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Elle Decor Italia

This Swiss university is much more than a design school

Renowned teachers, fully equipped laboratories, post-graduate internships with established companies and tuitions fees that are lower than you might think: welcome to Écal


Some students from Swiss school Écal in Switzerland during a lecture


There is a school in Switzerland where you can study design, graphic, art, but also cinema, photography, sculpture. And maybe choose to become a video-maker, a fashion accessory or product designer, or why not, a pressman able to use both a 3D printer and an old printing press from the 1800s.

You may learn all this, and a lot more, at Écal, l'École Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne. One of the most prestigious design schools, over the years, the Swiss university of art and design has earned a good reputation for the wide variety of classes available and, most of all, for its solid contacts with many companies that are active in the field of applied arts. In practical terms, it means that it is able to provide its students with post-graduate internships in the creative departments of prominent companies. 

And some of their names are sure to impress: Alessi, Baccarat, BMW Group, Camper, Cassina, Christofle, e15, to Galerie kreo, Hansgrohe Axor, Hermès, Hublot, IKEA, Luceplan, Nestlé, Nespresso, Punkt., Swiss International Air Lines, USM, Vacheron Constantin, Vitra, among others.


Without a doubt, the school’s success is first and foremost due to the energy of its former director, Pierre Keller, who surrounded himself with top-notch teachers and created international alliances with schools like those of Helsinki and Eindhoven. But plaudits also go to the enthusiasm of the new director Alexis Georgacopoulos. Born in 1976, he was an Écal student before becoming a teacher there.

But beyond its corporate contacts, what does this school offer that is so special? “We have laboratories equipped with everything one needs to study any artistic subject”, says the young director, “from carpentry to printing, through to photographic sets, and the most sophisticated editing software packages available”. Another feather in the cap is the list of the tutors of the industrial & product design classes.

“I’m proud to mention Michael Anastassiades, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Pierre Charpin, Albert Meda, Jaime Hayon, Pauline Deltour, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Bethan Laura Wood, Studio Formafantasma, Francesca Sarti". Furthermore, many graduates from this school have won several prestigious awards worldwide, so it is not surprising that every year the school receives more and more student applications.

What is the requirement to get selected? “We choose based on the project the student would like to realise if he or she is admitted to the school. So, it doesn’t matter what your name is or what qualifications you have: what really matters here is the power of your ideas. Those that are truly innovative and brilliant”. 

The last detail, not to be neglected, has to do with the tuition fees: lower than those of any private university in Italy.


by Maria Chiara Antonini / 14 February 2018


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