Study Design in Switzerland

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Design Studies in Switzerland

Do you have an eye for interior design and fashion?  Have you ever considered earning a degree in this fast-faced and rewarding career field?  If so, you’ll be pleased to know you can now earn a portion of your educational credentials while living and studying for a time in the beautiful country of Switzerland.

Officially known as the Swiss Confederation, Switzerland is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities, locally known as the Bundesstadt or "federal city.”  The country of Switzerland is situated in the West-Central portion of the European continent, sharing borders with Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is completely landlocked, and is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found. Among them are the two global cities and economic centers of Zürich and Geneva.

One of the world’s wealthiest countries, Switzerland has the globe’s highest nominal wealth per adult (financial and non-financial assets) and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product.  Swiss citizens have the second-highest life expectancy in the world, and the country is tied with the Netherlands for the top spot on the Bribe Payers Index, indicating very low levels of business corruption.  Even more, for the last five years the country has been ranked first in economic and tourist competitiveness according to the Global Competitiveness Report.  Zürich and Geneva have been ranked among cities with the highest quality of life in the world with the former coming in second globally according to Mercer.  Much of the reason for Switzerland’s success can be attributed to the country’s excellent system of higher education, including its higher education system and the many fine universities located here.

Design Education in Switzerland

Fashion design and interior design are offered as degree programs at several universities throughout Switzerland, leading to both Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees.  Bachelor degrees in Switzerland typically span between two and three years in duration, while the Master of Fine Arts usually takes an additional two years to complete.  This new degree structure is the result of the recently approved Bologna Process, an educational reform measure aimed at standardizing the credit and degree structure at universities throughout the European Union.

The curriculum that’s involved in an Interior Design degree is organized in such a way that it allows students to build upon skills and knowledge in logical sequence. The curriculum addresses the development of creative, analytical, technical and communication skills appropriate to contemporary interior design practice.
Students move forward each semester to increasingly complex learning experiences that help them build competency to appropriately identify and solve problems related to the rich contextual relationship that exists between people, the natural environment, and designed space.
Some of the courses students can expect to encounter when studying Design at one of Switzerland’s fine universities include:
  • Introduction to Interior Design
  • Elements of Design I
  • History of Interiors
  • Drawing & Composition
  • Architectural Drafting I
  • Elements of Design II
  • Quick Sketching
  • Color Theory & Application
  • Oral Communication
  • Building Codes & Standards
  • CAD I
  • Ideas in Art & Architecture
Toward the completion of the program, the curriculum addresses many social, global and environmental issues and advanced experiences in critical thinking and effective visual communication.  Additional upper division coursework prepares students to not only effectively analyze human behavior to meet the functional, aesthetic, social, and psychological needs of clients, but also prepares them to make a confident transition into professional practice.

Why Study Abroad in Switzerland

Studying abroad in Switzerland can be the experience of a lifetime.  Not only will students have access to some of the best Design schools in Europe, they will also be afforded the opportunity to visit all of the sites and attractions the country has to offer.  Some of these include:

The Paul Klee Center

Located in the beautiful city of Bern, the Paul Klee Center is Switzerland’s version of the Guggenheim.  This architecturally bold center is an eye-catching 150m-long building filled with popular modern art.  

The main exhibition space showcases 4000 rotating works from Paul Klee’s prodigious and often- playful career. Interactive computer displays built into the seating mean you can get the low-down on all the Swiss-born artist’s major pieces, while music-driven audio guides take you on a one-hour musical tour of his work. In the basement of the museum is the fun-packed Kindermuseum Creaviva, an inspired children’s museum, where kids can experiment with hands-on art exhibits and create their own art to take home.

You haven’t really been to the Lucerne region of Switzerland until you have strolled the creaky 14th-century Kapellbrücke Bridge, spanning the Reuss River in the Old Town section of the city. The octagonal water tower is original, but its gabled roof is a modern reconstruction, rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1993.  As you cross the bridge, note Heinrich Wägmann’s 17th- century triangular roof panels, showing important events from Swiss history and mythology. The icon is at its most photogenic when bathed in soft golden light at dusk.
The Fraumünster church originally belonged to a monastery, donated by Louis the German, a grandson of Charlemagne, for his daughters.  Until the Reformation, many women of European royalty lived here.  In 1524 the last abbess, Katharina von Zimmern, turned the convent over to the civil authorities and married a knight a year later. The cloister is well preserved and is now part of the adjacent townhouse. The most essential component of this Gothic church is its chancel, which dates from the late Romanesque period. Here you will also find the five colorful stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes by the French painter Marc Chagall (1970). Together with his rose window in the southern transept (1978), they are among the most popular visitor attractions in Zurich.

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