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Pingtung Hosting Taiwan Design Expo 2019 in October 
Publish Date:2019-05-14    
To connect central and local government resources, raise the overall standard of design aesthetics throughout the country as well as showcase the creative design talent and local culture of Taiwan, a joint press conference was held on the 22nd of this month by Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin and Mayor Pan Meng-an of Pingtung County to announce the signing of the contract for Taiwan Design Expo 2019. The Expo, to be jointly organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Pingtung County Government, will run from October 5th through to October 20th. The exhibition venues will follow a 1+3 layout with the main venue being the Taisugar County Park (former Taisugar Paper Pulp Mill). The satellite venues will include Pingtung County Tobacco Factory, V.I.P. Zone, and Pingtung Art Museum. Organizers hope to transform Pingtung through design and give a boost to the industrial capacity of the county. The Expo will also reintroduce everyone to Pingtung and show them the design prowess of the city.

This year will be the first time that Taiwan Design Expo will be held at the southern end of Taiwan in Pingtung County. Due to the importance of the event, Deputy Secretary-General Chang Thigh-high was asked by the MOEA to become the chief planning consultant and invite top designers from different fields in Taiwan to focus on the three core themes of specialty industry, cultural tourism and social welfare. These public issues are to be transformed through to design to provide an outline of Pingtung's past, present and future. The Design Expo will communicate with the public and highlight Pingtung's specialties, Pingtung's experience and Pingtung's pride from all angles. People will be invited to view Pingtung's vision for the future and discover themselves what makes Pingtung such a special city.

According to Mayor Pan Meng-an, Taisugar County Park, the main venue for this year's Taiwan Design Expo in Pingtung, is a very distinctive site steeped in history. It is a reminder of how sugarcane pulp was used to make paper in Taiwan during the 1960s. The Tobacco Factory and V.I.P. Zone that will serve as the satellite venues are also buildings of tremendous local historical significance. The Design Expo will hopefully breathe new life into these historical sites and encourage the public to take a walk through history so they can see Pingtung in a whole new light.

Taiwan Design Expo 2019 will conduct an inventory of hidden local champions in terms of special industries, cultural tourism and social welfare. A design approach will be used to define the context and add value through innovation. In terms of "specialty industries", Pingtung is one of the leading growing regions in Taiwan. An agricultural technology park and agricultural university were established by the county government in recent years to introduce organic cultivation and eco-friendly agricultural practices to farmers in order to increase their value. Active support was also provided to help small farmers become agricultural enterprises. A new agricultural movement have now taken off with local coffee and cocoa winning numerous international awards and driving the growth of "black gold" business opportunities in Pingtung.

In terms of "cultural tourism", Pingtung is a multi-cultural city that hosts a variety of festival throughout the year including the Bluefin Tuna Cultural Festival, Donggang King Boat Ceremony, Paiwan 5-Year Ceremony, Peninsular World Music Festival, and Hot Spring Tourism and Culture Festival; in terms of "Social Welfare", senior citizens account for 15% of the county's population. This is higher than the national average of 13% so senior care forms an important part of Pingtung's social welfare network. The county government has therefore strongly supported the establishment of support stations using unused facilities in partnership with local communities, churches and temples in recent years. The initiative is driven by local requirements and improves the quality of life for seniors by solving their physiological and psychological difficulties.

The core value of Taiwan Design Expo is to connect central and local government resources then use design to interpret, transform, add value to, and re-connect local culture, local education and local industries. International design trends and perspectives are also harnessed to redefine public understanding of living aesthetics, and cultural style. Industries will better understand the value of design and industries in Taiwan can then continue to shine.

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