Embracing Tradition & Innovation – Breaking Through to New Horizons
New Movements in Taipei Industry
Article ｜Wang Ruifen
Photos ｜Taipei City Government Department of Economic Development, UDNdata
In 2016, the city of Taipei was a large-scale exhibition venue, serving as the 2016 World Design Capital (2016台北世界設計之都). As host, it was a showcase for international trends and fashions, with global warming, environmental issues, and LOHAS themes interacting dynamically to spark design concepts for a new century. This was in concert with Taipei City Government’s promotion of four major areas of economic industry: “Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” “Food & Agriculture Symbiosis,” “Life Industries,” and “Energy Savings & Sustainability.” Highlighting aesthetics ranging from diet and dress to life practice, Taipei’s various industries are being given encouragement and guidance in developing this city’s unique metropolitan characteristics.
▲Only products with both solid design and quality can go international. (Photo: Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government)
Innovation and Creativity – Driving the New Industrial Revolution
Taipei City is both Taiwan’s capital and its leading city for talent and resources, and possesses a rich cultural heritage. While striking a balance between tradition and new prospects, it showcases the soft power of innovation and reformation. Taipei City Government’s Department of Economic Development (產業發展局) plays a leading role to assist players from different industries in embracing bold initiatives. Lin Chung-chieh (林崇傑), Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, believes that the City’s historical ebbs and flows have left it with a particularly rich and diversified accumulation of cultural components. Add to this, the local spirit of maverick determination, and the result is a stimulus of wave upon wave of bright cultural creativity!
Not only creativity is required in creating a product, subjecting it to market trials, proceeding to brand creation, marching onto the international stage, and formulating a sustainable business model are also needed. Even more important are professional marketing considerations. Chairman of the Taipei Young Entrepreneurs Association (台北市青年創業協會), Song Jingda (宋京達) uses his own career in the bridal wear sector to point out how innovation and creativity are indispensable in today’s industry. Even more necessary than packaging design are solidification of product image and quality, and a promise-to-self to step onto the international stage.
▲Taipei stages exhibitions that bring together talent and resources to develop a more distinctive economic culture. (Photo: UDNdata, Taipei Pictorial No. 600)
Convergence of Innovative Talent – Creating New Economic Impetus
In the past, most industries had been focusing on land, labor, and capital. Lin thinks that what is most crucial today is how talent flows internationally. Through talent exchange and cooperation, creative energies are stimulated, and in a global environment human resources represent competitiveness. Creating an environment that lures talent, and forming a field of healthy competition and mutual stimulation are the directives that Taipei is resolutely focused on. When a city successfully fosters the clustering of diverse new creative industries, a unique lifestyle will emerge in accordance with time and conditions. A distinct city personality and allure takes form, talent is attracted, and capital pours in. Excellence and diversified development is promoted in all domains, crafting a new atmosphere for Taipei industry.
In the Taipei fashion, culinary, and cultural-creative industries, beyond giving free rein to innovation, traditional culture and global outlook have also been integrated, creating a style and character uniquely its own. Many common elements of life that we’ve taken for granted have been given creative added-value, thus showcasing the vibrant originality and industrial dynamism at work here. The international audience has been continually bedazzled, and “Taipei” has become synonymous with fashion, cuisine, and cultural creativity. Whether its handmade shoes and unique apparel from the fashion industry, the transformation of old eateries, the beautification of life through floral design, or the infusion of concrete into everyday articles, all these inject vitality into the city. This has become a key force in Taipei’s transformation.
▲Taipei has a rich diversity of cultural elements, demonstrating the soft power of demand for newness and change. (Photo: UDNdata, Taipei Pictorial No. 600)
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