Anurag Jain's Blog
Monday, September 01, 2008

Sep 6-20: CRISS + CROSS Design from Switzerland 1860 - 2007 
"Greetings from the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan!

The Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology Bangalore
present CRISS + CROSS - design from Switzerland 1860 - 2007. This stunning exhibition has been curated by Ariana Pradal, Köbi Gantenbein & Roland Eberle.

Event: CRISS + CROSS - design from Switzerland 1860 - 2007
Date: Inauguration on Friday, September 5, 2008 at 6:30 pm
On view from September 6 to 20, 2008
Timings: 10:30 am - 6:30 pm (Mon-Sat)
10:30 am - 5:00 pm (Sun)
Venue: Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore

All are welcome! For further details, please call the Bhavan (2520 5305/6/7/8) of visit,

Complementary events:

A Lecture/presentation by Markus and Daniel Freitag:
'some waste, a sewing machine and one idea'
- how FREITAG became a worldwide known brand
4.00 to 6.00 p.m. on September 6, 2008 at the Bhavan

Guided tours of the exhibition by Ariana Pradal
11.00 a.m., 4.00 p.m. & 6.00 p.m. on September 20, 2008

Exhibition Brief

CRISS + CROSS reveals that there is more to Switzerland than just chocolate, watches and Swiss army knives. With more than 400 exhibits on show, CRISS + CROSS shows how engineers and designers collaborate - in the world of graphic design, in fashion or in the creation of everyday utility items.

CRISS + CROSS is a reference to both the cross on the Swiss flag and the wide range of design disciplines, both past and present, in the selection of artefacts

Design means inventing, constructing and decorating. But the results of design do not merely simplify and enhance the lives of those who buy them; they also express the characteristics of the society that produces, purchases and uses them. Design reflects both a country's history and its currently prevalent social trends and preferences. Furniture, domestic appliances, clothes, sports equipment, jewellery, bags, books and more, are not just tools of everyday use, but also signs of who belongs - or wants to belong - to whom. CRISS + CROSS connects the lavishness and variety of today's products with the rich tradition of Swiss design. Switzerland's design pioneers set standards that today's designers take up and develop.

The 400 different objects on seven different themes, many of them displayed in five large wooden trunks, tell of exquisitely made little artefacts and tiny machines, of graphic design and the art of book making, of living classics and young designers' ideas made real.

The exhibition is made up of seven parts:

small + beautiful
Switzerland is a small country and its engineers are masters of miniaturization. The focus of miniature design has shifted hugely to now include apparatus such as hearing aids, pacemakers, digital cameras and computer mice etc. The objects are small, even tiny, and technically and aesthetically outstanding: painstaking skilful work on tiny objects. A range of these tiny objects owe their distinctive appearance to Swiss designers.

the tiny helpers
Our arms, hands, legs and eyes are useful, but limited. The designer has constructed a range of implements and tools that enable us to clip and cut, dig and plough, scrape and stir. For use in homes, offices, kitchens and gardens.

up to the mountains
Faturing the tourist industry's mountain railways, cable-cars, tunnels, chalets, hotels, posters, sports equipment, hats and gloves, all of which naturally has to be given an appealing design.

the longsellers
Swiss design goes back a long way: Toblerone, the Swiss army knife, the Swiss map, furniture by Willy Guhl, Le Corbusier or USM Haller.

hip + young
There is hard and fast competition among designers to create imaginative variations for apparatus, jewellery, clothes, books, food products, machines and everyday equipment. Many small studios design and produce goods and brands specifically for small, but dynamic sections, giving rise to a delightful range of colours and shapes.

a visual statement
In 1958, the designers Richard Paul Lohse, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Hans Neuburg and Carlo Vivarelli founded the magazine New Graphic Design, which quickly became internationally famous. These authors regarded graphic art as communication and no longer as applied painting. Thus they laid the foundation for corporate design, which quickly spread internationally. What began as New Graphics mutated into Swiss Style and later into International Style. A slide show presents about 300 recent works of graphic designers from various fields.

Switzerland has a long tradition as a book-printing nation. Books that boast not only about stimulating and intelligent content, but also so beautifully designed and are in demand across nations.

