5 Swiss designs that also captured my heart in 2021
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5 Swiss designs that also captured my heart in 2021

Pia Seidel
Zurich, on 31.12.2021
Pictures: Pia Seidel

Hats for the kitchen and glittering weights: these are just two of five ideas from young Swiss design labels that will bring a breath of fresh air into our everyday lives.

In 2021, small and large design fairs returned after a pandemic break. And I finally visited them again to discover furniture and accessories from young talents and established brands live. I've already shown you some fair finds in one article or another. But now, when I look back at the last twelve months at the end of the year, I notice even more design gems. I don't want to deprive you of these five.

"Curious" hoods for the kitchen

All-white kitchens, including standard range hoods, are on the verge of extinction in 2022. Taking their place: Color and playful details ranging from layers of emerald green lacquer to custom cylindrical hoods. The latter thanks to Geneva-based design studio Dimanche. It commissioned architecture firm Fala Atelier to make more of the previously neglected machine. "If kitchens are small buildings, hoods are like canopies, cornices or balconies," reads the description. "They are also shells, thin jackets to be worn proudly." That's why the little sculptures called "Nosy Hoods" come brightly colored.

Diese Partyhüte sind nur Mock-ups. Sie können aber zur Abzugshaube werden.
Diese Partyhüte sind nur Mock-ups. Sie können aber zur Abzugshaube werden.
Die Hauben hängen im Genfer Showroom und Shop «Dimanche» in Genf.
Die Hauben hängen im Genfer Showroom und Shop «Dimanche» in Genf.
Design Days Geneva

"Sprouting" lamps for the home

Like a vine growing around wooden beams and wires. This is the inspiration for the lamps of the design studio Hot Wire Extensions from Graubünden. They are created by first shaping a wire and placing it in a container. The latter is filled with a special mixture of recycled nylon powder and sand. An electric current is then passed through the wire and the powder magically melts around the wire. After the current is gone, the once loose mixture becomes a solid mass. "The longer the current flows, the bigger the melted material becomes," explains Fabio Hendry. The Swiss designer and materials researcher sees a lot of potential in the overlooked materials of sand, nylon and wire. And you can see it in the end in the result: In 2022, the organic objects will liven up any ambience, no matter how sterile, and promote sustainability at the same time.

Das Nylonpulver der Lampen ist das Abfallmaterial der Firma «Götti Schweiz».
Das Nylonpulver der Lampen ist das Abfallmaterial der Firma «Götti Schweiz».
Nur selten recycelt die Industrie das sogenannte SLS-3D-Nylonpulver.
Nur selten recycelt die Industrie das sogenannte SLS-3D-Nylonpulver.
Alcova, Salone del Mobile

Light reading glasses for on the go

Every time I see my mother, she's the subject: reading glasses. She misplaces them somewhere and everyone present starts looking for them. To make the hunt a thing of the past next year, my mother is getting "Read On" from me.

The design by industrial designer Sandra Kaufmann and artist Monika Fink integrates the reading glasses into the iPhone case. So the glasses are not only there when there is something to read on the screen, but also always in one and the same place. Folded and lightweight, they are flat as a flounder and fit into the compartment on the back of the protective case. The polished correction glass is 3.7 millimeters thick and available in various thicknesses. So far, "Read on" is currently available for iPhone 11, iPhone12 and iPhone XR.

Diese Lesebrille ist zusammengeklappt flacher als die meisten Modelle…
Diese Lesebrille ist zusammengeklappt flacher als die meisten Modelle…
... und dann schiebst du sie ins passende Fach.
... und dann schiebst du sie ins passende Fach.
Switzerland Design Ausstellung, Salone del Mobile

Age-appropriate chair for more independence

Getting up from a comfortable chair is hard enough when it's just comfy. Clever designs provide relief for this feat. Sarah Hossli designed "Lotte" so that the chair helps people of all ages and abilities to sit down independently and also to stand up again. "Its extended armrests act like a handrail, allowing the user to stand up intuitively with minimal resistance," describes the product designer from Lucerne. She conducted on-site research in nursing homes for the chair and incorporated the knowledge into the design in collaboration with medical and nursing staff. She then implemented the design with the Swiss furniture manufacturer Girsberger AG.

Lottes Form unterstützt körperlich beeinträchtigte Menschen beim Hinsetzen und Aufstehen.
Lottes Form unterstützt körperlich beeinträchtigte Menschen beim Hinsetzen und Aufstehen.
Verlängerte und umlaufende Armlehnen geben dir mehr Möglichkeiten dich abzustützen.
Verlängerte und umlaufende Armlehnen geben dir mehr Möglichkeiten dich abzustützen.
The Graduation Show, Super Salone

Dumbbells for a brilliant performance in sports

These heavyweights are worthy of the Olympics simply because they finally look different from most dumbbells. Colourful, dazzling and all of a piece, they even look good on the shelf. The design studio Ulysse Martel is behind the idea. The columnar shapes are made of a material used in architecture: steel. Maybe that's why the weights look like statues to me, representing the current body cult.

Die alles andere als klassische Kollektion besteht unter anderem aus Kurzhanteln.
Die alles andere als klassische Kollektion besteht unter anderem aus Kurzhanteln.
Durch das Finish mit der Chamäleonfarbe ist jedes Stück ein Unikat.
Durch das Finish mit der Chamäleonfarbe ist jedes Stück ein Unikat.
Design Days Geneva

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«There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I believe in the latter.»
– Albert Einstein


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