Stéphanie Baechler, Geneva
with Meroz Ressorts S.A., Chêne-Bourg

With ‘Complications’ – a term used in horology that refers to any function and feature in a timepiece beyond the simple display of hours and minutes – Stéphanie Baechler imagines a future where ‘tension’ – a functionality of the mechanical springs used in watchmaking – is liberated from its confines. Enlarged versions of these custom-made micro precision springs, scaled up by a factor of 10,000, each hold a fragile ceramic connector highlighting the precarious balance between resilience, fragility and desirability.

Brass, porcelain

Stéphanie Baechler lives and works in Geneva. She has a Bachelor degree in textile design from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) in Lucerne and a Fashion Master’s degree from Artez in the Netherlands. She has worked for Swiss textile company Jakob Schlaepfer in St. Gallen and as a design assistant and fabric developer for fashion designers including Hussein Chalayan in London. In 2014 she won a ceramic residency in Switzerland and at the European Ceramic Workcentre (EKWC) in the Netherlands, where she explored the topic of fashion by transforming ephemeral movement into static and frozen material expressions.

Meroz Ressorts has deep roots in the production of springs for the watches. Through constant evolvement, Meroz Ressort S.A. has become a significant industry partner for high precision instruments, including medical, electrical and electronic high-performance equipment.

Dimitri Baehler
in collaboration with ‘Mouvement’, Mathieu Rivier, Biel with NTPT North Thin Ply Technology, Renens & support from Simpex Electronic AG, Wetzikon

Contemplating a future where everyday objects will be participative, partly designed and partly assembled, Hyper Modular explores an idea of utopia that moves between dematerialisation, intuition and a symbiosis between technology and nature. The minimal use of materials, combined with the light’s flexible qualities, goes beyond known codes of modularity, envisioning future behaviours of objects we interact with daily. The almost invisible design of the light becomes an intuitive tool with which to design.

Carbon , LED, programmed mechanics

Following his studies at ECAL with an exchange semester at Design Academy Eindhoven, Dimitri Baehler founded his studio in Biel, Switzerland in 2014. He has been a finalist at the Design Parade in Hyeres (2013), twice nominee for the Swiss Design Award (2014 and 2015) and recently awareded with the Grand Prize Interieur Biennale, 2016. Dimitri has also participated in a multitude of residencies notably at EKWC, the European Center for Ceramics (Holland), Hors Pistes Ouaga (Burkina Faso), Ishinomaki Laboratory (Japan). Today, Dimitri Baehler collaborates with national and international labels such as HAY, Wallpaper, Dadadum and international design galleries. His work is often considered spontaneous, radical and poetic. From industrial design to the self-made, unique works and installations, his particular sensibility reflects the creative context in relation to development and use of objects.

North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), headquartered in Renens, Switzerland, produces a range of weight saving prepreg materials, including very light UD prepregs, conventional prepregs, multiaxial preforms and machinable carbon fibre blocks. The company also produces highly uniform composite tubes and automated tape laying (ATL) machines. NTPT’s products are used in numerous high-performance composite applications in the marine, motorsports, industrial, aerospace, sports and luxury goods sectors.

Simpex Electronic AG is a major player on the Swiss market for components, custom solutions and systems for industrial electronics, production technology and lighting technology.

Joerg Boner, Zurich
with Bcomp Ltd, Fribourg

Joerg Boner investigates the duality arising between increasingly powerful, yet also more formless, technological advances. ‘It’s time to leave the capsule, if you dare’ takes into account a broad range of issues, including a future where the concept of waste is outmoded. The light combines flax and natural resin with LED technology. An ancient renewable material becomes a carrier for a recently developed light technology.

LED, molded flax fabric, 300 gsm

Joerg Boner initially trained as a cabinet maker and later studied design at the "Schule für Gestaltung" in Basel. Since opening his own studio in 2001, his work has won numerous awards. Joerg Boner was awarded the Swiss Grand Prix Design (2011). As designer, author and teacher at ECAL in Lausanne (2003-2014), Joerg Boner’s distinctive approach in combining technical knowledge with aesthetic and functional means has made him a point of reference within Swiss design. His work is produced by Louis Poulsen (Denmark), Nestlé (Switzerland), Wogg (Switzerland), Fontana Arte (Italy), ClassiCon (Germany) and Nils Holger Moormann (Germany) amongst many others. Many of his works are part of museum collections such as the Design Museum Zurich and the V&A in London.

Bcomp is a leading natural fibre composite innovator based in Fribourg, Switzerland. Since its founding in 2011, Bcomp has been focusing on developing natural fibers reinforcements for composites. One of their main targets is demonstrating that sustainable flax composites offer a credible and in some cases superior alternative to synthetic fiber composites.

Kueng Caputo, Sarah Kueng & Lovis Caputo, Zurich with DeCavis, Duebendorf

Kueng Caputo’s ponder with the possibility to stretch building materials with air – a proposition that oscillates between utopian speculation and reality. Based on the notion that hydraulic bound plaster only uses 7% of source material without affecting its basic properties whilst considerably reducing its weight, Kueng Caputo have created a series of modular elements that can be added to existing architecture. These lightweight elements interact visually with spaces and improve acoustics by absorbing sound through a foamed structure.

