What’s next: Three projects embark on a 12-month journey

Sustainable electronics, VR experiences with impact and fair working conditions in the theatre sector: these are the themes being addressed by the projects selected for the ZHdK Founders programme ‘What’s next_Project’ 2021.

What’s next_Project’ is a 12-months development programme run by  Z-Kubator at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and supported by Zürcher Kantonalbank, designed to promote arts, education and design projects from the ZHdK that have an entrepreneurial focus. Selected teams will have the opportunity to further develop their ideas, which originated from a course of study or research at the ZHdK. They will each receive CHF 20’000 in addition to caching and mentoring, infrastructure and communication and networking. At completing the program, the projects should be able to establish impact-orientated organisations that will positively affect society.

The inauguration program kicks off next year with the following projects:

Timo Flury: Elements
Wireless headphones are resource-intensive to produce, short-lived and difficult to repair. The Elements concept shows that there is another way: the individual components of the modular headphones can easily be exchanged, expanded or renewed. This approach makes the headphone system more attractive for its users and at the same time more sustainable. The concept was delevoped under the title “FairPods” as a graduation project in the BA Industrial Design.

Eliane Zihlmann and Raffaele Grosjean: BATVISION
“Have you ever wondered how a bat perceives the world?” BATVISION visalizes the bat’s aural image and explains the concept of echolocation in an immersive way. Surrounded by complete darkness, the environment only becomes tangible for the user of the VR experience while screaming. Furthermore, the project raises awareness for an endangered species. The first prototype was developed as a graduation project in the BA Industrial Design in collaboration with the Immersive Arts Space at ZHdK.

Johanna Benrath, Sarah Gailer, Fiona Schreier, Chloé Bourgogne, Lea Niedermann and Johanna Raimund: wildi blaatere
The theatre sector is marked by strict hierarchies, lots of unpaid work and competing interests by many small groups and collectives. The BA and MA Theatre graduates, together with further team members, want to induce the sector with not only innovative ideas but actions in order to create more equal and sustainable working conditions. By prototyping new ideas in an experimental lab new strategies will be distributed through a network of collaborators.

(Press release)

“BATVISION” (2020) by Eliane Zihlmann and Raffaele Grosjean, BA Industrial Design in collaboration with Immersive Arts Space, ZHdK.