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Global Architecture Platform

Designers' Saturday:
from production place to exhibition space

Located halfway between Bern and Zurich, the town of Langenthal, which was industrialized in the 19th century, is still one of Switzerland’s main production centres today. Every two years, the production sites of Langenthal manufacturers host Designer’s Saturday, one of the key events on the Swiss design scene, which has grown from 800 visitors in its first edition in 1987 to 15,000 in 2016.

Contemporary society is directly confronted with the remains of former industrial spaces, ruins of a not so distant productive past. Designers’ Saturday provides the opportunity to place finished products beside the place of their production, highlighting the relationship that consumption can have with the development of a territory, an industrial counterpoint to the global phenomenon of delocalisation.

Designers’ Saturday is a chance to show optimized industrial processes alongside the ephemeral installations of over 70 Swiss and international exhibitors. Displaying the objects in the atmospheric conditions of their production site, the various installations dialogue with the raw and finished materials, and the production processes of the host companies – Création Baumann and Ruckstuhl textiles, Girsberger furniture, and Glas Trösch and Hector Egger Holzbau construction materials – to piece together unexpected spaces and allow visitors to interact with them.

In this series of photographs, TRANSFER proposes a stroll through the production spaces of the Designers’ Saturday 2016 edition, taking a close look at the place of production as a key element of the exhibition space.

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