Switzerland is a country known for its chocolates, its cheeses, and its alpine landscapes; all of the folkloric clichés contrast with the other side of the Helvetic Confederation: a country recognized worldwide for its scientific research and technological innovation.
One of the examples of this international recognition is ”The 2018 Global Innovation Index”, carried out by INSED, Cornell University and the World Intellectual Property Organization - a United Nations Agency -, in which Switzerland appears in the first place in the most innovative countries worldwide, a position that has held since 2011. One of the reasons why this distinction is attributed to it, is that Switzerland is the nation with the highest annual patent registrations per capita, many of them developed by researchers from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) as well as the Federal Polytechnic School of Zurich (for its acronym in German, ETHZ); the latter being particularly famous for being the alma mater of Albert Einstein.
In the cities of Lausanne and Zurich are the most outstanding Design Schools in the country: the School of Art and Design of Lausanne (for its acronym in French, ECAL) and the Higher School of Arts of Zurich (for its acronyms in German, ZHdK).
Less than 10 years ago, the federal polytechnic schools joined the art schools, giving place to two unique laboratories of their kind: the EPFL-ECAL Lab, founded by Nicolas Henchoz in 2008; and the Design Tech Lab of the ZHdK-ETHZ, founded by Nicole Kind, Sandra Kaufmann and Prof. Mirko Meboldt in 2014.
The first project - and surely the most visionary - the laboratories achieved was the creation of a design laboratory. This is an innovative initiative in itself, which unites federal and cantonal institutions, as well as scientific research with artistic concepts.
Thanks to the initiative of Swiss Design Mexico 2018 to include the laboratories in its program, and the Franz Mayer Museum to receive the exhibition entitled Swiss Design Labs, this is the first time that both Swiss laboratories collaborate.
Each Laboratory will exhibit 3 innovative projects that are the result of research work developed jointly by engineers and industrial designers.
Among the topics addressed we can find the social conscience, as in then Weave project, a prosthesis for children developed within the Design Tech Lab of the ZHdK-ETHZ, whose innovation lies in the possibility of adapting to body changes during growth.
For the EPFL-ECAL Lab, the elderly and the loneliness that they usually live is a worrisome social problem, to which the laboratory responds with the project entitled Solidarity Network, which consists of an application that promotes solidarity in the community.