About the year 1999

About the year 1999


The Swiss Fed­eral Of­fice of Cul­ture is re­spon­si­ble for pro­mot­ing and sup­port­ing de­sign work in Switzer­land in the long term at the na­tional level, with ad­vice from the Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Commission.​Since the new fund­ing model was in­tro­duced five years ago, the Swiss Fed­eral Of­fice of Cul­ture pro­motes de­sign mainly through the Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion, which is open to de­sign­ers up to the age of forty.

The com­pe­ti­tion makes awards to ob­jects that exist only as po­ten­tially suc­cess­ful pro­to­types or are al­ready in se­r­ial pro­duc­tion, and also to purely ex­per­i­men­tal work used by de­sign­ers to providean in­sight into fun­da­men­tal re­search that may well point the way for­ward. A glance at the sta­tis­tics for re­cent years shows that de­sign­ers from fields that have for­merly tended to be un­der­rep­re­sented are in­creas­ingly en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion. So this year's win­ners in­clude many jew­ellery de­sign­ers and a strik­ingly large num­ber of in­dus­trial de­sign­ers, as well as pro­fes­sional groups like pho­tog­ra­phers, graphic de­sign­ers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the fash­ion in­dus­try. Re­or­ga­niz­ing the com­pe­ti­tion made it pos­si­ble for the Swiss Fed­eral Of­fice of Cul­ture to put fund­ing in place that works more ac­tively. The Swiss Fed­eral Of­fice of Cul­ture sees it­self as a key player in an ver­sa­tile, con­stantly grow­ing de­sign net­work based on nu­mer­ous con­tacts with es­tab­lished fig­ures who are ac­tive as the­o­rists, prac­ti­tion­ers and me­di­a­tors. In the last few years this net­work avail­able to the de­sign­ers who win awards in the com­pe­ti­tion has clearly be­come more re­silient and vig­or­ous: they can opt to forgo a money prize or pe­riod in a stu­dio in favour of an in­tern­ship with a dis­tin­guished de­sign com­pany at home or abroad. In this way the prize is in­di­vid­u­ally matched to a ca­reer and aids in­te­gra­tion into the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional de­sign scene.

The Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Com­mis­sion ex­am­ines up to 250 dossiers in a first round for the com­pe­ti­tion, and about 50 high-qual­ity pieces of work and pro­jects in the sec­ond round. Ex­tra­or­di­nary mas­tery of de­sign, in­no­v­a­tive el­e­ments, a con­vinc­ing con­cept and pro­duc­tion tech­nique are only some of the cri­te­ria ap­plied in the as­sess­ment process. About a fifth of the en­trants are fi­nally awarded the prize, and thus are given an op­por­tu­nity to move on from being 'the young tal­ent of today' to­wards being a 'top de­signer of to­mor­row'.


Peter Fierz
Architekt BSA/SIA, Basel

Lorette Coen
directrice de projets culturels, Lausanne

Alberto Flammer
fotografo, Verscio TI

Ruth Grüninger
Modedesignerin, Zürich

Pierre Keller
artiste et Directeur de l'Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne, Grandvaux VD

Patrizia Crivelli, Kunsthistorikerin,
Leiterin Dienst Gestaltung, Bundesamt für Kultur, Bern

Werner Hutterli, Bühnenbildner, Bern
Dieter Thiel, Industriedesigner, Basel
Ralf Michel, Designer und Redaktor, Zürich
Tobia Bezzola, Kunstwissenschaftler, Zürich
Ralph Schraivogel, Grafiker, Zürich
Setsuko Nagasawa, céramiste, Genève
Carole Guinard, créatrice de bijoux, Lausanne
Martin Leuthold, Textildesigner, Winden SG