Design Ecosystem in Taipei

{ 🇹🇼 } – Taipei, home of Phase

After our last visit to London, we wanted to take a closer look at a place that is very close to the most on our team – Taipei. You may not know it, but this is where 9 of 11 of Phase team members are based, working hard on app’s design and engineering.

Since we’d already covered Berlin, home of our community team, we wanted to see how Taipei’s Design Ecosystem looks and what you can expect from the city as a designer.

First of all, though, we wanted to give you a quick explanation of why we are actually based in Taipei. There is no better person to answer that than Nick, Phase CEO:

People. People in Taipei are the most authentic and passionate you can find. They really care about the things they do. Lot of them are also genuinely talented, but everyone is most of all driven in what they do. That’s why Phase is based in Taipei.

Nick Budden

Now, let’s go explore the capital of Taiwan!

Working as a designer in Taipei

You can see how nice the Taiwanese people are also in the design industry. Everyone is willing to share their work and work together. As Remi points out:

I feel enthusiastic about being a designer in Taipei. We’ve got lots of talented and passionate designers here, who like to share knowledge and learn together. And although the value of design is not well understood in many ways in Taiwan, designers here keep showing that value via great works. So I think we all feel that we have a mission to make things better and try to make it better together every day.

Remi Chu, UI/UX Designer @ Pinkoi

Rayon emphasizes that even though the local community isn’t that big, it’s emerging fast:

Taipei is an energetic, free and resourceful city. You can see a lot of cultures and observe different clashes here. The startups and the company I worked before are very open to accepting changes and different opinions. Although the design industry is not as flourishing as Silicon Valley, it becomes better and better now. Also, both UX designers and product designers are engaging themselves in the design community in Taipei.

Rayon Hung, Designer @ Hahow

Taipei is known as one of the most convenient places on the planet. It even applies to places, where you can get some work done:

So many creative parks with creative people. Libraries and bookshops are opened 24/7. There are many different exhibitions, and places where you can grab some inspiration for your design work.

Wojciech Dobry

Wojtek, who is a Product Designer at Phase, also points out that print design is a huge thing in Taiwan:

People here have mad branding and print skills. I didn’t expect to find here so much good print design. I’ve been to few design exhibitions and I found Taiwanese designers as print trendsetters – their stuff from 2016 appeared globally year later.

Wojciech Dobry
Panorama of Taipei during the night
Taipei – city of lights

Living in Taipei

Since almost all of our team experienced living in Taipei (the only one who hasn’t is me, Daniel 😅), we wanted to give you a better overview of the city.

First – what makes a living in Taipei so great? It’s all about people.

Taiwanese people are amazingly friendly and helpful. Even complete strangers are genuinely willing to help you out. When you’re lost on a street, someone would surely show you the right way, or even take you by the hand and walk there together.

Vlad Shvets

Even though I’ve never been to Taipei (yet), I can relate – my best friends in Berlin are from Taipei, and they are a few of the nicest and most honest people I’ve met.

What my friends are also great at is cooking food. We have collected some nice recommendations regarding Taiwanese cuisine as well.

I love Taiwanese Night Markets. If you’re searching for some delicious traditional food, pay a visit to Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市). Later you can go enjoy your snacks at the riverside, which is nearby.

Vlad Shvets

And of course, cafes, something I cannot wait to experience myself. Where can you get the best coffee in Taipei? Actually, everywhere!

Walk between 0.5 and 2 minutes in literally any direction — you’ll find a good cafe. Taipei has one of the highest densities of cafes per person in the world, and a lot of them are very nice.

If you just want to clear your head you can actually be pretty confident to just wander off for a walk in any direction you want, and as soon as you’re ready to sit back down and work it won’t take more than a minute to find a great cafe to sit back down and work in, no matter which direction you wandered off to.

Nick Budden

If you’re looking for a more specific location, Vlad has his favorite spot to recommend:

My absolutely favorite is Yaboo Cafe next to Daan Park. Friendly staff, delicious pasta, and sandwiches, and cute cats.

Vlad Shvets
Taiwanese mountains
Taiwanese mountains

And there is one more great thing that you can do in Taiwan – hiking. Vlad has a lot of experience in that area:

Taiwan is the dream country for lovers of hiking and mountaineering. In and around Taipei you can find plenty of great trails, fit for both newbies and rather experienced hikers.

Up for a casual 10-minute hike some chilly morning or evening? Go for Elephant Mountain (象山, Xiangshan). The view on the city and Taipei 101 is breathtaking.

If you’re into mountaineering and looking for a serious challenge, you might want to climb Yushan Mountain (3952 m), Taiwan’s and East Asia’s tallest. Yushan literally translates as “Jade Mountain,” since the peak is covered in snow in winter and shines like stainless jade. Climbing Mt. Jade is a 2-day adventure that’ll require you to spend a night in the hut midway to the summit.

Vlad Shvets

That’s Taipei – one of the most amazing places in Asia, and home of Phase.

If you live there and want to share your experience or even meet with our team, just reach us on Twitter! We have also created a list of designers based in Taipei so you can meet some new friends! Same applies to Phase Community, where you can join our new #taipei channel.

If you want to contribute to next the issue of Phase Magazine, just drop us a line:

Nick Budden Avatar

Nick Budden / CEO @ Phase

Designer, and sometimes-writer. Canadian in Taiwan ✈ Berlin. Trying to help people enjoy being creative.