iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD: WONDERLAND'S Renee Wang about sponsoring young Talents
You just can’t organize a competition for talented design students, based on the UN Sustainability Goals, without the support of professionals, of companies, who live by these ideas too. Just like our sponsor WONDERLAND, an expert in nursery goods.
Every year, we call for ideas and concepts to be submitted in the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD! In this design competition, students and graduates have the chance to win prize money of EUR 50,000 in total per year!
Caring for the youngest is not a novum for Wonderland – they are one of the internationally leading manufacturers of nursery products, including car seats, baby strollers, travel cots, and highchairs, for children and families. Sustainability is at the heart of the company, says Renee Wang, General Manager, Engineering at Wonderland. We talked to her about true design talent, their criteria for the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD and their efforts towards sustainability.
iF DESIGN: Why does WONDERLAND support young talents in the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD? What is your motivation?
Renee Wang: As an iconic design award, the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD is aiming to create a platform for students from all over the world to showcase their designs, share their creative ideas with broader global audiences, and potentially win the award, and publish their work on the iF Design website for the entire world to see! At Wonderland, we highly value the power of education and understand the importance of building a close relationship with young design talents. So, we partner with Gigabyte to co-host the “Great Design Award” for almost 20 years in Taiwan, in order to provide young designers a stage to shine. We invite professional product design consultants to share their experience and give feedback to the students’ design, as well as provide seminars of product marketing and design patent layout to strengthen students’ capabilities in many aspects.
iF: What do you expect from the participants of the award? What do student concepts have to have in order to be awarded, what do you look for?
RW: All design is to make people's lives better. Other than full of enthusiasm and creative ideas, I would expect a young design talent to have a global view, design thinking mindset, and a sense of mission to improve the world. When thinking about an award-winning design, I would expect it to provide a complete product experience and convenience, balance design concepts and aesthetic visual effects, while also addressing the consideration of environmental sustainability trends.
iF: How does the company and especially design of products (made for families) profit from young designers and are there certain programs for young professionals at WONDERLAND?
RW: We always hire young, talented designers to join our global design center and have them start from simple projects with the coaching of experienced designers. Through day-to-day work, the young designers get to learn the processes, the expectations, the industry regulations, and all the detailed and fundamental knowledge they need to know about baby products. When they accumulated more know-how, they are invited to join larger-scale projects. Through open discussions with senior designers and cross-functional colleagues, the young designers can inherit the experience of their seniors, as well as contribute their fresh ideas and new concepts to improve product design.
iF: The Sustainable Development Goals by the UN are at the core of the whole iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD competition every year. What role does sustainability play at WONDERLAND?
RW: Sustainability has been put into the center of Wonderland’s business since the founding of the company 40 years ago. At WONDERLAND, we are dedicated to mitigating our operational impact on society and the environment and integrated the idea of corporate sustainability into all aspects of the business strategies. For example, when our production site was built a few decades ago, environmentally friendly designs were also introduced. We are committed to adopting practical actions in response to global sustainability movements, inputting various long-term resources, consolidating enterprise principles, and realizing social responsibility.
iF: What is your advice to young aspiring design talents and why should young people participate in the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD?
RW: For 70 years, iF Design has been supporting good design, safeguarding the role of professional designers, and nurturing young design talents. By participating in such an international award, young designers not only gain unique experience and obtain diversified inspiration, but also broaden their horizons. In addition, young design talents get to know more people of their league, who they can exchange ideas and insights with. That can be very beneficial to their future career. So, I’d recommend the young designers, especially those who want to be professional designers, to take advantage of this international platform and get the most out of it.