Pierre Keller

With the prize for Merit, the jury pays tribute to personalities who can be clearly seen to have exercised an influence on the past and present of Swiss design. The rise of the ECAL/Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne to international recognition can be safely attributed to Pierre Keller. With his untiring commitment and his often unconventional but successful approach, he has succeeded in creating an institution that has an influence well beyond the borders of Switzerland. Just as Pierre Keller’s lack of formality and his epatant statements are received by the general public, so too the college’s projects, with their emphasis on the practical, have caused a sensation. The notable feature of these is that distinguished designers and successful companies take part alongside the students. In an exemplary way, Pierre Keller brings design and the business world together. His latest exploit – the relocation of ECAL to a new site in Renens – was also something quite out of the ordinary.