Prominent designers from around the globe who have gathered in Taipei to submit their ideas for the medals for the first-ever Tang Prize took time out of their schedule yesterday to tour a youth design expo in Taipei that they called “very impressive.”
Several finalists for the medal design took a half-day tour of the 2014 Young Designers’ Exhibition (YODEX), an annual event organized by the Taiwan Design Center.
“I didn’t know that design is so popular in Taiwan,” said Gunter Wermekes, a German goldsmith and designer and member of this year’s Red Dot Design jury, adding that he was surprised by the number of exhibits.
Wermekes, who was responsible for redesigning the Red Dot Design Award last year, said he saw many young people with great potential, praising the combination of contemporary design, machine processing, traditional craftsmanship and culture.
Massimo Zucchi, an Italian jewelry and accessory designer, said he saw several items that would be worth pitching to companies and commercializing.
“It was like a power-charge experience,” Zucchi said, calling the experience of seeing so many young people dedicated to their work very emotional.
“It is a pity in a way that I couldn’t stop at every booth,” he said.
English-born Australian graphic designer Harry Williamson, who has been inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame, also praised the exhibit, but suggested that exhibitors be broken down into smaller groups in future shows so that visitors would be able to get a clearer look at every design on display.
British jewelry artist and lecturer Lin Cheung said she found the show “overwhelming” — in a good way — as the young designers had produced “incredibly strong and creative” works.
Yesterday was the final day of YODEX, which was held at the Taipei World Trade Center.
Sixty-one designers from 15 countries entered the International Invitational Tang Prize Medal Design Competition.
The finalists are to present their designs tomorrow, one design for each of the four categories: sustainable development, biomedicine, Sinology and rule of law.
The winner — who will receive US$500,000 — is to be announced on Thursday.
The Tang Prize was established by entrepreneur Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) in December 2012 to honor top researchers in the four fields.
The first winners of the prize will be announced on June 18, and the award ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 18.
Up to three winners will share a cash prize of NT$50 million (US$1.65 million) for each category.