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A Report on the Taiwan International Student Design Competition 2023: Fostering Compassion and Creativity

By Piotr Swiatek, BEDA board member | PDR

The Taiwan International Student Design Competition (TISDC) 2023 was a significant event, with a primary theme of “compassion.” As a jury member, I had the privilege of representing the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) in this prestigious competition.

The TISDC received an impressive number of submissions, totalling over 18,300, spanning across three categories: product design, graphic design, and digital animation. The magnitude of participation and the quality of submissions highlighted the competition’s position as the largest student design competition in the world.

Product Design: A Showcase of Creativity

My role as a jury member was specifically focused on the product design category. This category had 220 projects in the final selection, primarily originating from the Asian region. The designs submitted were characterized by their innovation, commitment, and creative approaches to the theme of “compassion.” They showcased a wide array of ideas, from sustainable solutions to empathetic design concepts.

BEDA recognized the need to enhance the promotion of this competition in Europe and encourage European students to engage in it. With no registration or entry fees, and the potential to win up to US$150,000 in prize money, as well as 22 International Design Associations Endorsed Special Awards, the TISDC is a platform with significant potential to shape the careers of young designers.

Historical Context of the TISDC

The Taiwan International Student Design Competition has evolved as a part of the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) continuous efforts to nurture talents in the fields of arts and design. The MOE has actively promoted international arts and design competitions since 2005 through initiatives such as the “MOE Award Incentive Program” and the “MOE Scholarship Program for Overseas Study in Arts and Design.”

Since its inception in 2010, the TISDC has integrated the strengths of the MOE’s art and design talent-fostering programs. In addition to supporting local talents, this competition also serves as a global platform to promote Taiwan’s art and design education programs, welcoming international judges, participants, and award winners to showcase the success of Taiwan’s educational initiatives.

The Future of Design: TISDC

The prizes for this year’s TISDC will be awarded at a ceremony scheduled for early December, where BEDA will be represented by its President, Christina Melander, emphasising BEDA’s commitment to this event. We look forward to supporting future editions of the contest and enhance international knowledge and practice exchange in design.

Exploring Chiayi: A Hub for Creativity and Design

In addition to the TISDC, I had the opportunity to explore Chiayi, a city that has made design and creativity a central pillar of its development and promotion. The city’s mayor shared their vision of using design not only to enhance the city’s image and aesthetics but also to improve city governance.

Chiayi has hosted notable design events, including the Taiwan Design Expo in 2021 and the IF Design Award Exhibition this year. The city has received 11 IF awards for design ideas originating from Chiayi, including one for the city council itself.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to share insights on best practices in city-level design policy from Europe. Concepts like appointing municipal Chief Design Officers and establishing Citizens’ Ideas Labs were discussed, with the goal of promoting knowledge exchange between Taiwan and Europe in the realm of design and urban development.

In conclusion, the Taiwan International Student Design Competition is a celebration of compassion, creativity, and the transformative power of design. It serves as a stage for students to express their innovative ideas, address global challenges, and foster cross-cultural connections. We anticipate continued growth and impact from this prestigious competition and anticipate a robust partnership between Taiwan and Europe in the world of design.

Last updated: 12/02/24

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