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

Swiss Design accelerator San Francisco: participants announced

(c) AATB

swissnex San Francisco

To the website

Discover the five design studios that have been chosen to be part of the Swiss Design Accelerator in San Francisco!

They have been selected through an open call launched last September for this pilot program initiated between Pro Helvetia, swissnex San Francisco and Design Preis Schweiz.

The designers will fly to the West Coast of the USA in January 2020 for an accelerator program and will receive tailor-made coaching, skill development and matchmaking in the San Francisco Bay Area.

AATB are Andrea Anner & Thibault Brevet, both graduates from ECAL. Having previously worked on interactive objects, the tandem then explored the use of industrial robotic arms, crystallizing their research and leading them to investigate the potential of robotics and industrial automation outside of the factory.

WormUp has set itself the goal to prevent any biogenic household waste from ending up in the traditional garbage where valuable nutrients are lost in incineration plants or cause methane emissions in landfills by designing an in-house compost bin powered by worms. This vermicompost system is easy, odourless and stylish.

Carolien Niebling
Born in the Netherlands, Carolien Niebling lives and works in Zurich. She is a designer and researcher who specializes in food-related projects. Her work creates a bridge between science and food, using design as the medium to do so. Her book «The Sausage of the Future» supported by ECAL and published by Lars Müller Publishers takes the reader on a journey through all the building blocks of a sausage. It just has been awarded at the Design Schweiz Preis in the «Research» category.

Douma/Guittet is a Paris-based design studio founded by ECAL alumnis Salim Douma and Victor Guittet. They collaborate with startups and SME to design innovative products and meaningful experiences. They intervene in different sectors as medical, mobility, connected devices and office and living furniture design.

The following studio will participate as part of a collaboration with Design Preis Schweiz:

Robin Eberwein
With his work «Genoma Grotesk», Lugano-based Robin Eberwein created a variable screen font, which adjusts to its surroundings in real time. It was developed as a part of his Bachelor thesis at SUPSI in Canobbio (Ticino, Switzerland). The project underwent three work stages and additional applications for are being considered in the field of entertainment and marketing. The «Genoma Grotesk» won the «Rado Star Prize » at the latest Design Preis Schweiz.

Pro Helvetia, swissnex San Francisco and Design Preis Schweiz have partnered to implement this cultural program at the interface of art and technology. swissnex San Francisco is part of the global swissnex Network for international collaboration and facilitates Swiss artists promotion and cultural exchanges with the US West Coast.

With a solid understanding of both the Silicon Valley and Swiss innovation ecosystems, its mission is to connect people and ideas from Switzerland and the San Francisco Bay Area to foster exchange in research, education, innovation, and the arts.

swissnex San Francisco’s long-established network will enable participants to access key players relevant for the development of their entrepreneurial goals.

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.