THE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Swiss Design Awards 2022

Congrats to our Alumni for being selected for the Swiss Design Awards 2022!

DANZ "you have a beautiful voice"

DANZ was founded in 2021 by Mara Danz. In her studio in Glarus, she creates new ideas, dreams and experiences. The collection you have a beautiful voice encourages you to use your own voice, to give it expression – clear, fine, coarse, loud, bright, hoarse, mute.

The collection thrives on collaborations with artists from different sectors. A long-term collaboration has been established with the last industrial screen printing manufacture in Switzerland. DANZ rummages through the archives and selects screen printing subjects in order to revive them and then reassemble and colourise them. To stir up and push forward the Swiss and especially the Glarus textile history with new energy, we also produce in Switzerland to be kinder to the environment and support local tailors.

The 2022 collection creates common ground, moments to share, celebrates life – the hope for a diverse and liveable future that breaks with heteronormative and authoritarian views.

A post solitary reverie of a rave

Rafael Kouto explores the revival of the rave with his new upcycled collection, merging African and Western influences with a psychedelic twist. The Swiss upcycling couture brand releases a limited edition collection titled A post summer solitary reverie of a rave in collaboration with The Zurich Silk Association. This collection doubles as a cultural project, aiming to preserve the authentic savoir faire of the Swiss fashion and textile industry by situating it in an international and contemporary context. The garments of this capsule collection are crafted using upcycled silk from the textile archive of the Zurich Silk Association (Zürcherische Seidenindustrie Gesellschaft), an association of active and former companies in the Zurich silk industry and one of the oldest business associations in Switzerland. Rafael Kouto selected fabrics from the 2011 exhibition Soie Pirate, Textil Archiv Abraham, which captured the traditions of Switzerland’s haute couture silk trade. Abraham Ltd was central to this trade, collaborating with Parisian couturiers for the creations of iconic fashion houses. In a 1966 Women’s Wear Daily interview, Ludwig Abraham, founder of L. Abraham & Co. Seiden AG, states, “The truth of the classic beauties should not be lost in six months.” This has become the guiding thread of Rafael Kouto’s collection: reworking vintage textiles by reimagining their beauty and extending their life cycle.


Disrupted gardens of pleasure/ Jardin Oscillat

Stefanie Salzmann’s practice is closely linked to the story of her preferred material, the wool of her family’s Blacknose sheep. She explores the materiality of wool and uses it to craft sculptures and tapestries. Disrupted gardens of pleasure is a series of works that revolve around gardens; the garden is present metaphorically, as motifs distorted through the artistic process and in the botanical dyes. The textiles are insulating felted tapestries, like Jardin Oscillant, in which woollen ropes, developed in collaboration with a Swiss rope maker, weave into a hammock. They ingrain the slowness of the rhythms and the attention paid to the growth of nature. The works strike a balance between art and design and seek out sites in public spaces, galleries, fashion weeks, or, most recently, a cultural centre. Stefanie often produces them site-specifically and invites people to follow the performative process.

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