Blanket made of Guipure lace next to packages "Femina" by Cailler and "Lindola", Switzerland, 1970s
Word pattern in the book "Inversions", design Scott Kim, BYTE Books, Mc Graw-Hill, USA 1981
Wristwatches "Coloured Love" (1988) and "Stucchi" (1990), Swatch, subscription ticket casing of the SBB (1991) and dessert plate "Evolution – Farfalle" (1996), décor by Yvonne Rothmayr
Hat box, Louis Vuitton and tote, Tati, France: a pattern as a globally recognized brand

Exhibition: "Musterspiele" in Zurich

Starting July 6, 2004 the Museum for Design Zurich, Switzerland, will present the exhibition "Musterspiele – Ornamentale Gestaltungsansätze" (Pattern Plays – Ornamental Design Approaches). The common location of the design and graphic collection, Förrlibuckstrasse 46, will be the stage for the debate between the lust for and encumbrance of décors, patterns and ornaments.


A value-free juxtaposition of established design, experiment and kitsch: the heterogeneous collections create unexpected contexts and open up different design approaches. How does a lace pattern on a package communicate with a real lace blanket? How are ornaments without ornamentation created? The exhibition provides answers by arranging and combining objects in ways that offer new insights. Various subject areas are set as focal themes: "Cult", for example, is the subject area in which serial brands or patterns become ornaments. These ornaments may represent a country-specific design culture, but they are recognizable on a global scale. The pattern, which in itself becomes a cult, and the object, which becomes a cult object through patterns, are also issues: infected by the instant success of the Swatch wristwatches, Switzerland developed a merchandise culture of patterns and ornaments. The producers pursued a strategy of turning serial products into sought-after design objects with collections and limited editions.

Among others, slide shows, concerts, a scenic reading and a one-day symposium titled "About the return of the ornament" accompany the exhibition at the School for Design and Art in Zurich.


Further information about the exhibition and events at


Museum für Gestaltung Zürich

Designsammlung – Grafiksammlung

Förrlibuckstraße 62

CH – 8005 Zürich