ECAL Research Day Research in
Art & Design


Design Research: from Academia to the Real World

  • 9.00–9.45 Alba Cappellieri professor, Politecnico di Milano, Milan
    in conversation with Nicolas Henchoz director, EPFL+ECAL Lab
  • 9.45–10.30 Sophie Pène vice-president, Conseil National du Numérique, Paris
    in conversation with Davide Fornari professor, ECAL
  • 10.30–11:00 Coffee break

Research Through Art and Design: Materials and Forms

Research Practices in Curating Art and Design

  • 13.30–14.15 Catherine Ince senior curator, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
    in conversation with Anniina Koivu professor, ECAL
  • 14.15–15.00 Astrid Welter head of programs, Fondazione Prada, Milan/Venice
    in conversation with Federico Nicolao professor, ECAL
  • 15.00–15.15 Coffee break

The Future of Art and Design Research

  • 17.30 Exhibition openings at Cinema Studio, Gallery l’elac and EPFL+ECAL Lab

    Caustics, curated by Mark Pauly, EPFL RAYFORM
    Projects for Victorinox, curated by Thilo Alex Brunner
    The Sausage of the Future, curated by Carolien Niebling (preview)
    Augmented Photography, curated by Milo Keller (preview)
    EPFL+ECAL Lab Research Land, curated by Nicolas Henchoz
    Rapid Liquid Printing, curated by Christophe Guberan, MIT Self-Assembly Lab, Steelcase

    ECAL will launch the book Making Sense: 10 Years of Research in Art and Design at ECAL on the occasion of the symposium.
  • 18.30 Cocktail
Admission is free upon registration through the online RSVP form.

Due to the limited number of seats in the auditorium, the maximum number of participants is 350.


Alba Cappellieri

Alba Cappellieri is full professor at Politecnico di Milano, where she teaches Jewellery and Accessories Design and is the Head of the Fashion Design Degree. Since 2014 she is the Director of the Museum of Jewellery in Vicenza.

Davide Fornari

Davide Fornari is a designer and a professor at ECAL, where he has been Head of the Applied Research and Development sector since 2016.

Alexis Georgacopoulos

Alexis Georgacopoulos is a product designer and the Director of ECAL since 2011.

Fabio Gramazio

Fabio Gramazio is an architect and a professor at ETH in Zurich. He is a co-founder of Gramazio Kohler Architects with Matthias Kohler.

Christophe Guberan

Christophe Guberan is a Lausanne-based product designer and a lecturer at ECAL. He collaborates with MIT Self-Assembly Lab. His work focuses on material experimentation.

Nicolas Henchoz

Nicolas Henchoz has been the Director of Lausanne EPFL+ECAL Lab since its establishment in 2007.

Catherine Ince

Catherine Ince is senior curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London since 2015. Previously she was a curator at Barbican Art Gallery.

Vincent Jacquier

Vincent Jacquier is a media and interaction designer and a professor at ECAL, where he is Head of the Visual Communication department.

Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an architect and a professor at ECAL in Media and Interaction Design. He is a co-founder of fabric | ch, the Lausanne-based studio for architecture, interaction and research.

Anniina Koivu

Anniina Koivu is an independent design writer based in Milan and a professor at ECAL, where she is Head of Theory for Master programs.

Stéphanie Moisdon

Stéphanie Moisdon is a Paris-based curator and art critic, and a professor at ECAL, where she is Head of the Master in Visual Arts.

Federico Nicolao

Federico Nicolao is a Paris-based writer and a philosopher, and a lecturer at ECAL. He is the founder and director of “Chorus una costellazione”, a cultural journal.

Sophie Pène

Sophie Pène is a professor at Université Paris Descartes in Paris. A member of the Académie des technologies and of the council of Grande Ecole du Numérique, she is the president of the Education group within the French Digital Skills coalition.

Vera Sacchetti

Vera Sacchetti is a design critic, co-curator of TEOK Basel and co-founder of editorial consultancy Superscript. She serves in a variety of curatorial, research and editorial roles.

Skylar Tibbits

Skylar Tibbits is a designer and computer scientist. He is co-director and founder of MIT Self-Assembly Lab in Cambridge (MA). He is a pioneer in the field of 4D Printing.

Xavier Veilhan

Xavier Veilhan is a Paris-based artist. He represents France at 2017 Venice Biennale with “Studio Venezia”, a musical space that invites the public to watch musicians from around the world work throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Astrid Welter

Astrid Welter has contributed to the artistic program of Fondazione Prada since 1997. She coordinated the opening of its Venetian venue in 2011, and has overseen its Milan permanent venue as Head of Programs since 2015.

Roel Wouters

Roel Wouters is a designer and a co-founder of Amsterdam-based studio Moniker with Luna Maurer and Jonathan Puckey.


