Projects

    Jan Steinbach wants to augment the visibility of artists’ publications, and create a source and tool for exploring and engaging with the field. The online platform edcat.net is the first open catalogue for art editions and publications. Its mission is to collect and preserve information, provide a research tool, empower self- publishing, expand the audience and provide a marketplace.

    Fashion is visual – and the pressure of mass production and low prices has cheaper materials and therefore unpleasant haptics as a consequence. The textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world – right after the oil industry. Inspired by the sense of touch, FEEL A FIL develops a sustainable knitwear collection shifting haptics into the spotlight. A fixed coding of colours and materials makes it possible for visually impaired individuals to deduce the look of the clothes. Every colour a material. Every material a technique. Every combination a different tactile experience. Creating surface structures and relief-like patterns that can be clearly distinguished from one another. The clothing items will cater to the sense of touch, but also stimulate us visually. Sighted people will be intrigued to discover the piece with their hands, combining the world of touch and sight in a unique way. FEEL A FIL is inclusive. Visually a design can be copied quite easily, but the haptics are much harder to imitate. A positive haptic experience leads to a stronger emotional connection to a product. This bond in combination with fair production is a new approach to sustainable fashion. Linking the person emotionally to the piece of clothing makes it last longer. Limiting the number of pieces in the collection stimulates exclusivity and indirectly increases its value. FEEL A FIL offers a new kind of return system. On average in Switzerland, people throw away six kilograms of clothing annually – two thirds of it would still be usable. Through taking back clothing items, FEEL A FIL reduces the amount of newly produced items needed and the strain it has on our environment as well as recirculating pieces that weren’t available anymore. Non-sellable items will also be taken back and recycled. This system completely closes the life cycle of a product.

    FEEL A FIL is the world of textile designer Selina Peyer. Her BA project at the Lucerne School of Art and Design with the title “begreifbar” – “graspable” earned her nominations for the Zeugindesign foundation award in 2015 as well as the DESIGN PREIS SCHWEIZ in 2017. After her bachelor’s degree, she ventured out to Belgium to work for fashion designer Christian Wijnants and returned as Junior Textile Designer for Zurich based accessory label Fabric Frontline. FEEL A FIL – a play on words and a textile metaphor, that sums up what the label stands for.

    Kairos Studio GmbH is a creative bureau based in Zurich. Working across disciplines such as film, design, art direction and creative strategy, our outputs range from films, motion and digital design, online platforms and technological solutions for modern communications. The studio develops local and international relationships with clients in the commercial, cultural and public sector, collaborating with companies, individuals, organisations and institutions. We further run a series of in-house research projects and platforms to engage with different disciplines and the wider discourse on contemporary visual culture.

    La Suisse Primitive is an independent association, active in a wide array of cultural areas. For several years, a strong cornerstone of LSP’s activities was the production of vinyl records. The root of this focus is a desire to do things, to organize concerts, discover interesting places and discompose the audience. In the world of music, graphics, photography and other visual elements are decisive in selling CDs, LPs and concert tickets. In many cases, these visual elements are primarily used in order to maximize attention and increase revenues. Accordingly, record covers are often designed based on stereotypes, as well as sexual and hyper-visualized representations that prevail in the realm of the music business.

    LSP, by contrast, is an experiment that is headed towards different directions. It emerged out of the joy of doing things as well as a love of music. Its main goal is to appropriately bring the kind of music to light that is often times overlooked, as well as to exhaust the limits of the vinyl record as a physical object. LSP is co-run by Ronny Hunger (1985) and Niklaus Reichle (1986).

    Transnational Series

    Going transnational implies the crossing of borders. Nowadays, we do this all the time: on the Internet digitally, and in person by flying all over the world. Crossing is a requirement for comparison and learning. We like it when people cross borders – preferring to frame the act of crossing as a bringing together instead of focusing on the divisions it might imply. Transnational series (TS) is a project juxtaposing Swiss artists with others from all over the world in the format of a vinyl LP. It invites the listener to do some “transnational travelling” of their own. The underlying idea is to place the work of an artist in a completely new context.

