Since 2012, Ministry of Culture has led top emerging cultural and creative design brands of Taiwan to participate in major international trade shows, building a national cultural and creative team to promote Taiwan’s cultural energy and facilitate trade and exchange. By this year, a total of 320 brands have participated in 34 key international fairs. Over the past 7 years, Fresh Taiwan has left behind footprints in Maison & Objet Paris, Tent London, Ambiente Frankfurt, Tokyo Gift Show, Style Bangkok Fair, NY Now, and Maison Shanghai, marketing Taiwan’s culture to the world through these important events; “Fresh Taiwan” has become the signature brand of Taiwan at these iconic international cultural and creative exhibitions.
Cultural and Creative Professionals Step onto the World Stage
Participating in major events over the years, Fresh Taiwan has introduced systematic mentorship and buyer networks for guidance and business matching, accompanying local brands in the exploration of the international market. In the form of Taiwan Pavilion, Fresh Taiwan showcases diverse and innovative design merchandise at various major shows, impressing international cultural and creative professionals and buyers. According to Ministry of Culture’s “Taiwan Cultural & Creative Industries Annual Report,” “Product Design Industry” is export-oriented, and the volume in 2017 reached NTD 32.675 billion, a 14.83% growth from the year before, and design innovation brands is one of the most powerful cultural energy. As Fresh Taiwan participates in more and more events, the brand has gained global exposure and recognition, showcasing Taiwan’s creative potential on the world stage, and shaping the national brand image through Taiwanese life aesthetics.
Transforming Life Industry through Design
When design is more than just design, but objects that connect life and culture, the imagination between design and life has thus become more complex and diverse. The brands led by Fresh Taiwan, in addition to impressing the world with their technical prowess, have internalized warmth and culture into design, forming a new kind of aesthetics lifestyle of Taiwan and becoming an important energy that drives the transformation of Taiwan’s life industry. The brands selected by Fresh Taiwan in more recent years also concretely and comprehensively present the important trends in Taiwanese life industry:
“Turning Charming Handicrafts into Products Modern People Use”
Kamaro’an, who won the Rising Asian Talents Award at the 2017 Maison et Objet, is a craft design brand born in Makotaay, Hualien. Compiling oriental elements, the brand turns crafts and folk arts into design merchandise. Utilizing traditional materials and techniques, such as umbrella plant and rattan weaving, the brand introduces design methods to develop simplistic yet unique daily objects, creating a wonderful encounter between design and folk crafts.
“Traditional Industries’ Splendid Transformation in the Hands of Second-Generation Owners”
By injecting new thinking and design language, traditional industries, such as textile and metal processing, have been given new looks, and become design merchandise that are competitive in the world. For example, Founder Wen Hai-hao of Fyber Forma combines family background in the apparel industry with own design expertise and uses the Tyvek environmental-friendly and waterproof fabric developed by DuPont to make jackets, backpacks, and trendy accessories. The brand has now entered major department stores in Japan, as well as British museums, achieving great success.
“R&D of Innovative Materials is the Forward-Looking Exploration of the Future Society”
Studio Lim, a design brand that comes from Fengyuan, Taichung, which is Taiwan’s woodenware processing hub, has developed the unique “fiber woodenware,” turning soft fiber into hard material. Not only is it an eco-friendly material that can be naturally decomposed, the unique beautiful patterns formed through the manufacturing process display a charm resembling the texture of handicrafts. Studio Lim won an award at the 2017 NY Now, which had a theme of “Sustainability,” and will continue to explore possible new materials for tableware, and fuse into modern production process the DNA of traditional crafts, creating innovative aesthetics of sustainable lifestyle.
“Fusing Technology and Culture to Enhance Users’ Life Experience and Taste”
Daqi Concept’s birdcage Bluetooth speaker has conquered the European market through the leisure image of bird watching by Oriental scholars and the quality expression of excellence, winning the Silver Prize at Europe’s Design Oscars—Italy’s A’Design Award. Starting from Taiwan’s most competitive consumer electronics, Daqi Concept adopts design thinking from the perspectives of “Exploring Lifestyle,” “User Experience,” and “User Friendly Interface,” and combines technology and culture to create products that are easy to use and welcomed by consumers.
Aesthetic Life of Next Generation
Fresh Taiwan plans to continue partaking in international shows and fairs in 2019, and bring products that have introduced design thinking to the world. More than showcasing the physical products, Fresh Taiwan is now placing more emphasis on user experience, including experience of product functions, visual experience of packaging and look, and hand feel of product, guiding product design industry in the direction of “cultural experience” with an aim to impress the world with Taiwan’s strong design and innovation capacity and energy, as we are headed towards aesthetic life of the next generation.
Fresh Taiwan is organized by Ministry of Culture and executive by Taiwan Design Center