The association Netzwerk Designgeschichte NDG (Eng. Design History Network) is a platform that connects people interested in design history within Switzerland, both from theory and practice, and facilitates exchanges among them. The aim of the association NDG is to promote the awareness, research and mediation of design history in Switzerland. This includes a broad spectrum of design-historically oriented disciplines from both established and newly emerging fields such as the history of graphic, product, industrial, textile, fashion, jewellery, interaction and game design, and illustration amongst others.
Current Board: Meret Ernst, Mònica Gaspar, Ariana Pradal, Sabina Tenti, Annina Weber, Robert Wettstein and Sara Zeller
Meeting with design researcher and author Guy Julier, 22 April 2023
Guy Julier is a full professor at the Department of Design at Aalto University in Helsinki. He is the author of Economies of Design and The Culture of Design. A keen observer, scholar and practitioner, he has more than 30 years of experience researching global changes in design, business and society. On his journey through Europe, he stopped in Zurich and we met up with him.
Visit to Ruedi Rock's tubular steel furniture warehouse, 9 March 2023
The well-known furniture dealer Ruedi Rock has brought together his collection of historic tubular steel furniture in a storage room. He granted NDG members an exclusive insight into his universe. It was an experience for fans of historical furniture.
NDG+ Design History Foundation, Barcelona, 28 February 2023
Our first guest in the new NDG+ format was Barcelona's Design History Foundation FHD. lt's chair, lsabel Campi talked in our online event about the motivation for establishing this foundation, what activities the FHD organises, and what goals it is striving for. And she also put light on the situation of design historiography in Spain in conversation with NDG board member Monica Gaspar.
Dine & Tell, 30 November 2022
Direct contact between NDG members is very important to us. That's why we tried out the new format Dine & Tell at the end of November, which combines exchange with a dinner. Nine of us (only the last ones are still to be seen in the photo) were at Bar Basso and talked about what moved us "design-wise" this year. The conversations were wonderfully enriching.
Show & Tell with Robert Wettstein, 15 September 2022
The designer Robert Wettstein presented his big collection of Landi chairs. He owns a copy of each production and shared with us his great knowledge about this chair.
3rd General meeting, 13 May 2021
Our General Assembly took place at Lehni. The company has been producing aluminium furniture since the 1960s. It cultivates its design heritage, to which Max Bill, Andreas Christen, Frédéric Dedelley, Sol Lewitt and Donald Judd, among others, have contributed.
Show & Tell with Paola de Martin and Hans ten Dornkaat, 12 April 2022
In the first edition of the format Show & Tell, Paola de Martin and Hans ten Doornkaat talked about their work and gave an insight into their practice.
Hans ten Doornkaat talked about the concept and scenography of the exhibition «Picture books: illustrated and staged» that takes place at the Gewerbemuseum Winterthur right now.
Paola De Martin told what it took to fund her PhD publication.
2021 DHS Annual Conference: Memory Full? Reimagining the relations of Design and History
From 1 to 4 September 2021, the Design History Society held its annual conference for the first time in Switzerland. For the first time as well, it was held on a fully digital format, thanks to an engaged organisation team on site and the infrastructure of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design, Basel. The digital conference attracted 260 active participants. Four keynotes, 87 papers and two workshops, and a series of 7 book presentations and ten virtual visits through which students of the HGK FHNW guided conference guests virtually through Switzerland rounded off the programme. As convenors, Meret Ernst and Monica Gaspars welcomed 104 speakers as convenors, who came from almost all over the world - from 4 continents and 34 countries. Those who missed the conference and the high-level debates on archives and materials, critique and blind spots, practices of design history, and alternative formats may like to read the proceedings to be published in spring 2022.
2nd General meeting, 18 June 2021
Our 2nd General meeting was hold in Bern. It was followed by a guided tour of the Bestform exhibition with the managing director of the Bernese Design Foundation Meret Mangold on the topic of collecting and promoting.
Collecting in the GTA-archive, 28 May 2021
We were allowed to visit the estate of Sigfried Giedion and Carola Giedion-Welcker in the gta archive in Zurich with the archivist und NDG-member Almut Grunewald.
NDG virtual #2 Visit to the Bally Archive and book vernissage, 21 April 2021
At this event first, the curator of the Bally archives, Rebekka Gerber, together with the two authors of the current Bally publication, Anna-Brigitte Schlittler and Katharina Tietze, gave us a virtual tour of the company's archives on film. Afterwards, the authors presented their book Bally – A History of Footwear in the Interwar Period.
NDG virtual #1: Collecting and Institutions, 27 November 2020
Curator Severin Rüegg took us virtually into the collection of the SKKG Foundation Art, Culture and History in Winterthur. We then discussed current strategies that can be used to maintain, mediate and research such a broadly based collection.
Collect and design, 11 September 2020
We visited the studio of the designer Alfredo Häberli in Zurich and enjoyed an aperitif in the Blauen Ente.
1st General meeting, 5 June 2020
Due to the corona crisis, our first general meeting took place digitally. We discussed current affairs, including the annual programme dedicated to the topic of collecting.
Become a member by registering here:
As a member, you will regularly receive our newsletter and invitations to our various activities where we foster exchange on relevant topics. At the annual general meeting in early summer, we discuss and determine the projects and goals for the coming year.
With the membership fee, we cover the costs for the creation and maintenance of our website, events and meetings.
- Students membership (with valid student identity card): CHF 30.
- Regular membership: CHF 90.
- Institutional membership: CHF 300.
We kindly ask you to transfer your membership fee to the following bank account at PostFinance AG, 3030 Bern within 30 days of your registration:
Netzwerk Designgeschichte, 8000 Zürich
IBAN CH23 0900 0000 1540 0556 5
Your membership will be valid for one year from the reception of your payment. Without further notice, you will automatically receive a payment order for the following year. If you have any question regarding your membership please contact us: members_at_netzwerk-designgeschichte.ch
If you have any other questions or inputs: info_at_netzwerk-designgeschichte.ch
We look forward to writing a new chapter of Swiss design history together with you!
The Board Netzwerk Designgeschichte NDG
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