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«Feuille Lamp» 2018, Florian Hauswirth © Stefan Hofmann

International Platforms

With the support of Pro Helvetia, Swiss design practitioners participate in the following events, among others:

Shenzhen Creative Week

Fuorisalone (Palazzo Litta, Milan)

3 Days of Design (Copenhagen)

London Design Biennale

Design Junction (London)

Designer’s Saturday (Langenthal)

Discover our online platform addressed to the design industry in Switzerland


Pro Helvetia promotes design in all its different facets:«From drawing board and reflection to market.» Aesthetic, cultural and social criteria are all taken into consideration, as is the positioning of a design project with regard to market, industry and innovation.

With its Culture and Business programme (2016–2020), Pro Helvetia has developed various formats with which to provide targeted support for projects by Swiss designers at all stages of the value chain (concept, prototype, production, project expansion).

Projects with a strong focus on reflection about design are fostered in the context of visual arts. Pro Helvetia supports related exhibitions, biennials, knowledge exchange, publications and residencies in Switzerland and abroad.

International Platforms
By backing the presence of selected designers at national and international events, Pro Helvetia helps put them in touch with producers, investors and audiences interested in design.

«Design Switzerland»
Swiss design stands for innovation, quality, longevity and intelligent execution. To raise awareness of the presence of Swiss delegations at international design events and to provide information about the Swiss design scene in general, Pro Helvetia launched «Design Switzerland» with an associated website in September 2018.

(Foto: «Feuille Lamp» 2018, Florian Hauswirth © Stefan Hofmann)


This application guide for design promotion describes the various funding measures adopted by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in the field of design. This guide is valid until the end of 2020.

Status: January 2020

These guidelines for design promotion describe the various funding measures adopted by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in the field of design. These guidelines are valid until the end of 2020.

In the area of design, Pro Helvetia promotes all areas of professional design (textile, fashion, industrial, product, service, graphic design, etc.) through two different approaches.

By promoting market access, Pro Helvetia supports projects by young Swiss designers towards market entry. This goal is achieved through calls for projects for concept and product promotion and by supporting trade fair participation and delegations to platforms in Switzerland and abroad. These measures can be supplemented with individual coaching.

Pro Helvetia promotes established Swiss design by promoting national and international design projects with national and international reach and with a view to their societal impact. It supports the cultural dissemination of Swiss design at home and abroad as well as publications and certain forms of knowledge exchange.

1. Market access promotion

The aim of market access promotion is to facilitate national and international market access for young designers. It is aimed at Swiss designers up to seven years after graduation or within the first seven years after founding their agency.

The projects supported are characterised by design quality, a high degree of innovation, long-term benefits, clear entrepreneurial objectives and marketability.


No funding is granted for:

  • infrastructure costs;
  • projects that do not depend on financial support.

Pro Helvetia is unable to consider:

  • projects either part of a school or university curriculum or of basic and further training (including dissertations, diploma projects, etc.) if the project organisers are not the principal copyright holders and hold the rights of use.
  • (commercial) contract work and projects part of advertising campaigns.
  • commercial galleries and collector’s items.
1.1 Calls for Design Funding

Pro Helvetia supports the creation of sustainable, marketable design products through issuing annual calls for projects. It envisages four funding stages from concept to market launch.

  • concept development funding
  • prototype development funding
  • production funding
  • project extension funding

The supported projects can be supplemented by individual coaching measures.

Factsheet Call for Projects – Design

1.2 Individual trade fair participation

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia supports presentations, stays and invitations by Swiss designers at trade fairs and market-oriented events to give them international visibility and enable a first step into the global market.

Factsheet Design Trade Fair Participation

1.3 Delegations

Pro Helvetia regularly organises participation at market-oriented platforms in Switzerland and abroad. As a rule, participation includes a booth and individually organised matchmaking events. Calls for projects are issued via this page and designswitzerland.ch

2. Promotion of design projects with societal impact

The promotion of design projects with a societal impact aims to deepen and disseminate the discourse on the role of design in society. Pro Helvetia supports exhibition and publication projects as well as certain forms of knowledge exchange. Projects are characterised by a profound engagement with societal themes and relate to the contemporary work of designers of national importance whose projects have achieved national and international impact through several years of trade fair participation or events. As a national foundation, Pro Helvetia complements the funding provided by Switzerland’s cantons and municipalities as well as by private foundations. The Arts Council only supports projects of national or international importance.

Factsheet Promotion of Design Projects with Societal Impact

3. Residencies

Pro Helvetia supports residencies and research trips of Swiss designers in China, India (and other South Asian countries), Russia, Egypt (and other Arab countries) and southern Africa.

Guidelines Residencies

London designjunction / Florian Hauswirth / Diiis Designstudio / Rafael Kouto / Salone del Mobile 2018

«Design Switzerland» at London designjunction

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To the article

Under the label «Design Switzerland», Pro Helvetia presented a selection of seven studios at London designjunction. The stand-out feature of the projects presented is their diversity: costume drones dedicated to entertainment, a line of technical clothing for rugby, a collective exploring new paths between LED lighting and textiles or a residential project in Burkina Faso and Greenland, which involves local designers and craftspeople working together.

Designer Florian Hauswirth at his studio

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Florian Hauswirth was born in Zurich. After spells in Basel, Lausanne, New York and London he now lives in Biel. For the past ten years, he has been working there in a former factory building. Pro Helvetia paid the industrial designer a visit at his studio.

Design Duo Diiis at their Studio

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Products by the design duo Diiis are playful, plain and adaptable to individual requirements. Pro Helvetia paid the two product designers Susanne Roser and Martina Staub a visit at their studio in Liestal.

Designer Rafael Kouto at his studio

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Rafael Kouto transforms old and used goods into something new and unique. By what is known as upcycling, the Swiss fashion designer turns discarded clothes and textiles into customized new items. Pro Helvetia visited him at his studio in Zurich.


More information

To the article

Six Swiss design studios were present at this year’s Salone del Mobile from 17 to 22 April in Milan. The video offers a review of Switzerland’s presence at the world-famous furniture trade fair and insights into some of the results of Pro Helvetia’s design promotion programme.


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