Taipei City – World Design Capital 2016

I was really fortunate to have received an invitation to the World Design Capital 2016, this year taking part in Taipei, Taiwan.

It was a special event, at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel (where the awesome Bencotto is located). Whilst this doesn’t follow the theme of my previous posts, I feel it is something I’d like to share with you, regardless.
World Design Capital 2016
Can you guess the theme? Yeh, purple. Everything was purple, which made photography a nightmare for the less advanced photographer of myself. Therefore, all of my photos are provided to me by The World Design Capital 2016. The event, itself, was quite large with a lot of differing nationalities in attendance, also being sponsored by RADO.
2 prizes were up for the grabs, they were:
1. World Design Impact Prize
2. Special Award for Social Design of the Golden Pin Design Award
 
 
1. World Design Impact Prize
 
World Design Capital 2016
The World Design Impact Prize was presented to Warka Water for their design of a water catchment system which allows the more rural communities where water isn’t so readily available, to access clean drinking water. Warka Water doesn’t offer this as a solution, but more of a temporary aid until something more reliable can be put in place for such communities.
World Design Capital 2016
Nice flower, right? All jokes aside, what Warka Water and their Italian designers have done is create a very useful water system that can aid the communities where such aid often doesn’t reach. A great idea, and deserving of the prize, in my humble opinion.
2. Special Award for Social Design of the Golden Pin Design Award
 
World Design Capital 2016
 
5% Design Action Social Innovation Platform won the Golden Pin Design Award, the idea behind 5% is that it invite designers and professionals from a range of fields to pitch in just 5% of their free time to develop a whole host of societal challenges and public/private sector challenges, too.
Recent projects that 5% have focused on are: cancer screening service design and also sustainable agriculture experience design. 5%, I am sure, will continue to develop greatly following this award. The idea sounds an interesting one and certainly one that looks to bring together a whole host of professionals to brainstorm ideas in a non-profit scenario, also with an online membership of over 2,000, too.
BUT, I cannot, talk about this kind of event without mentioning the food:
World Design Capital 2016
Can’t start the evening without some cocktails…
World Design Capital 2016
The starter was a selection of tomatoes, skin off, and seemed to have been marinated in a plum juice with thinly sliced radish and some micro greens on top. It looks great, but it simply served as a palette cleaner. It didn’t sing with flavour, but it was alright.
World Design Capital 2016
The soup was very suspect, for starters: It was grey! Grey soup? Not a fan. I think food need to be both visually exciting as well as tasty. This was tasty enough, but it was grey. In all honesty, I don’t know what the flavour was as the greyness put me off so much that I only had a spoonful.
World Design Capital 2016
This was the chicken, you could also have had either the fish or the vegetarian, too. The fish resembled this plate exactly, with the only difference being a substitution of fish for chicken. The potato on the plate was a purple potato but I find that it can go grey in colour (perhaps what the soup was made of, too) when it is mashed. I wasn’t a fan, it was quite starchy. The chicken was delicious and the vegetables were also well cooked.
I find that with big banquets such as this, it is difficult for 1. The food to be kept hot without losing its integrity and 2. The dish to be exciting.
Often it is easier to make it visually appealing as you can systematically plate each dish to be a carbon copy of the previous one and arrange it ahead of time just to place the meat on last. However, it often means that unless the plate is piping hot, the vegetables arrive cold. This was what happened. I cannot blame The Mandarin Oriental or any of the cooking staff, it is just what happens at such events.
Overall, The World Design Capital 2016 was a great success with some showcasing of design and creative success for some worthy organisations. It was an honour to be invited, and I await the further development of both Warka Water and 5% Design Action Social Innovation Platform, good luck to them in their future development stages!
Furthermore, thank you to The World Design Capital 2016 for my invitation and for the use of their photographs (much more professional than my purple snaps I took). I have my creative mind on, now, and I await to see further developments in the creative side of Taipei for years to come!
Ash.

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