The Design and Technology Lab Zurich provides a research and educational framework in which industrial designers from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and mechanical engineers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) strengthened their disciplinary knowledge and skills by working in teams with students from the other discipline. This develops designers and engineers who have an understanding of the partner discipline and thus jointly succeed in combining and extending the strengths of both disciplines.
Interdisciplinary tandem teams consisting of two students, one from each discipline, devote themselves an industry or research project for three months and jointly develop a meaningful product concept and a prototype. The teams receive expert guidance from ZHdK and ETH faculty. Coaching forms part of the respective curricular training. The results of the tandem projects attract widespread media attention and have received several awards. Past achievements include the establishment of two start-ups (Synple and RapidGraft), financial support from an ETH Pioneer Fellowship (TeD), and several prestigious Dyson Awards: International Top 20 (Kea, Kind Dermatome), Runner-Up (Rowcus) and the Migros Environmental Award (Shinook) as well as ongoing cooperation with the various project partners (Maji Taka, MRI Headset, Mito).
The Design and Technology Lab was founded in 2014 with initial funding from the Gebert Rüf Foundation’s Science and Design Programme.
Previous industrial and research partners: Advanced Technology Labs AG, BS2, D-HEST Department of Health Sciences and Technology, EAWAG, Helvetas, Hetspresso, Institut für Baustoffe / Wood Science (ETH Zürich), Kinderspital Zürich, Phoster, Rowcus, SwissProthetics, Universitätsspital Zürich, V-Zug.
Organizational lead and contacts:
Kai von Petersdorff-Campen (firstname.lastname@example.org), PhD candidate and research associate ETHZ / pdz Product Development Group Zurich
Jonas Conrad (email@example.com), MSc student in mechanical engineering
ETHZ / pdz Product Development Group Zurich
Laurin Schaffner (firstname.lastname@example.org), Teaching Assistant, Industrial Design, ZHdK
Founding team and directors:
Sandra Kaufmann & Nicole Kind, Co-heads, BA Industrial Design, ZHdK
Prof. Mirko Meboldt, ETH Zürich / pdz Product Development Group Zurich