    We understand the TS as a departure from classic vinyl releases – particularly since the focus of our product does not solely lie on its musicality but on other characteristics, such as its visual, textual and haptic dimensions. Conceptualized as a multidimensional magazine, the TS aims at pushing the limits of the archetypical vinyl record. Its eight records (two of them already released) are carefully designed in a way that guides the customer intuitively in its use, but at the same time leaves crucial aspects open and undecided. The core of the TS record is its conceptual idea of bringing together two different aspects in one product. The vinyl record is particularly suitable for this as it has two sides that may each only be accessed separately: when one listens to one side, the other side remains hidden. This barrier that remains a physically unsurmountable obstacle nevertheless makes it tempting to at least question it from a cognitive point of view: can the listener overcome the obstacle?

    NCCFN is born out of solidarity and diversity. The group produces across disciplines and the overproduction of the fashion industry generates its raw material – fashion/industry/art/politics – a broad audience meets common relevance.

    NCCFN is the result of many years of shared work that concretized during Nina Jaun’s bachelor thesis through her official naming and conceptualization. The individual bachelor thesis becomes a group work: NCCFN expands into a network of fashion, art, culture and media professionals. NCCFN currently operates mainly in Berne, but is connected globally. “Our environment is global: we are refugees, we are Swiss, second-generation immigrants, craftsmen, designers, artists, academics and proletarians” explains Promise. Hope adds: “Because we are so different, we all bring our unique experiences into this group. We see the world as it is and say: This is simply not us. Our reality looks different. We do not let ourselves be separated – we counter the oppression with mutual energy – and this cannot be controlled. We are more valuable than the materials we possess. People should be able to move freely in this world, like the products of the fast fashion-industry, they can move freely.”

    As different as the people who form NCCFN are, they mutually agree: “We create – we produce – we consume. We are the industry,” says Destiny. With the use of overproduction from the fashion industry, the group wants to define a new approach. By using remnants from retailers and wholesalers, they position themselves in a controversial situation: “We make our work dependent in order to be independent. Contestable to be able to criticize at all,” Destiny continues. “It’s not about portraying a holistic solution for the fashion system. It’s about defining new norms, here and now, with our work, for ourselves, and constantly developing them further. The approach that emerges is, however, transferable and can also be applied to the fashion industry. It’s about the artistic statement itself, which comes from our work methodology and the actual products we make,” says Hope.

    The models are the protagonists of this movement, and as individuals they are an inspiration for the design process; the first draft of each respective look is created on them. And they transform the looks at the presentations into their own work field.

    These individuals communicate NCCFN’s matters. Through a series of performances, video production, various installations and digital campaigns, a broad audience can be found: interested parties from the fashion industry, politics, and art meet on common ground.

    I moved to Basel three years ago not knowing what my future would hold, but one thing I was certain of was to introduce myself to the community here. Each season, I had occasions where I invited people to see my work; from exhibitions, to films to fashion shows. I love meeting new people, learning about different cultures and being a part of my surroundings. I would like to raise the awareness of fashion activity in Basel and my plan for next year is to expand it into Art Basel where I can intertwine my love of fashion, performance and art together. The concept of “Fashion Meets Art and Performance” is to create an interdisciplinary platform or a series of events that enables local and regional artists and designers from different disciplines to work together in Basel’s very own creative scene. By Jaqueline Loekito

    PLANISPHERE is a music and event agency that handles artist and event management as well as publishing and licensing for national and international clients. Over the past five years PLANISPHERE has secured a leading position within the electronic music industry in Switzerland, representing some of the most forward-thinking artists in the country. Being at the forefront of an extremely fast- changing industry, PLANISPHERE has obtained a highly sophisticated skill set for content marketing strategies and social media concepts.

