comic strips, creating a dialect between thoughts and spoken words. Divided into three areas, the exhibition focuses on upcycling waste, sustainable brands with high recycled compositions, and an interactive space for visitor engagement.

Custom interior design by Atelier SUPERB and graphics by S.SELECT LAB divide the environment, prompting visitors to reflect on each exhibit’s question that stimulates deeper contemplation. LED screens illustrate production processes and Taiwan’s landscapes, highlighting both the beauty and challenges facing the island nation, such as discarded waste littering the beaches.

Participating designers and brands represent a diverse range of perspectives on local identity and project values within broader issues, such as environmental impact and holistic design. The products on display prompt reflection on the role of design in the innovation industry, promoting a new paradigm of quality and production models that leverage technology to mark progress towards social and manufacturing sustainability goals.

One of the exhibition’s overarching themes is the fusion of innovation with traditional craftsmanship. Exhibits like the W Glass Project by Hsiang Han Design, which repurposes glass from ocean waste, highlight Taiwan’s capacity to reimagine low-cost materials through sophisticated techniques, both artisanal and industrial. Similarly, s2studio’s bamboo chair showcases the integration of additive design with layered assembly techniques, minimizing production waste while harnessing the regenerative properties of bamboo.

The Taiwan Pavilion at Milan Design Week reimagines design’s role in confronting pressing global issues through the lens of local material culture and reflections, offering a glimpse into Taiwan’s innovative and sustainable design practices that have the potential to shape a more sustainable future.

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