To Taiwan and Japan, which are both island regions, and Turkey that has just been hit by a severe earthquake, disaster prevention has always been an important and highly regarded issue.
Both Taiwan and Japan have extensive experience and professional know-hows in the area of disaster prevention, but the public still finds disaster prevention knowledge difficult and hard to understand. “Although disaster prevention is an important issue, a prevailing problem is that ‘its communication is difficult,'” said Vice Director Hirokazu Nagada of Design and Creative Center Kobe (KIITO).
Thus, Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI) and KIITO have launched an international cooperation, where TDRI leads eleven teams, New Taipei City Government, disaster prevention education agencies, and Japanese advisors, for joint research and design development. The teams have developed promotion solutions of five emergency kits for fire, earthquake, flood…etc., and eight experiential disaster prevention teaching aids based on the concept of experiential learning of disaster prevention knowledge.
For the emergency kits, interdisciplinary collaborations between Japanese fashion brand, major Taiwanese distributor of daily supplies, and design companies, have developed five designs, including MUJI Taiwan x Matinal Design and AGUA Design, Tzu Chi Foundation x S. Select Lab and LAJOS, Xiaobei Grocery Store x DHH Studio; in addition to designing the physical packaging, the teams have compiled and promoted related disaster prevention knowledge through design, making these kits the best learning aids of the public.
All 53 MUJI stores in Taiwan have launched the emergency kits immediately, to promote disaster prevention knowledge, and offered disaster prevention pamphlets and simulation on its website for download. The emergency kit jointly launched by Xiaobei and DHH Studio will be available with other products sold at Xiaobei and a free disaster prevention knowledge manual in December at all of Xiaobei’s 113 stores. Taiwan’s largest private disaster prevention organization, Tzu Chi Foundation, has focused on incubation of disaster relief volunteers in recent years, and S. Select Lab and LAJOS have jointly tailored for the foundation an emergency kit and disaster prevention and relief activities, helping the volunteers to forge strong bonds during promotion of related knowledge through the power of design.
Experiential disaster prevention teaching aids are voluntarily designed and developed by six rising design teams in Taiwan: dosomething studio, STUDIO COBY, Studio Shikai, A Step Design Studio, YEN Design, and Dot Design, making this project the first social design action of Taiwanese designers. Starting from the forum at the end of 2019, after nearly a year of learning, co-creation, and sharing, designers have conceptualized on the more common disasters in Taiwan—fire, flood, earthquake, drowning, and first-aid, and developed board games, Jenga, and game of challenges so that the public can learn professional disaster prevention knowledge through the games.
The international collaboration between TDRI and KIITO launched nearly a year ago first conducted a series of field studies, and then gathered domestic designers to reference overseas cases and create disaster prevention solutions suitable for Taiwan. TDRI and the designers hope to utilize flexible design thinking to break existing frameworks and find solutions for social issues, and use design to make difficult disaster prevention knowledge more approachable and straightforward, to not only raise the society’s awareness of disaster prevention, but also export the collaborative design cases between Taiwan and Japan to other countries in the future, making concrete contribution to international disaster prevention.