In recent years, many disciplines and fields have reached a consensus that everyone could be a member that cares about society through participating in activities and taking real actions. “Social Design,” an idea expanded from functional designs, combines commodities and technological invention, attempting to improve the relation between human beings and nature. Starting from individual perspectives, social designers show their concern for the society and the world, suggesting that human beings should not ignore the importance of protecting nature and caring for the disadvantaged while pursuing convenience and growth through design.
11 groups of Dutch designers and 6 groups of Taiwanese designers are invited to display their works in five themes—Earth, Aid, Care, Share, and Biotech. This exhibition allows us to compare and contrast the works of social designers in Taiwan and the Netherlands. It shows us how social designers use creativity with humanist concern to mediate between the land and people.
The five themes of this exhibition—“Earth” demonstrates that all things originate from earth; earth presents itself differently according to human cultivation and activities. Designers gain inspiration by observing lands and people’s lives to convey messages related to nature. “Aid” displays the suffering and torture caused by war; although designers cannot stop wars from happening, they contemplate on ways to improve people’s lives after wars. “Care” explores the relationship between medicine, disease, and human beings; illness arouses fear and seclusion, and designers try to resolve people’s dilemma and fear through interesting and intriguing works, further bettering people’s lives. “Share” proposes the term “Open source,” a concept of technological access and sharing, as the new framework for the next generation. “Biotech” presents fabric innovation based on biological technology; the designers hope to broaden people’s imagination and interest in design through workshops that promote new ideas.
This exhibition is organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government and can be viewed as a part of an overture for Taipei as the 2016 World Design Capital. Curator Gina Hsu is a designer who studied in Holland. Through the five themes in this exhibition, she hopes to introduce a different perspective and reflection on society and our environment so that audiences could review their own lives from new angles and take actions to make changes. When we discover the beauty of nature and the value of harmony between people, the imbalanced world would have the possibility to become better.