The 2019 Taiwan International Student Design Competition, now in its 12th year, is the largest-scale international student design contest in the world. It's organized by the Ministry of Education and sponsored by iSee Taiwan Foundation, the Sayling Wen Cultural & Educational Foundation, and the Industrial Technology Research Institute. The theme this year was Empathy and the competition attracted 21,988 works by students at 810 design schools, located in 66 different countries or regions to compete for prizes in four categories: Product Design, Visual Design, Digital Animation, and Brand Specified.
The preliminary selections were held in Singapore and in Taiwan, and 612 entries were shortlisted for the final round. A jury panel with members from 20 countries or regions then selected the 74 award-winning entries, among which 32 are entries by Taiwanese students.
The awards comprise: • the grand prix, sponsored by the Ministry of Education; the international design association special prizes; • the gold, silver, and three bronze prizes in each of the categories Product Design, Visual Design, and Digital Animation; • 25 honorable mentions, and 22 international design association special prizes, distributed to entries in these three categories. There were also • a gold, a silver, three bronzes, and six honorable mentions for the newly established ITRI Innovation Award (Brand Specified), set up by the Industrial Technology Research Institute.
This year's grand prix winners are Zi Fong Yong and Ng Ai Ling from National University of Singapore. Their winning entry, The Dyslexperience, is a book design that fully embodies a spirit of empathy and sheds light on the general indifference of the public towards people who have dyslexia. Enhanced images were projected onto a physical book to give readers an experience that makes them realize the daily challenges that dyslexics face, and thereby empathize with people who have this disorder. This entry received acclaim from the majority of the jurors and won its creators the grand prix prize of NTD$ 400,000.
The major prize winning entries are all mature and fascinating works that stood out among the enormous number submitted. Two of the four gold-prize winning entries were designed and created by students from Singapore and Japan respectively, and the other two gold-prize winning entries were designed and created by students from Taiwan.
The gold-prize winner in the Product Design category is Winny Widodo from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, for her work titled NODE Furniture Series. This series of furniture pieces—inspired by children's rocking horses and the elderly people's rocking chairs—crosses generations, allowing children and the elderly to use it together. Winny has created fine, space-saving furniture that is different from conventional designs.
The gold-prize winner in the Visual Design category is Fumio Kajitani from Tokyo University of the Arts, for the entry titled Forms of Love. Its concept is that everyone has their own experience and interpretation of love. The designer invited more than 200 people to participate in the creating of this piece by reflecting on themselves and their feelings about love, and different profiles and portraits of love are integrated into the design.
The gold prize in the Digital Animation category is shared by Ho Yun-Zhen, Liu Ya-Ching, and Hsueh Fang-Yi from National Taiwan University of Arts. Their work, The Sea Within The Room, addresses the issue of sexual assault and depicts the "freezing behavior" of victims during such incidents. In the animated story, the protagonist witnesses as the assault on her is occurring yet, out of fear, she cannot control her body and resist. The highly restrained method and style of the storytelling won acclaim from the jurors.
The gold prize in the Brand Specified category is shared by Chen Zhi-Fan from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and Hu Hui-Ping and Chang Wei-Chun from Ming Chi University of Technology. Their entry, AI Oculur, is a form of firefighting equipment that integrates sensors into masks and water-jet nozzles. It provides firefighters with an efficient way of firefighting and can largely reduce the risks that firefighters face at work. This highly practical entry won the gold prize in the ITRI Innovation Award (Brand Specified).
A list of all the winners can be found on the website of the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education (https://depart.moe.edu.tw/ed2200/) and on the website of the Taiwan International Student Design Competition (www.tisdc.org). The award ceremony and an exhibition of the winning works will take place on December 6, in the Eslite Performance Hall at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (88 Yanchang Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City). The public is warmly invited to attend.