About the year 2018

About the year 2018


In 1917, funding for design became a federal task; the competition for grants - today's awards - was introduced a year later. At that time, the Federal Councilors decided that the promotion of Swiss design would make an important contribution to national identity and to stimulating the economy. Then as now, it was about a view of one’s own country and its effects beyond. Good design is an export and a cultural asset.

What makes good design must be negotiated time and again. In 2018, the Federal Design Commission is pleased to present 17 winners and 33 nominees of the Swiss Design Awards in Basel. All participants present their work to a broad public to debate. The performance level this year is again great. The works will withstand international comparison. They have to: because design knows no national borders. Anyone designing at a high level today has long since left the zone of comfort.

The participants show solid craftsmanship as well as fresh, new perspectives. Some formulate visions. Others amaze with classic themes. Young positions stand alongside the achievements of a middle generation. Some disturb our viewing habits, breaking with old preferences. Research is also done: On new digital production techniques as well as on sausage - a food that couldn’t be more Swiss. Before us lies the mirror of Switzerland’s cultural breeding ground.

Good design is first and foremost a contribution to culture. It is also always a contribution to the economy. Particularly when questions concerning the future are negotiated. These can trigger innovation and processes of renewal. Economic foresight is just as exportable as cultural identity. Both fall back on the country from which it comes.

Jörg Boner
Chair federal design commission


Jörg Boner
Produktdesigner, Zürich

Laurent Benner
Visueller Gestalter, London

Claudia Caviezel
Textildesign und Entwicklung bei Akris, St. Gallen

Dr. Davide Fornari
Associate professor Research and development
ECAL, Renens

Tatyana Franck
Musée d’Elysée, Lausanne

Christoph Hefti
Textildesigner, Brüssel

Aude Lehmann
Graphiste, Zurich

Catherine Ince
Senior Curator, Design, Architecture and Digital Department
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Radovan Scasascia
Web designer and musician, London

Meret Ernst
Designhistorikerin, Zürich