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

Call for Applications: Artistic Direction – House of Switzerland Milano 24


Deadline: Thursday, 13 July 2023 (12:00 am CET)


Questions ?

Contact Marie Mayoly: 

Presence Switzerland and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia are looking for a multidisciplinary team to develop an engaging and surprising global artistic direction for the House of Switzerland Milano taking place during the Milano Design Week 2024. 


The House of Switzerland Milano is a joint project by Presence Switzerland (PRS) and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (PH). 

This three-year initiative (2023-2025) is a platform to present the ingenuity of Swiss design and its importance as a design nation during Milano Design Week. It is aimed at offering participants an international stage to build bridges between industry, press and general audience. 

Built around a yearly theme, the House of Switzerland Milano showcases Swiss design through a collective show with emerging designers, studios, universities, brands and galleries.  

House of Switzerland Milano 2024 

The theme of the House of Switzerland Milano 2024 edition is “Joy”. 

Joy is a primary and universal emotion that, by nurturing it, plays a significant role in the creative process. While exploring the connection between joy and design, we uncover a powerful bond that fuels inspiration and hope. How are designers and the field of design actively contributing to joy? How does this emotion empower users and society at large, from their relation to products to addressing global challenges?

The open call for exhibitors will be launched in early September 2023. The exhibitors will be selected by an international jury as well as representatives from PRS and PH. Once again, the House of Switzerland Milano will set up at the Casa degli Artisti located in Brera, the heart of Milano.  

Artistic Direction Mandate 

1. Scope 

We are looking for a multidisciplinary team (scenographers, graphic designers, architects, photographers, …) to develop an engaging and surprising global artistic direction (AD) to create a strong, credible, and coherent identity for the House of Switzerland Milano 2024 – both for the physical and digital space. The attractiveness and perception of the AD will play an active role to attract our target audience, industry professionals and press. The AD team must conceptualise and develop the identity and handle the project management throughout the production phases.  

The AD must consider the following principles: 

  • Boldly embody the central missions and theme of the House of Switzerland Milano 2024 
  • Consider the current global challenges and needs of our society i.e., inclusivity, sustainability, equitability, etc. in the conceptualisation of the project  
  • Consider the temporary character of such an event in the conceptualisation of the project 
  • Have a high degree of variability while following a clear concept 

2. Deliverables  

Visual communication:  

  • Conceptualisation of visual identity corresponding to the overarching theme with logo, fonts, templates, layouts etc. 
  • Development of a communication system for: social media, Out-Of-Home campaigns, online campaigns (website), visuals, trailers, print, uniform etc. 
  • Visual press campaign 
  • Signage system 
  • Project management and production assistance 


  • Concept for:
    • Scenography, visitor experience and signage system for the house (outside and inside), including common spaces and links between different exhibitors who have their own scenography
    • Eyecatcher on the outside façade of the building
    • Visitor flow, crowd management dimension (waiting zone, etc)
    • 2-3 diverse exhibition areas (Emerging Talents, …)
  • Concept development and implementation with production agency on site
  • Technical drawing of all installations
  • Project management and production assistance

3. Budget

For all deliverables aforementioned, the mandate is remunerated: CHF 50’000.- (excl. VAT)

Important notice: To develop the AD concept, the team must consider the following budget points:  

  • The production costs of the scenography (incl. all scenography elements, signage, build-up and take down) must not exceed CHF 100’000.- (mandate not included). A Milan-based producer and builder will be appointed by PH / PRS. 
  • The productions costs of the visual communication (incl. print production, videos, photography, etc.) must not exceed: CHF 20’000.- (mandate not included).  

The production can be partially done together with external suppliers. 

Eligibility criteria  
  • Application should be submitted as one team (with one main contact person) 
  • Experience in similar projects (scope of work and budget, international, multiple clients etc.) is required 
  • Portfolio must show an innovative approach to concept and creation 
  • Applicants may submit their portfolio up to seven years after completing their studies or founding their studio 
  • At least 50% of the participants must be either Swiss citizens or have permanent residency in Switzerland 
Application timeline 

Phase 01: Portfolio – 22 June to 13 July 2023 

  • Application with portfolio and team presentation  
  • Selection of 3 teams for pitching phase  

In the first part of the application, the teams must hand in a common portfolio, highlighting their work and approach to visual communication and scenography. Based on this, three teams will be selected. This phase is not financially remunerated.

Deadline phase 01: 13 July 2023 (12:00am CET) – please fill in the following form.

Phase 02: Pitch – 17 July to 16  August 2023 

  • Q&A with representatives from PH and PRS for the 3 selected teams on 20 July at 16:00 
  • Pitch must include: 
    • Visual communication concept (see deliverables) 
    • Scenography concept (see deliverables) 
    • Retro planning and budget  
  • Pitch presentations: each team will get 20 min to present their proposition and 20 min to answer questions 
  • Final selection of 1 team  

After the first phase, the selected teams will have approximately 4 weeks to prepare and develop a pitch presentation. The pitch presentation will be held 16 August in person with members of PRS and PH in Zurich or Bern. This phase is remunerated with 3’000.00 CHF (excl. VAT) per studio. 

Deadline phase 02: 1h meeting on 16 August 2023 between 14:00-18:00 in person in Zurich or Bern 

Phase 03: Mandate – September 2023 – April 2024 

  • Visit of Casa degli Artisti (early September) 
  • All mandate deliverables as listed above according to timeline agreed on 

In the final phase, the selected team will work on a paid mandate to conceptualise, develop and oversee the Artistic Direction for the House of Switzerland Milano 2024. This phase is remunerated with 50’000.00 CHF (excl. VAT). 

References and important documents 

A glimpse into House of Switzerland Milano 2023:

Casa degli Artisti: visualisations 3d, plans and pictures 

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.