Text Credit: Ariana Pradal & Köbi Gantenbein

History of the show
It was at the invitation of the Arts and Design Section of the Federal Office for Culture that Hochparterre AG and re.FORM designed the Swiss contribution to the 5th Architecture Biennale in São Paolo in 2003. Once back from Brazil, they decided to build on this image of Switzerland in a show for the Gewerbemuseum (museum of arts and crafts) in Winterthur. Under the patronage of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the show has since set off on a world tour. After adding a fashion section for CRISS + CROSS in Berlin (DesignMai 2004), it moved on to Budapest (June 2004), Prague, the Slovak capital of Bratislava (October 2004), then to Cieszyn in Poland (January-February 2005) and to the Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Italy (9 June to 17 July 2005). In Switzerland itself, the exhibition was open to visitors in both Willisau (August 2004) and Lucerne (November 2004).

The CRISS + CROSS exhibition in Bangalore is supported by:
Pro Helvetia - the Swiss Arts Council
Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore
Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology Bangalore
The exhibitions in India are part of the jubilee celebrations commemorating 60 years of Indo-Swiss friendship. For more information on this visit:
Sangeeta Rana, Communications Manager, Pro Helvetia New Delhi
at or 09971110007

As part of the exhibition: CRISS + CROSS - design from Switzerland 1860 - 2007, presented by the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, we are happy to announce a lecture/ presentation by Markus and Daniel Freitag,inventors of an international brand.

Event: Lecture/Presentation
'some waste, a sewing machine and one idea'
- how FREITAG became a worldwide known brand
by Markus and Daniel Freitag

Date: Saturday, September 6, 2008
Time: 4.00 p.m.
Venue: Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan

All are welcome! For further details, please call the Bhavan (2520 5305/6/7/8) or visit,

Freitag - the international brand:

It was 1993 when Markus and Daniel Freitag, brothers and graphic designers, found themselves in need of a bag. Zurich locals ride bicycles and they get rained on a lot. So the Freitag Brothers wanted a functional, tough, and water-resistant bag to carry their designs. Inspired by the colourful traffic on the highway extension in front of their apartment, they sewed together a messenger bag from an old truck tarp, took seat belts for straps and used a spare bicycle inner tube to keep the edges from fraying.

Quite unintentionally, the brothers landed a hit. Today FREITAG products are sold and copied all around the globe. Since the original messenger, Markus and Daniel have put out more than 40 different products, with more in the pipeline and even more up their sleeves. Nevertheless, FREITAG products are still produced in Switzerland, next to that same highway extension.

In the presentation Markus and Daniel Freitag will present the company history and point out the success factors, how they managed to grow a "student-project" into a "known" brand.

Facts & figures about FREITAG
* Headquarter: FREITAG lab. ag / Maag works, Zurich, Switzerland
* Founding year: 1993
* Founders & Owners: Markus and Daniel Freitag
* Workforce: about 60 employees in Zurich, Davos, and Hamburg
* No. of shops: 3 own flagship-stores (Hamburg, Davos, Zurich), over 350 point of sales worldwide
* Material use: 200 tons of truck tarps = line of trucks 50 km long; 75,000 bicycle inner tubes; 25,000 seatbelts
* No. of models: over 40 items

* 1997 Award from Design Prize Switzerland
* 1997 The 1993 prototype is added to the collection of the Museum for Design, Zurich
* 1999 Award from the Federal Competition for Applied Arts
* 2003 Gold for the F-Cut from the Art Directors Club Switzerland, in the category of Electronic Publishing
* 2003 Gold for the F-Cut from Art Directors Club Europe in the category of New & Mixed Media / Interactive Media
* 2003 Master of Swiss Web for the F-Cut as the best Swiss website
* 2003 Top Cat model is added to the design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York
* 2006 Contractworldaward
* 2006 ADC-Schweiz
* 2007 The FREITAG Shop Zurich wins the yellow pencil at the D&D Awards in London
* 2008 Best of swiss web: Gold in Business Efficiency; Silver in Creation

For more information on Freitag visit:

The presentation is being held within the context of the ongoing exhibition.

We request you to give wide coverage to this event and depute your art/design critic to view and review the exhibition.

Thank you as always for your cooperation.

Sincerely yours,

Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan
716 CMH Road
Indiranagar 1st Stage
Bangalore 560 038
Ph: +91 80 2520 5305/06/07/08-203
Fax: +91 80 2520 5309 "

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