The world of… ECAL
Marie Le Fort
One would bet that the best design school would be located in the heart of one of the capitals of design. In Milan, London or NY, for example. But this is not the case: it is in Switzerland, firmly rooted in Lausanne! ECAL is its nickname; the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, founded in 1821 is at the forefront of traditional…creations. .
In the visual arts, visual communication, industrial design, film and even design products linked to the needs of the luxury industry, the students have contact with teachers from all around the world. “All of them are asked to be curious, “curious, and curious again”. And they have to comply with the ‘Swiss way’. Here, it is not a question of walking the corridors with only a bit of creativity, we have 34 to 40 hours of lessons per week,” says Peter Keller, the former director and figurehead of the School. And Martin Rinderknecht, the German gallery owner who regularly exhibits the final projects of the Master students, adds, “during their formative years at ECAL, the students learn to think outside the box: on the one hand they acquire real traditional savoir-faire working the best companies in Switzerland, and on the other, they explore new technologies and the constraints of mass production on a daily basis. Interdisciplinary projects, workshops with leading designers, and research projects with prestigious houses such as Christofle, a partner of MAS-Lux (the equivalent of a master who seeks to infuse dynamic design in the heart of the luxury industry). At each stage of their learning, students are confronted with the realities of the profession, in order to emerge as better designers.” Thanks to ECAL, Tomas Kral, Nicolas Le Moigne and Raphael Von Allmen – to name but three – now hold the torch for design in Switzerland, as well as internationally.
A brief guided tour in images, of the most impressive results from recent years.