30 January 2014

Mapping Graphic Design History in Switzerland

Bern University of the Arts

27 February 2014



When the Swiss art and design universities were established this triggered a shift within graphic design. On the one hand more academic and scientific projects were developed, on the other hand there were still gaps in the structures of academic training, discussions and exchange. On 27 February a symposium will take place at the Bern University of the Arts whose aim is to promote discussions about the theoretical and methodical approaches in historical research within Swiss graphic design.


“Mapping Graphic Design History in Switzerland” will bring together and present a selection of projects from the German-, French- and Italian-speaking areas of Switzerland. In Graphic Design History, both the production, relaying and consumption of graphic design products and processes as well as the history of these areas will be examined. This is contrary to the present understanding of graphic design practice but also of the definition itself. Lecturers include Teal Triggs, Profession of Graphic Design and Associate Dean, School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London. As a historian of graphic design, critic and lecturer, she will present her view of the current status of graphic design history. In addition, she will discuss the potential of Swiss contributions to this area. A workshop at the end of the day will stimulate further collaborations and thereby the exchange of ideas and a possible cross-institutional project about the history of graphic design in Switzerland.


Publications and exhibitions that wrote graphic design history can be discovered with the help of an interactive timeline.





9:30 a.m. / Welcome and introduction

Arne Scheuermann (Head of Communication Design Research Area, Bern University of the Arts)

Peter J. Schneemann (Director of the Institute of Art History, University of Bern)

Robert Lzicar (Lecturer and Researcher, Bern University of the Arts; Doctoral Student, Graduate School of the Arts, Bern)


10:00 a.m. / Keynote speech

(Re)mapping Futures: Graphic Design History, Research and Education

Teal Triggs (Professor of Graphic Design and Associate Dean, School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London)


10:45 a.m. / break


11:15 a.m.

Wolfgang Weingart – Typography in Context: Tradition, Media Revolutions and Innovation in the Work of Wolfgang Weingart 1961–2004

Barbara Junod (Curator Graphics Collection, Museum of Design Zurich, ZHdK/ICS)


11:45 a.m.

“Typography can be art in certain circumstances” Graphic design in the context of the Swiss Werkbund

Bernd Nicolai (Professor, Department of Architectural History and Preservation of Historical Monuments, Institute of Art History, University of Bern)


12:45 p.m.

Type Design Education in Switzerland 1920–2010: Landmark Programmes and Projects

François Rappo (Lecturer and Researcher, ECAL Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne)


12:45 p.m. / lunch


13:55 p.m. / Remark

Looking Back to the Future: Why Graphic Designers Should Know “their” History

Agnès Laube (Head of MA Communication Design, Bern University of the Arts)

Franka Grosse (Lecturer, MA Communication Design, Bern University of the Arts)


2:15 p.m.

Designing the Past: Canonization in Swiss Graphic Design History

Amanda Unger (Researcher, Key area of research communication design, Bern University of the Arts)

Robert Lzicar (Lecturer and Researcher, Bern University of the Arts; Doctoral Student, Graduate School of the Arts, Bern)


2:45 p.m.

Swiss Style, Made in Italy: Graphic Design on the Border

Davide Fornari (Lecturer and Researcher, Laboratory of Visual Culture, SUPSI University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Lugano)


3:15 p.m.

Les 50 Dernières Années du Graphisme Suisse Romand (The last 50 years of Romany-Swiss graphics)

Constance Delamadeleine (Researcher, HEAD Haute école d’art et de design, Geneva)


3:45 p.m. / break


4:15 p.m.

Suisse Miniature: The Design of Swissness in Travel Souvenirs

Franziska Nyffenegger (Cultural Anthropologist, Project Manager and Researcher, Lucerne School of Art and Design)


4:45 p.m.

Analyzing the Historical Context: The Basel School of Design as a Case Study

Invar Hollaus (Lecturer, Academy of Art and Design Basel)


5:15 p.m. / break


5:30 p.m. / workshop

Where do we go from here? Sharing ideas for an inter-institutional research project

(for invited speakers and experts only)


Nº 283
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