YODEX underlines social innovation among WDC Taipei’s next-generation designers

YODEX-Fashion runway 1

Over 9000 students gathered to exhibit more than 4000 undergraduate design projects at the 2016 edition of the annual YODEX (Young Designer’s Exhibition), which wrapped up on Monday, May 16, in Taipei. 

As part of the World Design Capital (WDC) Taipei 2016 year-long program, YODEX was an opportunity to celebrate the innovation and creativity of the city’s students, and to reflect upon design’s potential to change society for the better. Embodying the WDC Taipei 2016 theme of “Adaptive City: Design in Motion”, students displayed works with a strong environmental and social awareness, ranging from earthquake escape kits and survival shelters to documentaries on sustainable ocean management.

YODEX is the world’s largest student design exhibition. This year, the show featured graduation works by undergraduate students from 64 Taiwanese universities and colleges. Students from 13 international higher education institutions in Canada, the US, the UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy also participated in the exhibition, which was held in Halls 1 and 3 of the Taiwan World Trade Exhibition Center. During the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon, 42 outstanding projects were honored by the Young Pin Design Awards.

Founded in 1982 by the Industrial Development Bureau and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and organized this year by the Taiwan Design Center, YODEX provides a platform on which to stimulate constructive competition between students. This year’s event attracted thousands of visitors, giving entrants an opportunity to show off their graduation projects to an international audience as they prepare to embark on their careers.

Many Taipei students exhibited projects that demonstrated the pioneering potential of these young designers to lead their city in adapting to the challenges of the twenty-first century.

YODEX-Fashion runway 2

“It’s fantastic to see the pioneering spirit of Taipei’s students here at YODEX,” says Pei-ni Beatrice Hsieh, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Taipei City Government. “They’re the pride of our city, and they’ll doubtless shape a bright future for our citizens and for the world. It’s an honor to give them the recognition and support of the Young Pin Design Awards.”

Visitors to Taipei also have the opportunity to experience firsthand how the flourishing of design education in Taiwan over the last twenty years has fostered creativity around the city. The official World Design Capital Taipei 2016 city guide, entitled Taipei: The City of Design, is available in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean at visitor information centers and cultural venues. Printed in both book and brochure form, the publication highlights 70 iconic design locations around the city, including shops, restaurants, museums, and hotels.

Locations are grouped into 12 walking routes through different districts of the city, including historic trading hub Dadaocheng, artistic community residence Treasure Hill, and the chic tree-lined avenues of Fujin Street. The book also outlines 6 themes: the Architecture Stroll, Select Shops, Original Delicacy, Old Houses, Handicraft Fun, and Design Hotels.

Visitors can see the handiwork of young entrepreneurial designers and craftspeople on display in spaces such as trendy handmade glasses shop Glasense, leather workshop Hsu & Daughter, and handmade shoemaker O’Ringo. Select shops, such as Mogu, Sunset, and 30Select, display the refined tastes and eco-friendly inclinations of local creative types. Boutique design hotels and restaurants are also featured, such as the celebrated RAW by Andre Chiang, and I’m Inn Guesthouse, which is embellished inside and out with works by young local artists Colasa and Candybird.

Travelers to Taipei who miss out on YODEX can also visit the Grand Expo in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, where graduate works will be exhibited from April to June. In May, tourists can also witness social design in action as the city transforms itself for the World Design Capital Taipei 2016. Upcoming events such as the 2016 Taipei Design, Action! project, and the Grounding Program in Design Education: Joint Exhibition of Creative Thinking will mobilize public power to redesign store signs and menus, bringing design into schools and presenting design stories.

2016 yodex design exhibition