Those who enter the NTU campus by way of its side entrance on Xinsheng South Road are immediately welcomed by the looming presence of a broad, low-slung building on the right side that appears to hover an entire story above the ground.
Affectionately called Dong Dong Guan (literally, Hole Hole Hall) by the members of the NTU community due to the geometrically-aligned lattice of circular holes perforating the exterior walls of its upper floors, NTU Agricultural Exhibition Hall was designed by renowned architect Chao-Kang Chang. Merging Chinese and Western architectural concepts and functions, the building not only occupies an important spot in the campus's architectural history, but has also been designated as a historic building by the Taipei City Government.
NTU Agricultural Exhibition Hall is one of the ten museums making up the NTU Museums Group. The hall regularly holds special exhibitions with the goal of informing the public about important and fascinating aspects of the history of agriculture in Taiwan, including government policy, historical development, technology, and consumer market development.
The museum's current exhibition, called "Food, Production, and Consumption," was jointly organized by the Department of Bio-Industry Communication and Development and the Department of Library and Information Science. Located on the second floor of the Hall, the exhibition is designed to educate the public about the nation's recent food safety problems as well as the production of agricultural products and the food consumption chain in Taiwan.
The recurring message of the exhibition is that, besides the need for experts and legislators to bring about improvements in the food system and at the production and processing end, the public needs to have access to food safety information as well as to cultivate informed consumer attitudes as essential elements of a well-developed food consumption chain.
The exhibition first introduces visitors to the agricultural features and production processes of common crops in Taiwan, including rice, sweet potato, and corn. Then it guides the visitors to reflect on the food crises that have occurred during the course of Taiwanese history, as well as the recent series of food scandals that have rattled consumer confidence.
The exhibition aims to empower consumers by reminding them that the most effective way to improve food production models is through the modification of consumer behavior. Moreover, it provides visitors with the tools to make this change by presenting such proactive consumer concepts as produce traceability systems, local purchasing, and diversified consumption.
Meanwhile, on the first floor of the Hall, another exhibition featuring a wooden tea house designed by students for the NTU Experimental Forest is also underway. The students integrated environmentally-friendly concepts into the tea house design and construction.