Design Exchange forum- The Experts V.S. The Rising Stars_Second Half

Design Exchange forum- The Experts V.S. The Rising Stars_Second Half
Design Exchange forum- The Experts V.S. The Rising Stars

(Second Half)About the design

     Franz Collection, a Taiwanese porcelain brand has expanded its reach to more than 6,000 sales point around the world under founder Mr. Franz Chen’s leadership. Franz Award started in 2007; the competition offers more than NTD$ 1 million each year and has not asked for the government’s assistance in order to support up-and-coming designers who are interested in porcelain and create a platform for them to compete and exchange ideas.
In this year’s competition, 9 esteemed judges from design, art, porcelain and the cultural creative industry were invited. Moreover, ten finalists have raised questions to exchange ideas with the “masters” regarding what they have encountered on the road of “design”.

**This article has two parts, the first half “About the Market, the second half “About the Design”

Design Exchange forum- The Experts V.S. The Rising Stars


Q: Japanese designer - Kunikazu Hamanishi
What is a requirements of qualities and abilities differences between Asian designer and European designer?

Japanese designer - Kunikazu Hamanishi’s artwork “Pile Lamp” won the Silver Award. Light would leak from the gaps around the plates, which gives a soft light to the surroundings.

A: Director of the Porzellanikon – State Museum of Porcelain – Mr. Wilhelm Siemen

This is a question hard to answer. But let me try. Since several years we notice that an increasing number of students come to Europe to study design. Asian designers want to discover what is so special about European, and furthermore German design is about. What we also notice is that these young “rising stars” are very disciplined and eager to learn. Many of those have excellent experience in the field of the use of the technical issues and are rootedly well doing in their use, often even better than their fellow students from Europe. At the other hand some just start experiencing the very newest technologies like 3d printing. As soon they get in touch they learn to make use of it very fast.
In general, there is one fundamental challenge for these young talents which can´t be denied, no matter whether they come from Asia/China or Europe or any place in the world: If you want to be successful in your profession you must know what the trends and tendencies are, globally. If you are not deeply in touch with those you will not be able to design products which are demanded, further more: sought after by the consumers. But also, and this is an additional challenge: you must not forget about your own roots and the tradition you come from and the history of your country, its culture. Because having this in your mind you will be able to give the things you design this very special expression which makes them authentic and unchangeable to be able to compete in the global product design scene.  

A: Course Leader of Central Saint Martins BA Ceramic Design - Mr. Anthony Quinn
I like this question very much. As an indicator in the UK, I experience many students from Asia in Europe.
I think there many more similarities such as craftsmanship, interiority, function, process, but to answer the question, it seems to be reverence and irreverence. So the European production often begins with a healthy irreverence for establishments, for production values, such as a DIY, through design process will arrive a more reverence place on the stands of context, retail or opportunity. Compared to the Asian approach, often begins with a thoughtful historical awareness of province but arrives through the challenge and understanding of the origin. It arrives with a sense of innovation, crafting, handware at the end of the process. So it’s almost the opposite.  
So to conclude, the difference is the direction of travel but the process is the same.

Course Leader of Central Saint Martins BA Ceramic Design – Mr. Anthony Quinn and President of Ateliers d’Art de France – Mr. Serge Nicole joined Franz Award as judges for the first time.


Q: Product design department of Shih Chien University, Taiwan – Po-Han Wu
How can we design new products or what is worth exploring under the condition of reserving traditional craft?

Po-Han Wu, a student from the Product design department of Shih Chien University, Taiwan won the Bronze Award for his artwork “Standing in Motion”. He retained the traditional porcelain vase and broke the existing features by adding stretch function in order to give the users a variety of modular objects.

A: Honorary Principal of Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute – Mr. Xi-Lin Qin
As a designer or artist, one must keep up with the market needs and the development of the economy. To innovate under the foundation of reserving traditional craft is a challenge that the designers nowadays must face, the design must go with the trend and carry forward the special features of each race’s culture. Designers and artists must innovate according to one’s design concept and sense of beauty, moreover to reserve one’s own culture’s features and personality.
A: Course Leader of Central Saint Martins BA Ceramic Design - Mr. Anthony Quinn
Exploring traditional crafts provides the insights to new products, as a designer in porcelain for many years, understanding to this new material is essential to product design. Many innovations arrive from appearances and qualities in both production processes, in sense of craft and use. In fact, to develop or create a new design, one must apply the elements of the past then interpret it in a new angle. I would like to share two stories. Over ten years ago, a Japanese designer - Kenji Ekuan visited my college in London, he has designed for many famous Japanese brands, for example Yamaha. He wanted to tour the ceramics department, jewelry department, textile department but not the product design department. And so last year, Jonathan Ive – a famous designer for Apple he came to give a presentation, he made everyone who work with their hands to stand up and made everyone who worked with computers stay seated in their seats. Then he said to the crowd: you are the people I want to work with, I know how to use the computer, I need to know how you use your hands. Again to conclude, a new design is the understanding of traditional craft.


Q: Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute – Jun Liang, Shuo Li
There are more and more similar cultural creative products, how to make a breakthrough?

Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute students Jun Liang and Shuo Li won the Excellence Award for their artwork “Undulating Iceberg”. The innovative combination of porcelain and glass presents the mysterious side of the iceberg that is constantly changing under the sea.

A: Director of Ceramic Design Department, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University – Mr. Ning Zheng 

Homogeneity is a negative approach to the market; it means to have the same production process and content. How do we make a change? I don’t suggest making a breakthrough, with similar products on the market is a normal phenomenon. The key is about technique, quality and content. That is to say, one must discover their individualities but not one’s appearance or to make a breakthrough on the appearance. What is your individuality? It is about what is important, what your potential and core is. I think this is the most important thing.

