ECAL/Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne

Le Cours de l’eau, 2020
360 × 200 × 7800 cm
Larch wood

No doubt you have already walked, or dreamt of walking, along a Bisse in Canton Valais. A Bisse is a historical irrigation channel, many of which run through the idyllic Alpine landscape. Perhaps it was this romantic notion that inspired the National Exhibition of 1896 to recreate and display a “Mazot”, a typical wooden Alpine hut, albeit conveying a rather stereotypical idea of Switzerland. This larch wood hut, which could be considered as a forerunner of the circular economy, has been given a new lease of life for passersby to admire in the Eaux-Vives park. Is it a decorative object? Is it nostalgic? Or maybe folklore? The 2nd  year Bachelor Industrial Design students at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, under the supervision of programme director Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard and their professor Adrien Rovero, have chosen to recreate the architecture of a traditional Bisse. This construction is also made of larch wood and includes several surprising features, starting with a viewing platform, a map of Lake Geneva, a water mirror and a simple bench to sit and contemplate a basic element: the flow of water. This project brings us closer to nature and makes sense in today’s world where traditional values and local sourcing are being revived.