Design Switzerland is initiated by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council.

Studio 5 – from Kathmandu to Switzerland

Studio 5

Studio 5 is part of the selected designers for the Design Switzerland exhibition during Milano Fuorisalone 2019.

9-14 April 2019

Design Switzerland exhbition
Teatro Litta (Palazzo Litta)
Within the frame of the Litta Variations / Opus 5
Corso Magenta 24
20121 Milano

Contemporary rugs, designed in Switzerland and hand-knotted in Nepal.

Studio 5 ‘s collection is entitled «Unique» and reflects the unpredictability of colour, turning each piece into a one-of-a-kind result, mixing various materials as found in the leftovers of manufactories, mainly Tibetan wool or Chinese silk, linen and nettle.
Studio 5’s core values are craftsmanship, sustainability and fairtrade: their partner manufactories were founded by Tibetan families, who brought their ancestral rug traditions to Kathmandu and recreated them with great care and love for material and craftsmanship. Each rug becomes an emotional story, which Studio 5 shares with the end client.
No new virgin raw materials are employed to create Studios 5’s carpets: only yarn leftovers of previous productions, mainly Tibetan wool, Chinese silk, linen or nettle, are given a new chance. To enrich the yarns with vivid colours, Studio 5 uses either natural dyes, made from plants or minerals, or certified Swiss-made dyes.  Studio 5 is a proud member of Label Step, a Swiss fairtrade organisation which ensures compliance with working and social standards. Each carpet commissioned creates several months of fair work and ethical pay.


Irène Munger and Thomas Escher are Studio 5, together with their partner manufactories in Nepal. Irène is a passionate designer, awarded by the Swiss Design Prize and Swiss Federal Design Prize. Thomas Escher has a commercial background and worked in many countries. Together, they founded in 2018 Studio 5, a carpet label that combines creativity and sustainability.

Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal ( by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.