Mapping Design History in Switzerland

​The publication about this extensive research project led by Robert Lzicar and Davide Fornari is now available at Triest Verlag.

Mapping Graphic Design History

Mapping Graphic Design History in Switzerland presents for the first time eleven selected essays on the production, mediation and consumption of graphic design artefacts and processes, as well as their respective discourses by authors from the German, French and Italian-speaking areas of Switzerland.

The publication discusses theoretical and methodological approaches for historical research on graphic design, helps to establish graphic design history as an academic field in Switzerland, as well as to make this discourse accessible to researchers and professional graphic designers in Switzerland and abroad.

All texts are illustrated with around 100 color and largely unpublished pictures. Besides these academic contributions, the publications contains three visual essays on the history of graphic design in Switzerland, as well as an extensive list of literature and other references.

With an epilog and prolog by the editors and contributions by Constance Delamadeleine, Davide Fornari, Roland Früh, Invar-Torre Hollaus, Barbara Junod, Leslie Kennedy, Robert Lzicar, Corina Neuenschwander, Franziska Nyffenegger, François Rappo, Michael Renner, Bettina Richter, Teal Triggs, Amanda Unger, Peter Vetter;

Visual Essays designed by Diana Iennaco, Marina Prado and Leonardo Signori.

The book is now available at Triest Verlag.  


Davide Fornari is associate professor at ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne, where he leads the research and development sector. He has previously been teacher and researcher at SUPSI University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland. He holds a PhD in Design sciences from the School of Doctorate Studies, University Iuav of Venice. His PhD thesis Face as Interface (Milan 2012) was awarded a grant for publication from the Swiss National Science Foundation. He has contributed with texts and designs to exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad. He has published essays for Sellerio, Einaudi, Treccani, Springer, and for the magazines Domus, Alias, and Ottagono, and is co-editor of the magazine Progetto grafico.

Robert Lzicar is a communication designer, educator and researcher. He is currently based at the Bern University of the Arts, where he directs the MA Communication Design course, researches at the Department of R+D Communication Design, and teaches graphic design history. He earned a Master of Arts in Research on the Arts at the University of Bern, and is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of the Arts, Bern. As an undergraduate he was trained as a visual designer at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd and at the Zurich University of the Arts. 

SDN supports projects by junior researchers and PhD-applicants

The design history research project Mapping Swiss Graphic Design History, led by Robert Lzicar and Davide Fornari, has been the object of a workshop and symposium held at the University of the Arts in Bern in 2015, both supported by the SDN. 

The SDN supports junior design researchers and PhD-applicants in Switzerland to initiate workshops and publications. Projects can be submitted and are evaluated by the board through out the academic year.