From a racist diary to a kingfisher: design, film and art students show their final projects

Anna Wenger
Anna Wenger
From a racist diary to a kingfisher: design, film and art students show their final projects

The Werkschau is the celebrated conclusion of a design, film or art course at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). This year’s exhibition focuses on works on the subject of digitality. It runs from June 22 to June 30, 2024 in Lucerne-Emmenbrücke. The works of the Master of Art will already be on display from June 13 at Kampus Südpol Luzern Kriens LU.

Lina Haag and Valerie Bachmann are developing an app for people suffering from postpartum depression (PPD) for their bachelor’s thesis in the Digital Ideation degree program. The condition is still considered a taboo subject and little research has been done into it, even though it affects over 20 percent of women and over ten percent of fathers. The symptoms of PPD include depressive moods, anxiety, sleep disorders and suicidal thoughts.

Haag, who is majoring in design, and Bachmann, whose focus is on IT, contacted the Swiss Postpartum Depression Association (soon to be Periparto Switzerland). They were met with such an open ear that the association not only provided them with a contact person, but also wanted to develop their app further.

Haag and Bachmann filtered information from conversations with those affected and looked for patterns and commonalities in the processes in order to analyze the causes of the illness and identify what can help. ’It often helps those affected to realize that they are not alone in their situation,’ says Haag. That’s why those affected can find mentors in the app who report on their experiences with PPD, the course of the disease and their symptoms in video and audio formats. They can also give tips on what helped them to get well again. After completing their studies, Bachmann and Haag want to perfect the app so that it can be integrated into the association’s support services and sufferers can search directly for the right service for them or contact a sponsor.

The work of Lina Haag and Valerie Bachmann will be presented at the exhibition in the foyer of the Lucerne School of Art and Design in Lucerne-Emmenbrücke. All of the work from the Digital Ideation and Data Design + Art bachelor’s degree courses will be on display there, as digitality is at the heart of both courses and the focus of the department’s work. In addition, the department will increasingly focus on the topics of sustainability and culture of trust until 2026. Selected works that deal with these topics will be highlighted at the exhibition. The key topics are also of outstanding importance in society, as Jacqueline Holzer, Director of the Department of Design Film Art, says. ’When our students show their skills to a broad public, they also prove how relevant their topics are for the future of society.

A total of around 280 works by graduates will be on display at the Design Film Kunst exhibition. The public exhibition runs from June 22 to 30, 2024 at the university location 745 Viscosistadt in Lucerne-Emmenbrücke.

StudioLab Days

The prospective graduates of the Master of Fine Arts will be presenting their works at the Studio Lab Days 2024 at the Südpol campus in Kriens from June 13 to 16. In the StudioLabs Eco, Post! and ¿Where?, the Master’s art students work on a theme in the same group for the entire duration of their two-year course. Around 50 works will be on display at the StudioLab Days, ranging from installations and performances to ephemeral projects and research-based artistic works. They deal with current topics such as post-humanism, ecology and collaborative work from the fields of Art in Public Spheres, Critical Image Practices and Art Teaching/Teaching Art.
One example of this is Daniela Ardiri’s master’s thesis "If I Was Born Rosa, cultivating care as an anti-capitalist strategy", in which the Milan-based artist explores the boundaries between paid work, domestic work and (unpaid) care and searches for a strategy to cultivate new forms of care. The work consists of two parts: An art happening for the Studio Lab Days and an artistic publication as a cookbook, collection of exchanges and knowledge and manual for a caring practice. MORE

Selected final theses

Help for helpers (Bachelor Design Management, International)
Natascha Haller (Meilen, ZH) is developing two design strategies to support relatives and friends of couples who are unable to have children. A toolkit for those affected and their caregivers sets out principles for communication and support and uses question cards to encourage discussion about the desire to have children. And a digital handbook provides information in text and film. MORE

From kingfisher to camouflage clothing (Bachelor Illustration Nonfiction)
Anna Wenger (Spiegel near Bern) is working on a non-fiction book for adults on the subject of bionics. The idea of the book is to illustrate animals such as the shark, the boxfish or the blue morpho butterfly and to show how their attributes or abilities can be used technically. Wenger focuses on the kingfisher in order to test the possibilities of implementation and the limits of illustration as a means of communication. MORE

Diary of a Racist (Master Film)
Elena Ottavi’s (Mendrisio) final project is the digitally animated 2D short film ’Racist Journal’. Racism is so deeply rooted in society, says Ottavi, that it has become an integral part of it. In the film, she follows a day in the life of Andrea, who claims to be racist but leads a completely normal life. The monologue plays with clichés of discrimination and aims to make viewers rethink their perception of themselves and others. MORE