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Shiny new power boxes transform city sidewalks in World Design Capital Taipei
The “New Color for Transformers” project, which is being led by City Yeast (都市酵母) in cooperation with the Taipei City Government and Taiwan Power Company, sits under the broader 570 day-long Urban Landscape Planning project, which is aimed at aesthetically and culturally transforming Taipei’s cityscape over the course of multiple years.
To date, 114 transformer boxes along five major roads and streets have been selected for renovation by local designers, in a joint effort undertaken by the Taipei City Government, City Yeast, the designers, and members of the respective communities where the boxes are located.
Design using color is a key factor in successful urban landscape planning. In the lead up to this project, City Yeast asked the community to give feedback on what color (or colors) they believe should represent Taipei City. The public was encouraged to help select final color schemes for the boxes via the official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/taipeiworlddesigncapital/).
In the morning of Wednesday, May 11, 2016, a press conference was held to officially unveil the project, and one of the most recently renovated boxes, to invited local journalists and media outlets. Speakers included Commissioner Beatrice Hsieh (謝佩霓) of the Department of Culture in the Taipei City Government; Xian-Hui Yang (楊顯輝), Vice President of Taiwan Power Company; Zhong-Wu Han (吳漢中), CEO of the World Design Capital Taipei 2016; and Agua Zhou (周育如), lead designer of the Urban Landscape Planning project.
“When we try to make a change, we tend to think of creating something new to replace the old. Design is about how to deal with the future: How can we create a better life in the future?” said Commissioner Hsieh when addressing the media and community members gathered for the unveiling. “In Taiwan, there are 9000 [transformer] boxes in every corner of the city. Why don’t we convert them into something that serves a contemporary mission, creating something in a new model of thinking that serves a function for future generations.
“People used to hate them [the transformer boxes] or totally ignore them, because they considered them to be messy, ugly or childish. We invited the community to share their insight and help us find local talent who can retell the stories that the local community have accumulated over the decades. This is not only a [transformer] box, but a box of ideas, imagination, dreams, and data that everyone is in need of.”
Project organizers City Yeast hope that the Taiwan Power Company will eventually be encouraged to reduce the overall size of the power boxes, so they will blend with the cityscape even more.
WDC Taipei 2016