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International research exchange day For the Sake of Creative Freedom: Graphic Design for the Cultural Sector

01 Dec 2023 (All Day)

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International research exchange day

For the Sake of Creative Freedom: Graphic Design for the Cultural Sector


Date and Place

1.12.2023, 9:00–18:00

Grosse Aula, Bern Academy of the Arts HKB, Fellerstrasse 11, 3027 Bern, Switzerland



Chiara Barbieri, Jonas Berthod, Davide Fornari, Miriam Koban, Robert Lzicar



This international research exchange day examines the paradigm shift in graphic design, specifically the emergence of “cultural graphic design,” which has redefined the profession as a lifestyle and expanded its scope beyond pure service for the industrial sector. This exchange is part of the research project “The Cultural Turn in Swiss Graphic Design 1980–2020” led jointly by ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, HES-SO and Bern Academy of the Arts HKB, funded by the SNSF Swiss National Science Foundation. It aims to foster collaborative research and critical discourse in the field of design research.

We invite researchers, designers, curators, experts, and students from diverse backgrounds to participate in the exchange. We seek to explore a wide range of perspectives on graphic design for the cultural sector, not only in Switzerland but also internationally. After an introduction by the convenors, the day is divided into panels, bringing together invited contributions and papers selected via an open call.

Admission is free, but capacity is limited. Please register here.



09:00–09:40   09.00 Introduction

                        Chiara Barbieri, Jonas Berthod, Davide Fornari, Miriam Koban and Robert Lzicar, The Cultural Turn in Swiss Graphic Design 1980–2020


09.40 Keynotes 

09:40–10:20   Leah Armstrong, Working in ‘Crisis-Mode’: Professionalism, Power and Precarity in Design

Paola De Martin, Graphic Design and the Social Limits to Neoliberalism

11:20–12:00   Silas Munro, A late Postmodern Turn in United States Graphic Design for the Cultural Sphere 1981-2023

                        Each keynote is followed by a discussion


12.00 Joint lunch


13.00 Guided tour 

13:00–13:30   Catherine Guiral de Trenqualye and Brice Domingues, Les mains libres — a Conversation Piece by officeabc


13.30 Panel 1: International Perspective on Design for Culture and Identity

13:30–13:50   Alex J. Todd, Cultural Politics and the Post-Colonial Perspective: Wild Plakken for the Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1977–1988

13:50–14:10   Yann Aucompte, Polity of French auteurs in Graphic Design: from Politics to Institutional Policies

14:10–14:30   Žiga Testen, Our Group Work: Design as Collective Practice at the Students’ Cultural Centre (SKC) in Belgrade, 1972–1991



15.20 Panel 2: Design for Culture in Switzerland

15:20-15:40    Tan Wälchli, Posters for Cultural Institutions: Ruder and Hofmann

15:40-16:00    Meret Ernst, Carte Blanche. Whose Curating is it? 

16:00-16:20    Baptiste HusiThe Collaboration Between Werner Jeker and Rosmarie Lippuner at the Musée des arts décoratifs (mudac) — Birth of the Public Image of Lausanne’s Cultural Institutions?



17.00 Guided tour

17:00-17:30    Dimitri Reist, The Music is the Making of the Music – An Ongoing Conversation  about a Design Practice Grounded  in Co-existence


17:30 Apéritif

01 Dec 2023 (All Day)

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  • Bern, Switzerland