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Diplom 2020

Once again this year, the Department of Design is awarding the ZHdK Sponsorship Prize, which is endowed with CHF 5000, to a Bachelor's and a Master's thesis. The 20 works nominated by the disciplines were presented to the public this week via livestream by the nominees and evaluated by a jury. After a long and intensive discussion, the jury has agreed on the winners* of this year's promotional awards. Due to the numerous excellent works, the jury would also like to give special mention to three other BA theses.

The ZHdK sponsorship award for the best BA diploma thesis of the Departement Design 2020 goes to: Claudia Buck & Randy Chen with «Journey to Recovery», BA Specialization, Subject Area Interaction Design

«Journey to Recovery» is an app that uses a gripping story to improve the sleep quality of children after an accident and guides them through sleep therapy in a playful way. Every evening before bedtime, a chapter can be unlocked and something new can be learned about sleep. This is intended to counteract the decreasing interest in the course of therapy. The result is a captivating and enthralling experience that motivates and supports the children on their way.

«This work impresses with its exemplary design process, in which everything was thought of, from the self-experiment with the sleep device, to the workshop with children, to the ambitious visual language. The final product reflects the commitment of the two designers* to critically examine new technologies and apply them in a way that is appropriate for the target group.»

Project website: here
Diploma website Interaction Design: here
Find the laudation here.

The ZHdK sponsorship award for the best MA diploma thesis of the Departement Design 2020 goes to: Ronald Pizzoferrato mit «PLOMO», MA Specialization, Subject Area Trends & Identity

In Caracas, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, violence is an immanent part of the everyday life of the Caraqueños. «PLOMO» uses visual ethnographic research to investigate the influence of violence on the aesthetics of everyday products, gestures, poses and things. Through research on Instagram and on site, through workshops in Caracas and photography as a research medium, it becomes visible how the identity of a society is influenced and shaped by the daily confrontation with violence.

«An outstanding work, which is able to narrate the tightrope walk between violent images and the profound analysis of violence as a cultural phenomenon in a poetic way. Editorial means in the image are used excellently to convey a difficult topic. In addition, the intuitive mediation through pictures reaches the target group. The work has a high artistic value.»

Teaser: hier
Diploma publication: here
Find the laudation here.

A honorable mention of the jury goes to the following diploma projects:

Alessa Fanzoi with «RAT’S NEST», BA Cast/Audiovisual Media

Frustrated by her introversion, the protagonist Mia withdraws into a subway, which metaphorically stands for her emotional world. There she encounters all the strange things that her subconscious has to offer. Her fears and insecurities acquire their own bodies and so the refuge turns out to be a rat's nest. A hunt into the unknown follows and an encounter that encourages Mia to jump over her shadow. «Rat's Nest» is an animated short film about self-esteem and self-acceptance.

«Outstanding processing of a very personal experience. From the choice of colours, through the metaphorics, the dramaturgy and last but not least the perfectly coordinated composition, the short film skilfully stages the protagonist's conflict. A courageous, ambitious and very own project.»

Website: here
Movie: here

Rafael Gil Cordeiro with «print my sleep. Disfunctional discourse objects», BA Trends & Identity

Since it has become the subject of economic and social debate, sleep has not found any rest. Whether transfigured into a post-material luxury good, hailed as a tool for increasing efficiency or cursed as a wasted time - print my sleep translates the unconscious into dysfunctional objects.

«Skilfully visualizes the absurdity of our society's compulsion for self-optimization in the form of unconventionally beautiful objects. A risk-taking work that speaks an independent design language and evades the pressure of a service.»

Website: here

Filip Despotovic with «Subtype», BA Visual Communication

Unfortunately, despite their rich history, film subtitles have remained unformed and unaesthetic until today. So it happens that in a $250 million film production, you still come across a bizarrely distorted subtitle in Arial, banged at the bottom of the screen. Subtype is a new film subtitle font adapted to the medium, specifically designed for use on video and streaming platforms.

«Contemporary and ignored for far too long, an elegant balancing act between user*-friendliness and aesthetic demands. Especially outstanding is the visualization of sounds, which was developed with and for deaf people».

Website: here

This year's jury members:

Sereina Rothenberger, Professor for design, founder of Design Studio Hammer and Alumna ZHdK.
David Simon, Interaction Designer, founder Design Studio Dezentrum and alumnus ZHdK.
Michaela Büsse, PhD Researcher Critical Media Lab, Alumna ZHdK.
Philipp Meier, Social Media Editor and Content Curator at
Corina Zuberbühler, Industrial Designer, Head of BA & MA Design and Deputy Director DDE.

We congratulate the winners of the ZHdK sponsorship award as well as the designers of those diploma projects that received an honorable mention by the jury.

«Journey to Recovery» by Claudia Buck und Randy Chen. Subject Area Interaction Design. BA Specialization. © ZHdK
«Journey to Recovery» by Claudia Buck und Randy Chen. Subject Area Interaction Design. BA Specialization. © ZHdK
«PLOMO» by Ronald Pizzoferrato. Subject Area Trends & Identity. MA Specialization. © ZHdK
«PLOMO» by Ronald Pizzoferrato. Subject Area Trends & Identity. MA Specialization. © ZHdK