A: Director of the Porzellanikon – State Museum of Porcelain - Mr. Wilhelm Siemen

Cultural creative products. Let me tell you a story: I was teaching at the design faculty of the Burg Giebichenstein – University of Art and Design, Halle, in the glass and porcelain department for more than two decades. Many student have come here also from abroad. My experience was that every one of them giving an outstanding performance brought along a significant view and outreaching experience from his own culture. I remember a girl from South America. In her diploma she designed a pair of vases and these vases were so rich in their way interpreting elements of her personally background but also very modern in its esthetic everybody loved to see them an to touch the surface which was decorated with glazes so colorful and at the same time very decent I have rarely seen. There was another young lady from Asia. Today she is a university professor in her country. She created a set of bowls, as fine as only one can do who is from this area. It was the porcelain white, with straight lines and a marvelous simplicity. Everybody who saw these pieces was standing there with devotion and – everybody wanted to have it for his own. 
One answer I would like to contribute to this question: Do not copy! Have in mind what the others do. But be yourself as designer and artist and give this special extra, nobody else can contribute, combine it with your expertise, the knowledge how to make it and how to handle the special material, fight with it and at least make it your friend. Only this makes the difference people will as for.

Director of the Porzellanikon – State Museum of Porcelain - Mr. Wilhelm Siemen is passionate about the education and innovation of porcelain. As the director of Europe’s biggest porcelain museum, many interesting collaborations with museums in Europe and Asia have been formed.


Q: Students from Taiwan and China, currently studying in Milan  hung-Yen Chang, Wang Xuan
What is your opinion on the impact Sharing Economy brings to product design and production? What opportunities designers might have in the Sharing Economy?

Chung-Yen Chang from Taiwan and Wang Xuan from China won the Bronze Award for their artwork “Blossom”.  It is a one piece vase which amplifies the beauty of blooming flowers with the reflection on its internal polygonal surface.

A: Chairman of Japan Industrial Designers’ Association – Mr. Kazuo Tanaka

I have no doubt that “The Sharing Economy” would drastically change our life from now on. And, accordingly designers’ roles would be changing. If so, however, the private possession of things would never end. The sharing may gain popularity, on the other hand, the design of privately owned things would rather be required more deep, accurate and fine correspondence between the owners’ taste. In that meaning, the conventional “design” may keep staying on the common reason of existence.
Another aspect of the sharing may need a design approach different from the conventional one. When it comes to the design of personal transportation like an automobile for instance, while the system may need certain universality, a customization may proceed more to instantly meet a user’s taste by using an electronic device.
A: Honorary Chairman of Taiwan Cultural and Creative Industry Association – Mr. Pang-Soong Lin
The concept of Sharing Economy was first raised in 1978. Until 40 years later today, it is being highly valued. Due to the internet, people started to value the high efficiency of reusing. The Chinese has already echoed the Sharing Economy during the Song Dynasty and Jin Dynasty. The Sharing Economy is an opportunity for us to not lose our traditional craft; it can be shared through networking and socialization.  If every designer holds back, then there would be many precious technique and thoughts that wouldn’t be known and moreover to make an impact.


Q: A student from China who is currently studying in Berlin’s design academy  - Jin Zhang
Up-and-coming designers’ experimental designs have huge possibilities, how can big organizations such as Beijing Today Art Museum assist and get involved?

Jin Zhang from China who is currently studying in Berlin’s design academy won the Gold Medal for his artwork “MoldFlexi”. This is accomplished by composing the mould of small plaster elements attached to a polyester textile. The mould then becomes a flexible surface, capable of taking on all different kinds of shapes, which subsequently reappear in the porcelain material.

A: Director of Beijing Today Art Museum – Mr. Alex Gao

Today Art Museum pays attention to modern art, especially the important art pieces after 1985. I’m the third director of Today Art Museum and the past directors were all above 60. I believe the reason why they chose me to be the director is because the world is changing and someone from the younger generation can be the one to influence others after a few accomplishments.
As for the word “modern”, it means to create with a modern emotion, material and atmosphere. So whether if you are a pioneer or not, the most important thing is to face the real you and turn the experiences that you have into a good art piece. Today Art Museum got its name from not being constrained by time. If you face the true self, each pioneer of this era shall become a master in the future.

Director of Beijing Today Art Museum – Mr. Alex Gao is the youngest director in China.


Don’t forget your roots and culture, just be you! Also, don’t forget to exchange your ideas with more people to broaden your horizon.
All the comments from the judges today are to encourage young designers to be themselves and be unique. When you know how to find your inner genes, you would know how to develop and become who you are today. If you cannot control yourself, then it would be hard to stand out. You are actually mimicking but not being who you are. So, if you are passionate about design, I would like to encourage you to not forget that designing is about solving problems and making our lives better. This mission is to look deep down within and find balance between globalization and individuality.

To conclude, Mr. Franz Chen says that although it is a difficult process of insisting in holding Franz Award for ten years, he hopes to seek more potential porcelain artworks through creating an international competition platform to continue the culture of porcelain through up-and-coming designers..

Watch the video here →




Franz Award was founded in order to support the up-and-coming designers; it has become a worldwide competition after being founded ten years ago. After 2014, over 1,500 designers signed up to compete for the grand prize each year. (The competition provides USD$ 35,000 in total.) During the finals, international representatives of the porcelain, design industry and designers from numerous countries were invited to exchange ideas! Designers make effort on creating a better tomorrow for the world and we provide the chance to go international!
The 2016 Franz Award Teams consists of Franz Collection’s PR department, 2 students from National Taiwan University, 1 graduate student from National Taiwan University of Technology and 1 PhD student from Ming Chuan University’s department of business management. With our sharp eyes, we have discovered 1,400 designers from 31 countries this year!!