Tradition and innovation
Interview with Jean-Pierre Greff, director of Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD)
The Swiss design scene is characterized by its exceptional richness, dynamism, and youthfulness.
Switzerland occupies a position comparable to that of its large neighbors. The dynamism of this country of barely eight million inhabitants is amazing, and this is more and more being noticed.
I would like to highlight the tradition of beautiful workmanship and high-quality production. The premier Swiss design event – Designers’ Saturday in Langenthal – offers the clearest evidence of this. What’s fascinating about this initiative is that these are traditional Swiss companies, built on traditional artisan techniques, which have been able to remake themselves using research and technological innovation.
This mix of a strongly asserted traditional identity with a permanent taste for innovation, right down to the smallest detail, is something that is quite unique. Switzerland has long understood, probably better than other countries, that it’s essential to invest in creation and innovation and that this cannot be accomplished in the field of technology alone but also necessarily implicates the field of design, as a major source of innovation, and simply that design is taking on increased importance in all fields. This is one of the key aspects of Swiss design, which explains its vitality and its broad importance across the world.
Switzerland today has emerged as one of Europe’s leading design centers, along with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
PHOTO CREDIT:Melissa Academy - HEAD Geneva - Julie Simon 2011
March 16, 2011