The ECAL Manual of Style
How to best teach design today?

15.10.2022 – 16.04.2023

Vitra Design Museum Gallery

»How to best teach design today?« – The ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne has pondered the question of teaching methods for future designers. Widely considered to be among the leading art and design institutions themselves, the ECAL discussed this issue with internationally renowned designers, critics, and writers. Their answers reveal the school’s unique approach to teaching, in which individual style is not only encouraged, but rigorously pushed to develop into its most coherent professional form.

Curated by designer Jonathan Olivares and ECAL Director Alexis Georgacopoulos, the exhibition surveys a selection of twenty groundbreaking and defining projects by students and their tutors. Based on unconventional teaching methods, they produce objects that reveal creative methodology in action and can be readily molded to the needs of the future. 

The exhibition retraces the design process of these iconic projects through a historical context. In other words, it challenges the question »How to best teach design today?«. A question that Max Bill and Ettore Sottsass tried to answer in 1983 in the context of the »Design Since 1945« exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Their answer? Each gave a response that reflected his own image: the first emphasized the pragmatism and practicality of design. The second, its utopian and metaphorical character. These two lines of thought are found at the heart of the exhibition through its scenography. From the eccentric and colorful glass material to the functional and straightforward wooden structure, the exhibition answers the question in itself: there is not one but many best ways to teach design today.