Lausanne  X Monocle

Feels like team spirit

Its scenic views and joie de vivre have long attracted visitors. But Lausanne is also a place where innovative ideas grow and talent is shaped. From science and design to sport and management, the city is home to leading institutions and has a long tradition of working closely with industry.

Sharing expertise

With more than 35,000 students, Lausanne is a city filled with future talent. Job prospects are rosy in the region, which ranks highly for both its quality of life and economic development, and ongoing dialogue within academic institutions gives it a further boost. “We’re tapping into each other’s expertise to join forces within Lausanne and beyond,” says Alexis Georgacopoulos, head of the École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ecal). Collaborations range from shared labs and test kitchens at Lausanne’s Hospitality School (ehl) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s scientific village. This spirit and talent is a powerful lure to global firms.


Detail and determination


“Being in Lausanne allows us to be more focused on our work,” says ecal’s Georgacopoulos, himself a product designer who started his career in Lausanne. “It’s the attention to detail that sets us apart.” With an international student body, ecal retains a distinctive Swiss style – seen in projects on typography, sturdy bike designs or its art gallery. That meticulous approach is in line with the region’s history of manufacturing fine mechanics.


Art of the city


Making use of a former industrial site, a thriving new arts quarter named Plateforme 10 is growing rapidly. Joining forces are Lausanne’s Musée Cantonal des Beaux‑arts (mcba), design museum Mudac and the Musée de l’Elysée, whose pioneering role has quickly given the scheme worldwide recognition. Spanish architects Barozzi Veiga developed a structure for the new mcba building that enchants visitors with bright, airy interiors and pays tribute to the site’s industrial past. Opening in 2022, the neighbouring Musée de l’Elysée building will form an impressive centrepiece for the area, courtesy of Portuguese architects Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus. The development will connect a formerly quiet corner to the rest of the city and its proximity to the train station makes it an ideal spot to spend time before heading onwards, to the lakeside or the old town.


Exhibit change


In close co-operation with Lausanne’s art and design university ecal and leading local design studio int, the curatorial team of the Musée de l’Elysée is developing new ways of engaging with visitors at the museum. “We’re using the time until the completion to develop new formats combining physical experiences with digital applications,” says Manuel Sigrist, who leads the exploration and development of digital projects. “Plateforme 10 will allow us to rethink the relationship between the different fields of fine art, photography and contemporary art.”


Olympic spirit


Since 1915, Lausanne has been home to the International Olympic Committee and many other leading global sporting associations have followed suit and chosen Lausanne as their hub. “In Lausanne you can meet the whole world of sports in your backyard,” says Anna Hellman, director of Thinksport, an initiative to enable innovation and interaction within the region’s sporting arena. “Increasingly, we were able to build bridges to neighbouring industries to share expertise, from broadcasting to live events,” says Hellman of the regular conferences she organises to bring sectors closer together. “Lausanne is a competence centre and plays an important role in driving innovation within the world of sports.” The dynamism and team spirit that make Lausanne truly the world’s Olympic capital can also be felt throughout the region.

Images: EPFL – mediacom, Younes Klouche


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