HAPPENINGText: Taketo Oguchi

What happens when Swiss product design innovation meets the excellence and tradition of Japanese craftsmanship? “Swiss Design / Made in Japan” poses an answer and brings fresh perspective to Swiss design through exhibit items that designed by Swiss designers or art directors working with Japanese manufactures and craftsmen.

Photo: Kenta Hasegawa

Many Japanese manufacturers and craftsmen have unrivalled know-how and skills (many of which disappeared in Europe with industrialisation), yet they struggle to reach a younger generation and international markets with their products. The collaboration with international designers can help companies innovate, attract attention, communicate their values and ultimately create successful products. Swiss Design / Made in Japan exhibits everyday objects, and explores how meaningful, sustainable product design looks in today’s globalised world.

Photo: Kenta Hasegawa

David Glaettli from Switzerland is an art director and a curator of this exhibition who works on different kinds of projects based in Japan as a bridge between Switzerland and Japan. For this exhibition, he decided to focus on everyday objects and introduce some of them with background stories.

Photo: Kenta Hasegawa

“I think there is a common perception of the essential in design, of quality, functionality and unobtrusiveness. On the other hand I feel a strong rational and logical aspect in the Swiss design culture, while in Japan I feel the capacity, maybe even a tradition, to materialise ideas and feelings that might be difficult to grasp rationally or describe verbally”. David talk about the common points and differences between Swiss and Japanese design cultures.

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