“Air is everywhere. What if we could stretch materials with air? Utopia or reality?”

Meteorite - cast hydraulic bound gypsum, pigments
Architectural elements - cast hydraulic bound gypsum

Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo have worked in partnership since they were both students of design at Zurich University of the Arts from 2004 to 2008. They have produced limited edition objects for Salon 94 in New York, Etage Projects Copenhagen and Helmrinderknecht in Zurich, and have developed exhibition designs and installations in Switzerland and abroad. The designer duo teach regularly while practicing design with an experimental approach that is driven by a meticulous observation of the material world and attention to social attitudes.

de Cavis is specialized in the development and manufacturing of porous ceramic and cementitious materials for thermal and sound insulation, fire protection applications and biomedical devices. Especially at porosities of 50 – 95 vol% de Cavis’ patented technology results in products with a unique combination of good mechanical and insulating properties. de Cavis serves customers of all industries - worldwide and passionately.

PlueerSmitt, Dominic Plueer & Olivier Smitt
with Nova Werke AG, Effretikon

PlueerSmitt approach the notion of utopia by exploring the appearance of surfaces as primary interface to assign an object’s purpose. Bench No.2 consists of a steel skeleton, which has been coated with zirconium oxide, a technical ceramic used for both industrial surface-enhancing ‘nano’ coatings and organic tissue replacement for teeth or bones. By way of displacement, the material’s primary function is exposed and turned into an interface to probe our perception of appearance and function.

Steel, zirconium oxide applied through thermal spraying

Dominic Plueer, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands (2009), and Olivier Smitt, who graduated with a BA in Art and Design from the FHNW in Basel (2008), both worked with renowned design studios before joining forces and pursuing their interest in challenging preconceived notions and rituals around the perception of conventional objects. Their approach focuses on incorporating the user’s imagination and encouraging research into a new level of use and purpose, becoming recognizable as neutral objects of utility.

NOVA WERKE AG develops and manufactures products under the brand name NOVA SWISS in four business divisions: Surface Technology, High Pressure Technology, Engine Components and Valve Service.
Their comprehensive service range and innovative high-tech components and processes are designed for demanding applications in highly specialised industrial contexts such as power generation, transportation, aviation and machine industry.

Adrien Rovero, Lausanne
with Schott Suisse SA, Yverdon

Adrien Rovero considers utopia a question of perspective. His approach builds on our ability to discover the magnitude of stimuli hidden within our immediate surroundings. The conceptual arrangements combine glass and lava stone – two seemingly different manifestations of minerals whose states have been transformed by heat. By means of reflection, enlargement and illumination, the artefacts are turned into a series of metaphorical tools to uncover what is present, but perhaps invisible.

Duran glass, aspherical lenses, polished and coated glass

Adrien Rovero holds a Master’s in Industrial Design from ECAL/University of Art and Design in Lausanne. Active in the realms of furniture, lighting and exhibition design, he opened his studio in Renens in 2006. He has designed numerous objects for high-end brands as well as exhibiting in renowned design galleries. He has also designed exhibitions for institutions including the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Grand-Hornu Images (Belgium), the Manufacture de Sevres (France), the mudac in Lausanne and the Villa Noailles (France). Adrien Rovero’s work plays with a vocabulary of assemblage and repurposing of materials,references and meanings.

SCHOTT Suisse processes materials such as optical glass, filter glass, technical glass, quartz, sapphire, ceramics, etc. and offer customized precision optical components in the dimensional range from mm3 to m3, as well as optical assemblies and a wide range of coatings, intended for applications in optics, metrology, sensors, lasers, medical engineering, instrumentation, aviation, the electronics industry, the watch industry, the communications sector, etc.

Sibylle Stoeckli
with Saurer Embroidery AG, Arbon

Sibylle Stoeckli acknowledges the proposition that human creativity is one of our most precious attributes. She envisions a utopia that brings about a new dynamic in the relationship between the hand and the machine-made. The industrially embroidered buttonhole pattern stands for the endless possibilities which its “neutrality” suggests and also a place where opposites can meet. The fabric becomes a tool for individual appropriation aimed at stimulating our ability to imagine and create.

100% European linen, 100% cotton thread
Details: Embroidered buttonhole pattern, buttonhole size ø 18 mm, fabric width 155 cm

Born in Lausanne, Sibylle Stoeckli began studying visual arts at ECAL in Lausanne in 1999. Guided by her eclectic approaches and the diversity of her interests, she transitioned to the Industrial and Product Design Programme where she graduated in 2004. In 2005 she received the Swiss Federal Design Award. Sibylle Stoeckli navigates between her textile label Louise Blanche and her studio where she develops scenography, product and furniture design. In 2013, she embarked on her ‘Global Design Research’ project with the intention of investigating wider cultural perspectives shaping design and craftsmanship.

Saurer Embroidery is global market leader for embroidery production systems. The brand combines textile manufacturing tradition with state-of-the-art technology in a symbiosis of knowledge, skills, quality and reliability. Based on more than 125 years of expertise, Saurer Embroidery is the leading manufacturer of sophisticated embroidery systems and design software. The company provides innovative solutions to the embroidery industry, from the sketch to the finished embroidery product.