Picasso – Blue Rose



Students design high-quality products for the Picasso-Shop at Fondation Beyeler


For the major exhibition «The Young Picasso – Blue and Rose Periods» at Fondation Beyeler, the FHNW Academy of Art and Design and Fondation Beyeler have, for the first time, realized a joint project.

Inspired by Picasso’s paintings from the Blue and Rose periods, students of the Masterstudio Design were asked to develop product ideas for the gallery’s Picasso shop, a task they worked on for two semesters. In the context of the trainee programme Swiss Cultural Entrepreneurship, students were thus given the opportunity to go through the whole design process, from sketch to finished product, under real conditions.

The students first explored the formal, motivic, and conceptual characteristics of Picasso’s work during the Blue and Rose periods as a basis for reinterpreting them. Setting out from their sketches they went on to deal with aesthetic and functional concerns, find the right production partners, define target groups and price ranges, create designs for packaging, and select the appropriate modes of presentation and sale. In the process the students went through all the stages of product development, enabling them to gather vital experience with regard to design practice.

A jury selected the designs it believed were worth realizing. Since then, six different products have been produced and are now on sale at Fondation Beyeler’s Picasso shop, most of them handcrafted unique items. The product range comprises mouth-blown vases, golden handheld mirrors, coloured soaps and wax crayons, a special Mikado set, and T-shirts for kids – all come in a limited edition and a specially designed packaging.

The SRF programme «Kulturplatz» accompanied the production process and broadcasted a glance of the making-of for the opening of the exhibition. The TV report can be viewed here.

As from August 2019 Interviews with the students and videos showing the production of the various items can be found on the respective social media channels of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design and Fondation Beyeler.


Prof. Armin Blasbichler

, Studio Integrative Design

Nicole Schneider

, Studio Industrial Design

Jana Eske

, Swiss Cultural Entrepreneurship