    Today we’re surrounded by garbage. The fact is that around 50% of the waste we produce can be traced back to the food industries. We’ve become the convenience generation. Everything has to be easily accessible and instant. We order in more, eat out more, produce more waste. As Europe starts to fight against plastic and disposable packaging, new alternatives for one-use utensils and wrappers need to be developed that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

    The industry, however, keeps failing to take sufficient steps forward. I would like to fill this gap. I would like to create 100% compostable and sustainable packaging made from organic paper with embedded seeds. The idea is to start with the consumer. I would like to integrate this product in their ecosystem. When you place a food order, you’ll have the opportunity to choose your packaging and seed type. Instead of throwing the packaging away you would plant it in a pot and start growing your own vegetables, fruits or flowers: from consumer to urban gardener.  Empowering the convenience generation to do more for the environment without interfering to much in their habits.

    ‘REALnTANGIBLE’ combines the fields of speculative design, scenario planning techniques and crafts to transmit with analogue tools a more tangible picture of our future. Thanks to physical artefacts, ‘RnT’ focus on the human sensorium to foster an effective and mind-changing innovation, aside from the all-digital. ‘RnT’ offers to construct speculative scenarios based on existing research, further translated into objects to help anticipate upcoming changes in our society.

    During the last year, I have been intensively investigating the way speculative design or design fiction can foster a genuine way to grasp social, ethical or political challenges by offering a unique and real way to be confronted with these ideas thanks to physical artefacts – objects, infographics, videos, photographs, collage, etc. Parallel to this, I have been questioning how, as a designer that cherishes the analogue world, and even more specifically the human sensorium such as touch and smell, can I efficiently bring innovation into the design discipline and among others disciplines as well. Should my role in ‘future- making’ be minimal because I choose to put a purely digital practice aside? And what if, rightly, with these physical artefacts, I could transmit a direct and engaging way to shift mentalities, to dig a path to open a transdisciplinary thinking from the design spectrum towards society and the economic sphere to provide a new understanding of innovation? With REALnTANGIBLE, I can bring together the two sides of my education: design crafts and trends research, with the possibilities of speculative design that I find so powerful, to develop a critical position as a designer in our society, and in this way, help provide innovation that speaks to the senses.

    uniforma is a range of caps containing copper nets that block more than half the surrounding electromagnetic waves such as Wi-Fi or cell phone signals. It protects the organ covered — mainly our brains! uniforma is an essential accessory to urban life; it allows us to evolve healthily in environments saturated in ambient smog (public transport, public places and places of work). uniforma allows us to actively protect ourselves against electro smog while having style!

    A research project on existing and new utilisation concepts of lake and river areas. Based on my Bachelor studies, the search continues for a future of mobility and leisure on water. As a trained boatbuilder, it is crucial for me to learn more about the why than the how that this future will change. By Tobias Jenny.

    With the label Project Yahyah we do not only want to design aesthetically and financially viable objects but rather use design to contribute solutions to existing problems. Project Yahyah combines professional design with locally crafted products that embody a social commitment. Our goal is to add value for all those involved. Let us introduce Project Yahyah’s first edition to you fine human beings: «Chair with a Table». The interior design collection fits in every room by choosing the wood, the leather for the seat and the textile for the backrest allowing for variety in composition and different combinations. We at project Yahyah prefer redesigning to repurchasing — every seat and backrest can be reupholstered. The chair can be pushed under the table or placed upside down on the table top in order to save space. The inviting formal language of «Chair with a Table» allows for a comfortable atmosphere.
    «Chair with a Table» enables the purchase of socially responsible high-quality furniture design. It provides Swiss manufacturers to produce locally in an affordable and competitive way, while giving refugees the chance to engage in the Swiss job market. We produce regionally in and around Basel in collaboration with a carpenter’s workshop, a leather manufacturer and a sewing studio. The fabrication means the workshops can employ refugees, despite language barriers and non-existent know-how — ultimately with the goal to empower the refugees in reaching partial financial independence.
    We believe that Project Yahyah has great potential to fulfil something vital in our society today: Product Design with a Social Commitment.
    We wish you a life full of socially-minded people. Shine on.

    PS. Call it «dancing chair» or «museum’s collection»: We produced the chair in an asymmetric version. The formal asymmetry creates an interesting harmony and underlines our belief that we see a benefit in collaborating with people from different cultures.