About the year 2008

About the year 2008


210 de­sign­ers in total took part in the Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion 2008 and 19 prizes were awarded in a two-stage jury process. In the first round the pro­jects were as­sessed on the basis of the dossiers, and in the sec­ond round the orig­i­nal work was pre­sented. The Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Com­mis­sion - ex­cept for the chair­man­ship of Lorette Coen - was newly con­sti­tuted for 2008 and in­creased from 5 to 7 mem­bers. To­gether with in­ter­na­tional ex­perts they form the com­pe­ti­tion's jury. The jury's cri­te­ria are many and var­ied: func­tion­al­ity, us­abil­ity/prac­ti­cal value, aes­thet­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­duc­tion tech­nique, ap­pro­pri­ate­ness to the ma­te­r­ial (colour/ma­te­r­ial/sur­face), ecol­ogy/en­ergy bal­ance, price, ra­tio­nal and emo­tional mes­sage as well as fu­ture per­spec­tives/trend.
The win­ners have a choice be­tween a prize money of CHF 20,000, a six-month stay in a stu­dio in Lon­don or New York, or a six-month in­tern­ship abroad. This year in­tern­ships in Lon­don were avail­able with in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned de­sign com­pa­nies such as Matthew Hilton (fur­ni­ture and prod­uct de­sign), Fredrik­son Stal­lard (prod­uct de­sign), Value and Ser­vice (graphic de­sign), BC, MH (graphic de­sign). For six years now the win­ners have been able to choose from these op­por­tu­ni­ties and they take ac­tive ad­van­tage of them. Ap­prox­i­mately half the win­ners chose a stay in a stu­dio or an in­tern­ship; the other half the prize money. It is a par­tic­u­lar joy that our pro­mo­tion con­cept seems to bear fruit, par­tic­u­larly when a win­ner's in­tern­ship with a com­pany leads to fu­ture em­ploy­ment.
The cat­a­logue is meant to be an en­cy­clopae­dia on var­i­ous themes cen­tring around the awarded works and the ho­n­oured in­di­vid­u­als. The win­ners were asked to fill in a com­pre­hen­sive ques­tion­naire with dif­fer­ent kinds of ques­tions. The an­swers served as a repos­i­tory for a fic­ti­tious en­cy­clopae­dia on the young Swiss de­sign world. In an in­tense re­search process in terms of both con­tent and de­sign, and also with di­gres­sions into par­al­lel worlds that can in­flu­ence and shape de­sign just as much, the au­thors and graphic de­sign­ers to­gether with the pho­tog­ra­phers pre­sent a rich col­lec­tion of ma­te­r­ial. A com­plex sys­tem of cross ref­er­ences en­cour­ages read­ers to read cre­atively, fol­low­ing the trail as laid, or to go their own way, just as they wish.
The pub­li­ca­tion ac­com­pa­nies the ‘Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Grants 2008' ex­hi­bi­tion, which will take place this year at the Mu­seum Bel­lerive in Zurich. Alain Rap­pa­port is re­spon­si­ble for the scenog­ra­phy. In anal­ogy to the pub­li­ca­tion he has de­cided on a sci­en­tific ap­proach to the de­sign ob­jects vi­su­al­ized in the shape of a ram­i­fied sys­tem of paths. The works are pre­sented on pedestals that shape the room so the vis­i­tors can fol­low only a pre­de­ter­mined path.


Lorette Coen
commissaire indépendante, Lausanne 

Claudia Cattaneo
Co-Leiterin Gewerbemuseum Winterthur

Hans-Ulrich Hermann

Annemarie Hürlimann
Kunsthistorikerin und Ausstellungskuratorin, Zürich und Berlin

Patrick Reymond
architecte, designer, Atelier Oï, La Neuveville

Cornel Windlin
Grafiker und Typograf, Zürich

Erika Zelic, Textildesignerin, Zürich 

Lisbeth Den Besten
art historian and jewellery expert, Amsterdam

Christian Muhr
Ausstellungsmacher und Partner von 'Liquid frontiers', Wien

Libby Sellers
design curator, London