How Curation Design Makes People and Mountains Closer? ft. Yang-Ming Mountain Lab

Taiwan, a world-famous island of mountains, covers an area of ​​36,000 square kilometers and has 368 mountains with an altitude of more than 3,000 meters. It is one of the countries with the highest density of mountains. However, the year-lasting policy of prohibiting mountains has made the mountains close at hand become the most unfamiliar environment at home. 

In 2019, the Executive Yuan’s policy of lifting the ban on mountains and forests officially opened the high mountains, which account for nearly 30% of the country’s land area, to the public. The mountains are there, but do we understand them?

▲ Taiwan’s mountains are vast and diverse, but do we really understand them? Photo Credit|InFormat Design Curating
Facing the Mystery and Vastness of Mountains, How to Break the Habitual Urban Pattern and Get Close to the Wild?

Motivated by the concept of “relay station between people and mountains”, InFormat Design Curating and Yangmingshan National Park, supported by the project “Public Service Design: Open Call” initiated by Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI), turned the “Petite Guan-yin House” that had been abandoned for more than 20 years into a “Yang-ming Mountain Lab” which integrates leisure, ecological education, and the power of brand design.

▲ The expert-designed map in Yang-ming Mountain Lab can illustrate the 12 main routes of Yangmingshan. Photo Credit | InFormat Design Curating, Photography | Wang Te-fan

The Lab is located at the commanding height of Yangjin Highway in the Yang-ming Mountain, the center of the tourist center distribution belt, and it is not difficult to reach from Xiaoyoukeng, Lengshuikeng, Qingtiangang, etc. Therefore, as a relay point between the mountains and the city, it is not only a place for travelers to spend their leisure time, but also a place where everyone can get close to the mountains without going too deep into the forest. InFormat Design Curating also designs this house with the design thinking of approachability.

What exactly did they do ?

First in Taiwan to Create an Experimental Space in the Mountains by the Means of Design Introduction | Yang-ming Mountain Lab x Volcano Coffee x Forest-Related Book Selection x Miniature Exhibition

In the space of Yang-ming Mountain Lab, as the starting point, the first floor serves volcanic coffee with the geological characteristics of the volcanoes; the second floor exhibits forest related books selected by Chan Wei-hsiung, a senior in the field of mountain research. However, the biggest highlight is that there are miniature exhibitions of different themes from time to time, utilizing interesting situational experiences for visitors to quickly have a deeper connection and understanding of the wilderness of mountains and forests.

▲ Carrying the geological characteristics of the volcanoes, visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee that reflects the local flavor of Yangmingshan. Photo Credit| InFormat Design Curating
“Yangmingshan in the Night” The Issue of Light Pollution in Nature with Various Design Forms

In the second exhibition of Yang-ming Mountain Lab, “Yang-ming Night Night”, the main theme was “Yangmingshan in the Night”.

By creating the character “Yangming Night Night”, the curator let her take everyone to discuss various things happening at night in Yangmingshan. Through the designed props and installations such as the retro model of Sun-Moon-Earth, night trail ecology slideshows, DJ records of frog croaking, etc., the exhibition led the public to review the “Night” of Yangmingshan National Park from a new perspective.

In addition, this exhibition also invites guides and professors specializing in “Night” to share with us interesting topics on the conservation of mountain and forest ecology under dark sky in the mountain house. The most exciting thing is that there is also a walking activity called “night roaming”. Through a carefully designed itinerary, this activity allows participants to directly experience the charm of the national park at night.

▲ Multiple forms of curatorial design enrich the possibilities of getting close to the mountains and forests. Photo Credit|InFormat Design Curating|Photography: Wang Te-fan
“Yangmingshan in the Listening” To Discover the Subtle and Neglected Sounds of Yangmingshan

The latest exhibition “Yangming Heart Beats” (From 2022/04/30 to 2022/07/31) chooses the “Sound of Yangmingshan” as its main theme. Integrating the popular issues of promoting silent mountain trails and natural soundscape in recent years, the exhibition deconstructs and reconstructs the “soundscape” of Yangmingshan, leading the public to experience the essence of “listening”. Whether it is the sound of wild birds, water currents, volcanoes, or even the inaudible sounds of nature, exhibition visitors can secretly “listen” to the mysterious information of nature that cannot be easily felt by human beings by watching the various diagrams of sound waves.

▲ The latest exhibition of Yang-ming Mountain Lab|Yangming Heart Beats|Main visual, chooses the “Sound of Yangmingshan” as the main theme. 
Photo Credit|InFormat Design Curating
No Need to Call for the Wild. Infinite Creativity and Design Make Mountains Closer

From the case of ” Yang-ming Mountain Lab”, it can be clearly seen that the fields of senses for us to arouse others’ interest are various from color or sound to smell or taste. In addition, nature, design, humanities, and music can also be the topic or medium of design. To gain knowledge of the wild in the deep mountains and experience the life of listening to the sounds of insects and frogs in the wild, the public does not have to cross the rivers and break into the deep mountains. Because anyone can just walk into the lab, no matter what kind of situation you want from nature, you can find it here in this warm and well-designed mountain house.

Through curation, curators redesign the connection between people and mountains. The mountains are always there, so are all kinds of charming appearances of the mountains. With different perspectives, the exhibition provides a wide variety of different experiences of entering the mountains. So, let us walk into the mountains and re-acquaint ourselves with the wild homeland which accounts for three tenths of our nation.

▲ The warm and bright design of Yang-ming Mountain Lab allows those entering the mountains to have a safe resting place. Photo Credit|InFormat Design Curating|Photography: Wang Te-fan
▲ Photo Credit|InFormat Design Curating

Location: No. 64-13, Zhuzihu Road, Beitou District, Taipei City (next to the Xiaoguanyin parking lot)

Visiting time: Online reservation system is adopted during the pandemic. For more information, please follow the FB page of Y.M. Mountain Lab

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