The research project “The Cultural Turn in Swiss Graphic Design from the 1980s to 2020” is funded by the SNSF Swiss National Science Foundation (Div. 1) and led jointly by Prof. Dr Davide Fornari (ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, HES-SO) and Prof. Robert Lzicar (Bern Academy of the Arts HKB).
International research exchange day
Date and Place
Friday 1 December 2023, 9:00–18:00
Grosse Aula, Bern Academy of the Arts HKB, Fellerstrasse 11, 3027 Bern, Switzerland
Chiara Barbieri, Jonas Berthod, Davide Fornari, Miriam Koban, Robert Lzicar
This international research exchange day examined the paradigm shift in graphic design, specifically the emergence of “cultural graphic design,” which has redefined the profession as a lifestyle and expanded its scope beyond pure service for the industrial sector. This exchange was part of the research project “The Cultural Turn in Swiss Graphic Design 1980–2020” led jointly by ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, HES-SO and Bern Academy of the Arts HKB, funded by the SNSF Swiss National Science Foundation. It aimed to foster collaborative research and critical discourse in the field of design research.
We invited researchers, designers, curators, experts, and students from diverse backgrounds to participate in the exchange. We seeked to explore a wide range of perspectives on graphic design for the cultural sector, not only in Switzerland but also internationally. After an introduction by the convenors, the day was divided into three panels, bringing together invited contributions and papers selected via an open call by Leah Armstrong, Yann Aucompte, Meret Ernst, Catherine Guiral de Trenqualye and Brice Domingues, Baptiste Husi, Silas Munro, Dimitri Reist, Žiga Testen, Alex J. Todd and Tan Wälchli. The contributors and participants engaged in a collaborative process, sharing their research findings, insights, and methodological approaches in form of lectures, discussions and visual material.
Chiara Barbieri, Jonas Berthod, Davide Fornari, Miriam Koban and Robert Lzicar, The Cultural Turn in Swiss Graphic Design 1980–2020
Leah Armstrong, Working in ‘Crisis-Mode’: Professionalism, Power and Precarity in Design
Silas Munro, A late Postmodern Turn in United States Graphic Design for the Cultural Sphere 1981-2023
Each keynote was followed by a discussion
13:00–13:30 Guided tour
Catherine Guiral de Trenqualye and Brice Domingues, Les mains libres — a Conversation Piece by officeabc
13:30–14:50 Panel 1: International Perspective on Design for Culture and Identity
Alex J. Todd, Cultural Politics and the Post-Colonial Perspective: Wild Plakken for the Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1977–1988
Yann Aucompte, Polity of French auteurs in Graphic Design: from Politics to Institutional Policies
Žiga Testen, Our Group Work: Design as Collective Practice at the Students’ Cultural Centre (SKC) in Belgrade, 1972–1991
Followed by a panel discussion
15:20–16:40 Panel 2: Design for Culture in Switzerland
Tan Wälchli, Posters for Cultural Institutions: Ruder and Hofmann
Meret Ernst, Carte Blanche. Whose Curating is it?
Baptiste Husi, The Collaboration Between Werner Jeker and Rosmarie Lippuner at the Musée des arts décoratifs (mudac) — Birth of the Public Image of Lausanne’s Cultural Institutions?
Followed by a panel discussion
17:00–17:30 Guided tour
Dimitri Reist, The Music is the Making of the Music – An Ongoing Conversation about a Design Practice Grounded in Co-existence