Taipei, TAIWAN — The Golden Pin Design Award’s Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon will hold three events on its Asian tour this year, in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in May and Shenzhen in June! Four winners of Best Design Award—NK Kuo, founder of Forest-Wood Archi-Tect.; Ocean Ou, founder of Duolog Design LLC; Varudh Varavarn, architect and winner of the Silpathorn Award in Thailand, and Vivian Toh, co-founder of Tsubaki Studio in Malaysia—will join forces at the Bangkok event on May 9th and the Kuala Lumpur event on May 11th to share their unique insights about the relationship between design, sustainability and value creation. The two salons will be holding both local physical events and online live streaming, which are now open for registration!

Since 2015, the Golden Pin Design Award has held Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon in over 20 Asian cities, including Taipei, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore, as an open and diverse platform for design exchange. Through the participation and sharing of designers from around the world, the salon aims to explore contemporary design trends and future directions, promoting the development and innovation of the design industry and culture.

So far, the Golden Pin Salon has organized over 30 events, invited over a hundred designers and creative professionals from different fields to share their ideas, and attracted thousands of design enthusiasts to participate. The Golden Pin Salon has received widespread acclaim as a must-see event in the Asian design community. With the easing of the pandemic, the Golden Pin Salon will be held in Bangkok for the first time and in Kuala Lumpur for the third time this year, providing an opportunity for in-depth dialogue and exchange with local design communities.


Invited Speaker at Bangkok Salon: Varudh Varavarn

The theme of the Bangkok salon will be “Power of Design: How to Exercise Sustainability through Design.” The salon will invite Varudh Varavarn, founder and principal architect of renowned Vin Varavarn Architects (VVA) in Thailand, to speak at the event. Varavarn’s works include residential, commercial, and community spaces, and are famous for their minimalist but sophisticated design, environmentally sustainable practices, and imaginative use of local materials. He and his architects actively participate in community renovation projects and cooperate with NGOs and foundations to design schools and low-cost housing in remote areas in Thailand. Among them, the Post Disaster School project was selected as the winner of 8th International Biennial Barbara Cappochin Prize of Architecture in 2017 and was included in the 2018 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Prize Longlist for World’s Best Building.

Last year, Varavarn received the Thai Ministry of Culture’s Silpathorn Award, the country’s highest honor for architects, for his outstanding achievements in architecture. This time, he will speak on the topic of “The Possibilities of Transformation” to share with us his PANNAR Sufficiency Economic and Agriculture Learning Center project, which won the Best Design Award at the 2021 Golden Pin Design Award, and discuss how architecture connects past knowledge and transformation to lead communities to a more sustainable future.

Varudh VaravarnLeft: Varudh Varavarn
Right: PANNAR Sufficiency Economic and Agriculture Learning Center project

Invited Speaker at Kuala Lumpur Salon: Vivian Toh

The theme of the Kuala Lumpur salon will be “The Value of Design: Exploring the Economic, Social, and Cultural Impact of Design.” The salon will invite Vivian Toh, co-founder of Tsubaki Studio, the co-organizer of this event, to be the speaker. Vivian Toh is a famous design professional in Malaysia who specializes in branding and design, curation, and media marketing. She is best known as the editor-in-chief of the independent graphic design magazine CUTOUT. Toh utilizes her media expertise to give Tsubaki Studio’s designs a unique edge and has garnered numerous international awards. CUTOUT, in particular, was awarded the Best Design Award at the 2014 Golden Pin Design Award.

Toh is not only active in the Asian design community, she is also passionate about design education. She has taught creative thinking, design management, communication, and other courses at KDU University College and Point College. She is also often invited to give lectures at design schools across Malaysia. At this year’s salon, she will speak on the topic of “Unveiling the Essence of Design in Creative Works” and share their practical examples and strategies for utilizing design creativity.

Vivian Toh
Left: Vivian Toh
Right: CUTOUT magazine

Taiwanese Designers Join the Conversation at the Salons!

