Inventing a successful ecological and social transition induced by climate change requires the efforts of all sectors of the economy. The specific task of higher education is to prepare students to meet the practical challenges posed by this upheaval, to tackle environmental and energy crises with the right analytical and decision-making tools, and to innovate to ensure a sustainable and attractive future. Educational responsibility in this area is therefore considerable.


Preparing the upcoming generation to go beyond models, to improve practices, and to raise professional standards has always been the ambition of teachers. However, putting students in a position to solve problems caused by the modes of production and consumption that have prevailed for several decades is a real challenge. It is a challenge that requires a rigorous reflexive look at training programmes as well as imaginative efforts to enhance and better adjust them to the demands of the present. At a deeper level, it requires the establishment of a culture of sustainability in higher education institutions.
The change has begun, albeit belatedly, but resolutely. The fields of visual arts and design have been entrusted with a new responsibility, and they are well placed to assume it fully. Their critical and creative capacities and their conceptual and pragmatic skills make them capable of creating experiences and products that respond to the needs and constraints of various environmental contexts. This is why these disciplines must be committed to preserving the inhabitability of the planet, by (re)inventing material cultures and narratives that respect the earth’s ecosystems.

Cours annuels

Projects and resources

Numerous projects carried out in universities of applied sciences contribute to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda:
https://www.eda.admin.ch/agenda2030/fr/home/agenda-2030/die-17-ziele-fuer-eine-nachhaltige-entwicklung.html

They can be found on this page:
https://www.hes-so.ch/la-hes-so/durabilite/projets

The HES-SO Sustainability Platform presents the various actions carried out by the Rectorate with the aim of effecting the transition to a sustainable society:
https://www.hes-so.ch/la-hes-so/durabilite

DIPLOMA PROJECTS

Luisa Kahlfeldt – SeaCell Diaper

PRODUCT DESIGN

Luisa Kahlfeldt – SeaCell Diaper

Diploma project with Camille Blin, Augustin Scott de Martinville

SeaCell is a fully biodegradable, absorbent and inherently antibacterial fibre made from eucalyptus wood and algae extract. Currently only available in fabric form blended with other fibres, its applications are limited to sportswear. In collaboration with a renowned fibre research institute, I developed the first functional 100% SeaCell fabric and created a range of reusable cloth diapers for babies. An end-use application that greatly benefits from more sustainable alternatives, the mono-materiality diaper fully utilises the material’s inherent skin protection and hygiene properties. SUMO diaper James Dyson Award 2019 website

Olivia Dall'Omo – Zenith

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Olivia Dall'Omo – Zenith

Diploma project by Olivia Dall'Omo

“Zenith” is a collection of durable shutters made from rattan where the weaving facilitates the management of light, heat and the outside view. Each blind consists of a steel structure covered in a relatively dense braided motif inspired by mashrabiya. The shutters project shadows inside, bringing the environment to life. This project focuses on rattan craft and rethinks its manufacturing process in a semi-industrial way.

Jeffery Lambert – Shift

PRODUCT DESIGN

Jeffery Lambert – Shift

Diploma project by Jeffery Lambert

As contemporary workplaces continue to transform, recent events have accelerated the shift to a more remote working culture, with more people using shared workspaces and increasingly working from home. This project aims to create a functional, everyday work chair that is versatile enough to fit these flexible work and living spaces. “Shift” is designed around a new production and distribution model that aims to make quality and sustainable furniture accessible to everyone. It is flat-packed, purchased online and its parts are easy to replace or recycle. mail@jefferylambert.com https://www.jefferylambert.com

Thomas Blaser – Wastebag

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Thomas Blaser – Wastebag

Diploma project with Maddalena Casadei, Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard, Julie Richoz

Ethical travel is becoming more and more common. During a hiking or biking trip, waste can be a major nuisance if not properly managed. Wastebag is a range of bags designed to manage this waste during nature trips. Their shape and materials have been chosen to be both durable and easy to clean. They are also completely airtight, preventing odours from attracting insects and animals near the camp or the users’ belongings. The air can be removed from the bags through their valves to take up as little volume as possible. Finally, buckles on the back of the bag allow for flexibility in attaching to a backpack or a bicycle luggage rack.

Timothée Mion – CSTM-01

PRODUCT DESIGN

Timothée Mion – CSTM-01

Diploma project by Timothée Mion

Space debris is a growing threat to current and future space activities. The “ClearSpace-1” project under the Adrios programme, which is partially funded by ESA (European Space Agency), was created with the aim of fostering and developing space debris capture and deorbitation technologies in order to help preserve a sustainable future in space. My mission was to develop a concept study of the capture system in collaboration with the ClearSpace start-up. The four aluminium and rubber robotic arms are designed to be produced in a simple and cost-effective manner. The plates are cut, folded and put under tension to form a light, yet rigid structure. timothee.mion@gmail.com https://timotheemion.com

Aurore Péry – Passerines

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Aurore Péry – Passerines

Diploma project with Guy Meldem, Nicole Udry

“Passerines” is a short animated film that addresses the notion of cycle in the environment, through the theme of bird migration and its deterioration in relation to various aspects of human activity. Inspired by educational films and wildlife documentaries, this project aims to raise awareness of our impact on our environment through a loop that our actions influence and which deteriorates with time. Between contemplative scenes and explanations, this short film is an invitation to question our relationship to our environment. Prix BG Ingénieurs Conseils

Aurélien Pellegrini – Pump and Surf

MEDIA & INTERACTION DESIGN

Aurélien Pellegrini – Pump and Surf

Diploma project with Alain Bellet, Christophe Guignard, Gaël Hugo, Laura Nieder, Pauline Saglio

Mention Très bien Prix METAA “Pump and Surf” encourages internet users to find out how much energy is spent when they are surfing the internet. Before being able to view a website, internet users are asked to make a physical effort similar to the energy required to convey the data that will enable the site to be displayed. Through interactive experiences and graphic visualisations, “Pump and Surf” leads users to take the measure of the quantity of energy involved in the exchange of information, to the point of feeling them physically.

