About the year 2009

About the year 2009


The jury, chaired by Patrick Rey­mond, awarded 17 prizes in all out of a total of 239 par­tic­i­pat­ing de­sign­ers in the two-stage Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion 2009. This year, the com­pe­ti­tion went on­line for the first time. After al­most a cen­tury of hard-copy port­fo­lio sub­mis­sions, the ap­pli­ca­tion process has now been brought into line with the lat­est tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, mak­ing the most of the re­sources avail­able and sub­stan­tially sim­pli­fy­ing the lo­gis­tics. The changeover has proved a suc­cess, at­tract­ing a higher than av­er­age num­ber of sub­mis­sions. Par­tic­i­pants were in­vited to up­load their port­fo­lios onto the Swiss Arts Coun­cil com­pe­ti­tion site. One of the main ad­van­tages of this new process has been that it has given the jury mem­bers the op­por­tu­nity of study­ing the sub­mis­sions in depth at their own com­put­ers. Meet­ing in per­son to dis­cuss and de­bate the mer­its of the in­di­vid­ual works, how­ever, still re­mains the most im­por­tant part of the jury's de­ci­sion-mak­ing process. In the sec­ond round, as ever, the jury bases its de­ci­sions on an ap­praisal of the orig­i­nals.
The judg­ing cri­te­ria are broad: func­tion­al­ity, use­ful­ness/use value, aes­thet­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­duc­tion tech­niques, ap­pro­pri­ate choice of ma­te­ri­als (colour/ma­te­r­ial/fin­ish), ecol­ogy/en­ergy rat­ing, price, ra­tio­nal and emo­tional ap­peal, fu­ture/trend. The rel­a­tive im­por­tance at­tached to any one of these cri­te­ria is at the dis­cre­tion of the jury. Now it is the turn of the read­ers of this cat­a­logue and vis­i­tors to the ex­hi­bi­tion to make up their own minds about the award-win­ning works.
The win­ners can choose be­tween a mon­e­tary grant of 25,000 Swiss francs, a six-month stu­dio res­i­dence in Lon­don or New York or a six-month in­tern­ship abroad. This year, in­tern­ships are being of­fered in Lon­don not only with such renowned de­sign com­pa­nies as Graphic Thought Fa­cil­ity (graphic de­sign), Abäke (graphic de­sign) and Peter Jensen (fash­ion de­sign), but also with in­no­v­a­tive fig­ures in the world of art and de­sign, in­clud­ing Mar­tino Gam­per (fur­ni­ture and prod­uct de­sign/art) and Julia Lohmann with Gero Grund­mann (fur­ni­ture and prod­uct de­sign/art). For the past seven years, the win­ners have been given the op­tion of choos­ing the prize that is best suited to their aims, and have made ex­cel­lent use of the op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered. Well over half of this year's win­ners have cho­sen a stu­dio res­i­dence or an in­tern­ship.
This year's cat­a­logue is de­signed for the third and last time by Bon­bon (Diego Bon­tog­nali and Va­le­ria Bonin) of Zurich; it is also the last of the 'Lex­i­con and En­cy­clo­pe­dia' themed edi­tions in the se­ries of Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Grant cat­a­logues. Over the past three years, this theme has been trans­lated into graphic de­sign with de­voted at­ten­tion to de­tail, his­toric flair, open-minded cu­rios­ity and metic­u­lous re­search.
In this edi­tion, the in­for­ma­tion and il­lus­tra­tions per­tain­ing to each of the in­di­vid­ual win­ners or win­ning groups has been bun­dled into sep­a­rate four- to six-page sec­tions, pro­vid­ing read­ers with a con­cen­trated and in-depth treat­ment of the award-win­ning works and the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing them. An im­por­tant as­pect in this is the pho­to­graphic con­cept de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ro­main Rous­set and Ge­of­frey Cot­tenceau. The bound­ary be­tween au­teur pho­tog­ra­phy and the win­ners' own pho­tographs has been de­lib­er­ately blurred. The aim is to give in­sight into the highly idio­syn­cratic and sin­gu­lar world that in­forms the work of each win­ner - work that is gen­er­ated by ex­ter­nal cir­cum­stances and nur­tured by per­sonal vi­sion.
The cat­a­logue has been pub­lished to ac­com­pany the Swiss Fed­eral De­sign Grants 2009 ex­hi­bi­tion, which is being held this year in the mudac, Lau­sanne. The sceno­graphic de­sign, de­vel­oped by the renowned Alexis Geor­ga­copou­los, is based on that most fun­da­men­tal and orig­i­nary form of ex­hi­bi­tion: fram­ing. Using the min­i­mal de­vice of a sim­ple wooden frame, the award-win­ning ob­jects are pre­sented in richly var­ied mod­u­lar forms. This places the focus firmly on the award-win­ning ob­jects them­selves.


Patrick Reymond
architecte, designer,
Atelier Oï, La Neuveville

Lionel Bovier
éditeur JRP¦Ringier Kunstverlag, Zurich

Claudia Cattaneo
Co-Leiterin Gewerbemuseum Winterthur

Annemarie Hürlimann
Kunsthistorikerin und Ausstellungskuratorin,
Zürich und Berlin

Renate Menzi
Leiterin Designsammlung,
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich

Cornel Windlin
Grafiker und Typograf, Zürich

Erika Zelic
Textildesignerin, Zürich

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

Emily King, design historian, London
Maurice Scheltens, photographer, Amsterdam
Christoph Zellweger, Schmuckgestalter, Zürich