Switzerland and design – they belong together like cheese fondue and white wine. In this carefully curated and superbly staged show, Switzerland, as the Guest Country of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2020, presented nine innovative positions from young studios and startups. Despite the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus, Switzerland put in a perfect appearance in the Amtshaus Theresienbadgasse – including specially branded masks, sanitizer bottles, and take-away textile bags. Organized by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia – in cooperation with Design Prize Switzerland – the show, which was held in the presence of the designers, presented selected projects and products that improve our lives in intelligent, sustainable, and effective ways. In the exhibition, whose floor – between the large black floor lamps – was occupied not by rose petals, as one could have suspected at first glance, but by packaging material made from red, folded paper, Michel Hueter and Kim Albert offered a personal introduction to and explanation of the exhibits. This was design that was there to be touched and experienced, such as a stylish cell phone case with integrated reading glasses, smart textiles and heating control systems, reactive typography, interactive 3D replicas of museum objects, surprising event design, refined crockery, or sociopolitical data visualization. The bilateral networking that the Guest Country format seeks to foster exceeded all expectations. Because the exemplary cooperation with our likeable neighbors had a lasting impact on the festival atmosphere and will surely remain with us for years to come.
Exhibited projects and products:
PLANISPHERE is a network agency for creative production and strategic consulting. It presented “ON,” a bespoke event that it created for the Kunstmuseum Basel and which combines music, contemporary art, and design – resulting in a unique, explorative Gesamtkunstwerk.
Robin Eberwein developed “Genoma Grotesk,” a revolutionary font that adapts to the context in which it is displayed and offers an infinite flexibility of weight, width, and other attributes without increasing the file size.
INT studio proposes “Interactive Replicas,” a new and tactile way of experimenting with museum objects: By manipulating 3D printed miniatures, visitors or customers can interact on screen with the digitized artwork.
Anuvad is a research studio founded by Chhail Khalsa that aims to “humanize” e-textiles through traditional, ethically-founded craft techniques.
“Oblo” is a predictive heat device that collects weather data in order to anticipate heat demand.
“read on” is a smart, multifunctional iPhone case with thin, integrated unisex reading glasses.
The design agency Superdot demonstrates the power of data visualization with “Out of Balance,” an interactive data story that highlights the global societal problem of wage inequality.
The “Casino Bern Tabletop Bistrobar” by design studio crisp-id combines versatility and sophisticated materials with local and fair production.
“Dagsmejan” is a new kind of sleepwear, with innovative fibers and functional designs that cater to our physiological sleep requirements.