Marine Dang – For the Times They Are a-Changin’

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Marine Dang – For the Times They Are a-Changin’

Diploma project by Marine Dang

For the Times They Are a-Changin’ is a graphic interpretation of the play PRLMNT written by Camille de Toledo in 2017. The anticipatory fiction is divided into two parts: the first one is set in a capitalist system with unlimited expansion and power, while the second one seeks resilience and recognition of the rights of non-humans. The challenge of this publication is to bring these ideologies into dialogue, to offer a parallel reading of the two scripts. To do this, I experimented with the materiality of the object. Through the choice of formats, papers and fonts, I both oppose and mix these statements. Through images, I offer new settings for the play, taking the audience into the ruins of their own world. www.marinedang.ch

Anaïs Lehmann – Line

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Anaïs Lehmann – Line

Diploma project by Anaïs Lehmann

We all know about the scourge of plastic waste in our oceans, but did you know that there is even more plastic in our soils? This is what the latest report from the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) has revealed. Indeed, with its pots, nets, and various types of films, plastic is everywhere in the food-processing industry and our agricultural land is polluted by micro-particles. Line is a reusable and 100% natural alternative to plastic mulching film. Made from linen oiled with linseed oil, it is extremely durable and does not release any chemical particles into the soil. Its woven or folding strip systems offer great flexibility of use for various types of planting with variable spacing.

Valentine Leimgruber – Sanctuaires

MEDIA & INTERACTION DESIGN

Valentine Leimgruber – Sanctuaires

Diploma project with Alain Bellet, Christophe Guignard, Gaël Hugo, Laura Nieder, Pauline Saglio

Through a narrative experience, Sanctuaires invites visitors to discover their relationship with plants. This project is structured as an interactive exhibition on the great trees of the city of Lausanne. As in a treasure hunt, visitors have to look for the trees, thanks to clues and a map on the app. When they find one, they connect to it through touch, thus triggering the beginning of the experience. Like a wise storyteller, the sanctuary-tree shares a tale with the visitors, telling them about its sensitive experience and observable universe. Urban tree development coincides with the advent of issues related to the ecological crisis. What do trees have to say about this and how can their perception help us improve our lifestyles?

Ra&D Projects

The Sausage of the Future

The Sausage of the Future

Research project

Can we count on the sausage to provide a solution, in order to reduce the consumption of meat? And can the use of new ingredients increase the diversity of our diets? Can the sausage make a considerable contribution to a sustainable food culture? To answer these questions, a chef of molecular gastronomy, a master butcher and a designer have teamed up to look into sausage production techniques and potential new ingredients – such as insects, nuts, and legumes – to reinvent the sausage of the future.

Aesthetics of Sustainability

Aesthetics of Sustainability

Research project

Aesthetics of Sustainability aims to explore and define the aesthetics of a new generation of sustainable materials.

Workshops

Portable LED lights

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Portable LED lights

Workshop with Cédric Duchêne, Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard

Under the guidance of Cédric Duchêne, Engineer at EPFL+ECAL Lab, and Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard, Head of Bachelor Industrial Design, 3rd year Industrial Design Bachelor students were asked to conceive portable LED lights based on the inherent qualities of this technologie: compact, durable, energy efficient and modular. Projects by Gianfranco Baechtold, Tobias Brunner, Raphaël Constantin, Athime De Crecy, Marie-Camille Gras, Vincent Mailh, Zoé Nguyen, Elie Reboul, Paul Vachon and Adrian Woo, assisted by Mathieu Lang and Nadine Fumiko Schaub. Video by Jean-Guillaume Sonnier, assisted by Mathieu Lang and Nadine Fumiko Schaub

ECAL × IKEA

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

ECAL × IKEA

Collaboration with Nicholaï Wiig-Hansen

Students have been asked to developped Basic, fundamental pieces of furniture or accessories for urban life at home. Affordability being one of the key focus of IKEA, their solutions have been to be long lasting, flexible and functional products at low prices. Results have been showcased at the Democratic design day IKEA in Älmhult, Sweden in June 2016. Exhibitions views by ECAL/Sébastien Cluzel

RELATED ARTICLES AND EVENTS

Three ECAL diploma projects win the James Dyson Award 2022 (Swiss)

AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS

Three ECAL diploma projects win the James Dyson Award 2022 (Swiss)

Three ECAL graduates - Yoosung Kim in Master Product Design, Anaïs Lehmann and Lucie Herter in Bachelor Industrial Design - have won the James Dyson Award 2022 for their diploma projects.

Design Prize Switzerland: Sustainable Impact Prize

AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS

Design Prize Switzerland: Sustainable Impact Prize

Renaud Defrancesco, Bachelor Industrial Design graduate, won the "Sustainable Impact Prize" on the occasion of the Swiss Design Prize

Human Rights Photography Prize to a graduate of ECAL

AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS

Human Rights Photography Prize to a graduate of ECAL

The Act On Your Future Foundation is very pleased to announce the names of the two winners of the fifth edition of the Human Rights Photography Prize on the theme "No Planet B: Human Rights in Times of Ecological Crisis": Lowena Poole for "Stop Time By Smashing Clocks" (RCA/Royal College of Art, London) and Romain Roucoules for "Global Solutions" (ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne)

LECTURES

ECAL Conference: Freitag Bros.,
06.11.2013,
IKEA Auditorium, ECAL

ECAL Conference: Freitag Bros. - Founders and creative directors Freitag, Zurich