Design and social responsibility takes center stage at Golden Pin Design Award Forum in Taipei

International experts convene in Taipei to speak about their experiences in design, sustainability, and social responsibility

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Ad van Berlo speaking at Golden Pin Design Award 2018 Forum

Ad van Berlo speaking at Golden Pin Design Award 2018 Forum (By Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The importance of holistic design and client engagement were extolled by a host of award-winning designers at the The Golden Pin Design Award 2018 Forum in Taipei on Nov. 29.

The four guest speakers provided an international and interdisciplinary perspective on sustainability and modern design, based on their experiences in areas spanning education, business, culture, and beyond.

The forum’s theme was “design and social responsibility,” and the discussion was attended by a sold-out crowd comprised of 350 designers and students.


Ad van Berlo. (Taiwan News)

Ad van Berlo, Founder and Chairman of Dutch design consultancy, VanBerlo Group, spoke about his experiences as a management consultant advising clients on design and innovation.

Van Berlo said the world is becoming more complex and dynamic, with economic paradigm shifts and a more open world challenging businesses to constantly innovate, or risk falling behind.

He asserted that everything starts from education, and designers need to advise and work with clients to fully see the benefits of new ideas and approaches.


Kashiwa Sato, left, speaking with host Lulu Hsia (夏嘉璐). (Taiwan News)

Kashiwa Sato, Creative Director of Japanese creative agency Samurai spoke about his award-winning design for a kindergarten.

The kindergarten is holistically designed and offers flexible room sizes, incorporating a host of design features to stimulate learning and to maximize space at all times. Most notably, the kindergarten was designed around existing trees, and has a slide from the roof, which is an additional play space.

Sato said communication with the client and understanding client needs is important. More broadly, it is also imperative to connect the requirements of both society and the client, and in doing so, there will times when all of the client’s wishes cannot be met.


Ed Bakos. (Taiwan News)

Ed Bakos, Managing Director and Partner of U.S. interior design firm Champalimaud, said that sustainable design is something that is conceived with people in mind, and is something that emotionally resonates with them.

Bakos noted that construction contributes greatest to municipal waste in the U.S., and suggested that to work in design and construction is to work in waste. In this regard, sustainability is achieved through good design.

He went on to say that it is important to gain support from clients about design concepts, and that design is “an act of volition.”


Chris Lee. (Taiwan News)

Chris Lee, Founder and Creative Director of Singaporean creative agency Asylum, spoke about redesigning and repurposing existing buildings, with the case study of a warehouse-turned-hotel in Singapore.

Lee spoke about working through the project’s design brief, and about how sustainable practices and localism were incorporated throughout the design. He said that the hotel’s idea of luxury is not individualized containers of cosmetics, but rather, of communal products with an emphasis on quality.

He said that it is essential to respect the history of old spaces, as well as the need to educate the client, especially when it is cheaper to knock a building down and start again.

The Golden Pin Design Award is the longest-running award that celebrates products made for and by Chinese-speaking communities. This year’s winners will be announced on the evening of Nov. 29 in Taipei.