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

Call for projects – exhibition design : Milano Design Week 2020


17 December 2019

Milano Design Week 2020: 21 – 26 April 2019

Design Switzerland aims to connect emerging & innovative Swiss design with the national and international markets. Initiated by Pro Helvetia, Design Switzerland enables young Swiss design studios to gain visibility, build professional networks and reach their business goals.

After two successful editions of the Design Switzerland showcase at Palazzo Litta, Pro Helvetia is thrilled to engage in a new adventure at Alcova for the 2020 selection.

Alcova is a platform for independent design developed by Space Caviar and Studio Vedèt. Currently operating as an itinerant network of exhibition spaces across multiple sites in and around Milan, it activates forgotten locations of historical significance, temporarily recasting them as venues for performative activities. Alcova was first launched in 2018, when the exhibition was visited by over 40,000 people over six days of Salone.

Pro Helvetia is launching a call for the exhibition design of the 2020 Design Switzerland display to young Swiss interior designers/scenographers up to seven years after obtaining their degree.


Develop an exhibition concept for Design Switzerland at Milano Design Week 2020 within the given requirements and constraints detailed below.


Create an original and memorable exhibition concept able to convincingly put forward diverse design projects and offer a coherent dialogue with the surrounding space and context.

  • Show a daring and innovative face of Swiss design, going beyond the expected stereotypes, yet respecting expectation such as quality and coherence.
  • Take the context and space into account.
  • Propose a display system allowing adaptable elements for the variety of selected projects.
  • Include an idea to create 2 to 3 areas within the exhibition (we will collaborate with 2 partners and might have to distinguish the areas).
  • Favor circulation within the exhibition
  • Accommodate a total of 14 to 16 projects/studios (sometimes 2-3 pieces per studio)
  • Include sustainability in your concept (Upcycling, reusability, waste-reduction, etc).
  • See previous showcases here.
  • Exhibition designers must be fully available in Milano for setup, up to the opening, as well as dismantle (appx: 15-21.04 & 26-27.04 2020).
  • Exhibition designers must show a professional fluency in English language.

Technical indications:

  • Size of the space: 2 x 104 sqm side to side. Height: 4,4 meters below the piping (download space presentation here, here & here, blueprint here)
  • The exhibition design mandate includes all steps of the process: concept, production respecting venue limitations & legal requirements, meetings with the organizers & designers, collaboration with all parties included in the project (designers, graphic designers, transporter, communication team, venue…)
  • Approximative design & production budget: CHF 25’000.- (excluding transportation & stay)

To answer the call, please send your PDF application to before 17 December 2019.

The PDF application file must include:

  1. Short biography including references (max 500 signs including spaces)
  2. Description of the exhibition concept (max 800 signs including spaces)
  3. Mood/inspiration board (max. 2 pages)
  4. Blueprint of envisioned scenography
  5. Material ideas

For questions, please contact

We are looking forward to discover your proposals and will get back to you shortly after 6 January 2020.