One is NK Kuo, founder of Forest-Wood Archi-Tect., graduated from the AA School of Architecture in the UK. When he was studying for his master’s in architecture, he developed an interest in forest resources and embarked on a series of design creations related to forests and wood. After returning to Taiwan, he devoted himself to researching and developing wood structure design and actively participated in the construction process. He utilized sustainable local forest resources as building materials and employed traditional craftsmanship and innovative methods to create a large steam-bending-tree arch system as a timber structure that blends seamlessly with nature. His works “vortex@EMBERS” and “Maker Space – Popop Taipei” won the Best Design Award at the Golden Pin Design Award in 2020 and 2021. Kuo will speak on the topic “I Design & Make & Build with Steam in Forest Tree in Eco-Friendly Architecture” and share the ways in which he uses eco-friendly techniques to realize natural building ideas.

NK Kuo
Left: NK Kuo
Top Right: Maker Space – Popop Taipei
Bottom Right: vortex@EMBERS

The second Taiwanese speaker is Duolog Design LLC founder Ocean Ou. Ou previously worked as design manager of high-profile smartphone brand HTC, where he led the design and development of the company’s flagship models for over ten years and received numerous international awards. During a stay in Seattle in 2016, he co-founded Duolog Design LLC LLC with Owen Lin. Duolog Design LLC specializes in planning and designing products and brands for start-up companies, with clientele from the US, Canada, China and Taiwan. Since his return to Taiwan in 2020, Ou has been focusing on circular design. In 2021, he launched circular lifestyle brand Hibāng. Hibāng won the Best Design Award at the 2022 Golden Pin Design Award with its very first product, Hibāng RE-fishing Net Circular Eyewear, which was made of recycled fishing nets. Ou will be presenting on the topic of ” Designer’s Role in Circular Economics,” sharing his experience in developing sustainable design practices that embrace circularity.

Ocean Ou
Left: Ocean Ou
Right: Hibāng RE-fishing Net Circular Eyewear

In addition, the two salons will join hands with “Ideathon” and specially invite Sanitas Pradittasnee, a renowned landscape designer in Thailand and founder of Sanitas Studio, as well as Alan Fong, design director of Millimetre Design Sdn Bhd, an interior design company in Malaysia, to share and exchange their experiences. Expect a wonderful event!
Alan Fong (Ideathon guest speaker)
Alan Fong – Ideathon guest speaker

Join the Golden Pin Salon now and be a part of the design conversation!
The 2023 Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon is now open for registration. The Bangkok salon will be held at Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC) at 7 p.m. (GMT+7) on May 9th, and the Kuala Lumpur salon will convene at the PAM Centre at 7 p.m. (GMT+8) on May 11th.

The events are free, but seats are limited. To register, please visit the event pages for Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur . If you are unable to attend in person, the events will also be streamed live online. Stay tuned to the event pages or follow the latest news on the Golden Pin Design Award’s social media for more information.

Event Information

Design Perspectives × Golden Pin Salon Bangkok 2023

  • Date: May 9th (Tue.)
  • Time: 18:00 – 20:00 (GMT+7)
  • Venue: Auditorium 1 (M FLOOR), Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC)
  • Organizer: Golden Pin Design Award, Taiwan Design Research Institute
  • Executive: Thai Art and Craft Development Association (TACDA)
  • Event Page:
  • Registration: (until May 4th)
    Design Perspectives × Golden Pin Salon Kuala Lumpur 2023

  • Date: May 11th (Thu.)
  • Time: 19:00 – 21:00 (GMT+8)
  • Venue: PAM Centre, Bangsar
  • Organizer: Golden Pin Design Award, Taiwan Design Research Institute
  • Executive: Tsubaki Studio
  • Event Page:
  • Online Registration: (until May 9th)


    About the Golden Pin Design Award Group

    The annual Golden Pin Design Award is the longest-running international design award that celebrates products or projects expressly created for Chinese-speaking communities, offering entrants an unprecedented opportunity to prove their prowess in the world’s largest market.

    The Golden Pin Design Award Group is comprised of two international awards — the Golden Pin Design Award, the Golden Pin Concept Design Award — and the Young Pin Design Award for students in Taiwan.

    The Golden Pin Design Award Group is executed by the Taiwan Design Research Institute and organized by the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry of Economic Affairs acts in an advisory capacity.

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