Ground floor

Expo Diplômes ECAL

First floor

EPFL+ECAL Lab Research Land
Curated by Nicolas Henchoz, EPFL+ECAL Lab

Gallery elac, ground floor

Augmented Photography
Curated by Milo Keller, ECAL

Cinema studio, ground floor

Curated by Mark Pauly, EPFL, Romain Testuz and Yuliy Schwartzburg, Rayform

Based on several years of award-winning scientific research, Rayform’s patented technology modifies the shape of a transparent or reflective surface so that incoming light is redirected to form an amazingly clear image. The light can come from any directed source: a spotlight, a flashlight, or even the sun. The key to this innovation is a sophisticated computer algorithm that calculates the required 3D surface from a desired target light image. Applicable to a wide variety of materials, such as glass, crystal, plastics, or polished metals, this invention provides an entirely new visual experience with exciting applications in luxury product design, sculptural art, or interactive installations.

Projects for Victorinox
The Future of Stainless Steel
Curated by Thilo Alex Brunner, ECAL

Tutor: Alexander Taylor
Scenography: Dominic Schlögel
Students: Maxime Augay, Yan-Hao Chu, Adrien Cugullière, Sara de Campos, Nicolas de Vismes, Christian Holweck, Sumegha Mantri, Hiroyuki Morita, Sara Regal, Aleksandra Szewc

For more than a century, Victorinox has worked with stainless steel. This fascinating material constantly allows itself to be reinvented. This is exactly what Master Product students of the ECAL/University for Art and Design Lausanne did during a project led by British designer Alexander Taylor. Their innovative research into stainless steel has revealed a world of new possibilities and uses within the material and watch design.

The Sausage of the Future
Curated by Carolien Niebling, ECAL

The sausage is one of mankind’s first-ever designed food items. A paragon of efficient butchery, it was originally conceived to make the most of animal protein in times of scarcity. Now, in these times when protein is once again in short supply, a molecular chef, a master butcher and a designer have teamed up to reinvent the sausage, ready for the challenges of the future.

Rapid Liquid Printing
Curated by Christophe Guberan, MIT Self-Assembly Lab, Steelcase

Self-Assembly Lab: Kate Hajash, Bjorn Sparrman, Schendy Kernizan, Jared Laucks, Skylar Tibbits

Steelcase: Yuka Hiyoshi, Rob Poel, Markus McKenna, Paul Noll, Sharon Tracy, Chris Norman, Charlie Forslund

In collaboration with Steelcase, we are presenting a new experimental process called Rapid Liquid Printing, a breakthrough 3D printing technology. Rapid Liquid Printing physically draws in 3D space within a gel suspension, and enables the creation of large scale, customized products made of real-world materials. Compared with other techniques we believe this is the first development to combine industrial materials with extremely fast print speeds in a precisely controlled process to yield large-scale products.


The symposium takes place in the IKEA auditorium at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, which is located in Renens, to the west of Lausanne (see map.pdf). If you are travelling by car, park at the City Hall (Hôtel-de-Ville) parking. There are a limited number of blue zone (1:30 hour) and white zone (3 hours) parking places around the ECAL building.

Lausanne is well connected to neighbouring towns thanks to an efficient public transport network.

    There are several options to commute from Renens to downtown Lausanne and vice versa:
  • by train – CFF: Renens station – Lausanne station, travel time ~ 5 minutes (Train station 5-min. walk from ECAL).
  • by metro – M1: Renens station – Flon station, travel time ~ 20 minutes (Metro stop in Renens train station 5-min. walk from ECAL).
  • Bus – No. 17: “Sous l’Eglise” – “Saint François”, travel time ~ 20 minutes (“Sous l’Eglise” bus stop 2-min. walk from ECAL).

Lausanne/Renens are less than 45 minutes by train from Geneva Airport, with fast and frequent connections to other destinations throughout Switzerland.

Making Sense Book

On the occasion of the symposium, ECAL launches the book Making Sense: 10 Years of Research in Art and Design at ECAL.

Making Sense reports on ten years of Research in Art and Design at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. It features a synopsis of research projects and a selection of projects’ descriptions, accompanied by conversations on design and artistic research between ECAL professors and leading scholars in these fields. The book is bilingual (French and English).

Published by: ​ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
Edited by: ​Davide Fornari
Contributors: ​Luc Bergeron, Jonas Berthod, François Bovier, Davide Fornari, Julien Fronsacq, Roland Früh, Alexis Georgacopoulos, Christophe Guberan, Patrick Keller, Jürg Lehni, Federico Nicolao, Vincent Normand, Yasmil Raymond, David Reinfurt, Tatiana Rihs, Laurent Soldini, Jo-Ey Tang, Skylar Tibbits, Joël Vacheron

Graphic design: ​Jonas Berthod
Photography​: Nicolas Polli
Print​: ECAL, Benjamin Plantier
Lithography​: Rica Egger
Binding​: Schumacher
Format​: 234 pages, 16 × 24 cm
ISBN​: 978-2-9701157-7-9

Research in Art and Design at ECAL

in collaboration with

With the support of

Media Partner

graphic design​
Jonas Berthod

Plain by François Rappo, Optimo

Max Ryan

ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
5, Avenue du Temple, Renens


On the occasion of the 10 years since the moving of ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne to its current premises in Renens and marking the 10th anniversary of the foundation of EPFL+ECAL Lab, ECAL is hosting a symposium on Research in Art and Design, featuring artists, designers and scholars in these fields from all over the world, in conversation with ECAL faculty members.
ECAL Research Day 2017: Roel Wouters – co-founder, Moniker, Amsterdam