Presenting Hors Pistes at Wanted Design

For the third year in a row, swissnex supported a presence from Switzerland at WantedDesign Brooklyn, one of the premier venues for NYC Design Week. After helping to showcase exhibits from EPFL+ECAL Lab (2015) and ECAL (2016), swissnex joined forces this year with the Consulate General of Switzerland and the Cultural services of the French Embassy to bring to Brooklyn a Swiss-French collaborative residency program, Hors Pistes.

Co-founded by designers Marie Douel and Amandine David in 2013, Hors Pistes initiates creative encounters, enabling young designers and artisans to discover foreign traditional techniques.

The exhibition showcased a selection of objects, images and publications issued from the two previous Hors Pistes workshops held in Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou and Banfora). It is a result of know-how exchanges between the artists of these locations and the Hors Pistes team.


Among the pieces displayed, visitors had the opportunity to admire “Toiture” (picture seen above) which is an assembly of sandal soles found among the waste heaps of Ouagadougou. The soles are cleaned and then cut in order to assemble them like tiles on a roof with no need for any additional materials. The roof can be used as a shelter from the rain or the blazing sun. If all of the flip-flop soles were reclaimed from waste heaps, a surface area of over 100,000 square meters could be covered every year. Altogether, the designers and artisans were able to create a cheap and simple product from recycled waste.

The Hors Pistes exhibition in NYC was organized with the support of the Cultural Affairs of the Embassy of France in New York via their Oui Design program, swissnex Boston & the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

View more pictures of the exhibition and the associated events on Flickr!