BAK awards Grands Prix Design 2013

The Federal Office of Culture BAK has once again awarded Swiss designers with the Grand Prix Design. With this prize, the BAK annually honors designers or designated design offices that contribute to the reputation of Swiss design on a national and international level.

The three prizes go to textile designer Martin Leuthold, the designer and architect duo Trix and Robert Haussmann, and graphic designer Armin Hofmann. Videographic portraits of the winners will be shown as part of Design Miami at the Art Basel art fair. By launching the award, the Federal Office of Culture rounds out a package of measures that actively promotes the Swiss design scene, according to the release,
supports and appreciates.

Winner Grands Prix Design 2013:

Martin Leuthold, 1952 (Creative Director, Jakob Schlaepfer Textiles, St. Gallen)
After training as an embroidery designer, Martin Leuthold joined Jakob Schlaepfer in 1973 as a textile designer, one of the world's leading manufacturers of innovative textiles in the haute couture, prêt-à-porter and interior decoration sectors. Since 1989, Leuthold has been a member of the management board and, as creative director, is responsible for the creation division. In this function, he is involved in the development of numerous new production processes, among other things. The company is regarded as a hub for generations of young textile and fashion designers, who find ideal, laboratory-like conditions here, and in Leuthold a unique mentor and promoter of their talents. His many years of experience and his openness to innovation are instrumental in ensuring that the Jakob Schlaepfer company remains competitive in a rapidly changing market situation and is always able to provide new impetus.


In Martin Leuthold, the Swiss Confederation is honoring a key figure in the Swiss textile industry who knows how to successfully combine the promotion of young talent, innovative strength and international renown, the Federal Office of Culture said in the statement.

Trix and Robert Haussmann, 1933 and 1931 (architects, interior designers and product designers, Zurich)
In 1967, the trained interior designer Robert Haussmann and the architect Trix Haussmann (née Högl) founded the "Allgemeine Entwurfsanstalt" in Zurich as an office for planning, interior design and product design. Their spectrum ranged from small utilitarian objects to buildings and conversions to urban planning. Their designs for manufacturers such as Röthlisberger, de Sede, Wogg or Knoll became design classics. They are also known for renowned interior design projects, such as the Kronenhalle bar (Robert Haussmann, 1965) or the underground shopping arcades at Zurich's main train station. Their design practice also includes a critical theoretical examination, of which their teaching pieces, ironic furniture objects of the 1980s, are exemplary.


The Swiss Confederation honors Trix and Robert Haussmann for their remarkable contribution to Swiss design and architectural history. Their committed and reflective questioning of aesthetic conventions was ahead of its time and needs to be rediscovered today, the statement said.

Armin Hofmann, 1920 (graphic designer and teacher, Lucerne)
After training as a draftsman and lithographer, Armin Hofmann worked in various studios as a lithographer and designer. From 1947 he taught at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel (later Schule für Gestaltung) in the graphics class, where he developed a teaching method for artistic and design professions that gained widespread recognition. From the mid-1950s, guest professorships followed in the USA, first at the Philadelphia College of Art and later at Yale University, where he taught regularly until 1991, and in India (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad). In 1967 he was appointed head of the specialist class for commercial art in Basel. His book Methodik der Form- und Buchgestaltung (1965, Niggli Verlag) has established itself as a standard work. Hofmann's iconic poster works for Basel cultural institutions such as the Stadttheater, the Kunsthalle, and the Gewerbemuseum form a major contribution to the Swiss Style, which is recognized worldwide. His design work also includes signets, books, color concepts, orientation systems, and art on buildings.


In Armin Hofmann, the Swiss Confederation is honoring one of the defining figures of Swiss graphic design, as well as a teacher and lecturer who has had a lasting influence on generations of graphic designers and teachers in Switzerland and abroad, according to the Federal Office of Culture.

Teaser image: Trix and Robert Haussmann

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