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Call for application: 2019-2020 Rong Design Library Residency Program X Pro Helvetia Shanghai

Discover Rong Design Library

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Connect, deconstruct, and revive.

Apply to discover traditional design craftsmanship from China and find inspiration for your design.

Rong Design Library Residency Program

This Residency Program is co-initiated by Rong Design Library and Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council. Based on the searching and deconstruction of Chinese traditional crafts techniques and materials, Rong Design Library invites Swiss designers of different fields to avail the residency in a village near Hangzhou, China. The residency lasting one month will take place between October 2019 and October 2020 depending on both the candidates’ and the host’s availability.

The cooperation with Pro Helvetia Shanghai is a special project that falls under the umbrella of the library’s residency program. The objective is to create a critical learning environment to stimulate the discovery and rethinking between traditional crafts and contemporary design. It offers residents opportunities to exchange, experience, devote time to their design practice within a dynamic and vibrant environment by cooperating with local artisans. In five years, the program has hosted around 30 designers from more than 10 countries. Previous Swiss participants included Jean-Philippe Bonzon, Josefina Muñoz, and Laura Couto Rosado.

Residency for Swiss Designers

Starting from this open call, Pro Helvetia Shanghai plans to support 2-4 Swiss designers to become Rong Design Library’s resident for the year 2019 and 2020. The candidate will be able to research and study Chinese traditional handicrafts and materials (bamboo, silk, mud, copper, paper, etc.), and combine the learnt techniques with contemporary design.

The selected designers will benefit from the following services:

  • International flight tickets
  • One-month accommodation
  • Budget for traditional craftsmanship workshop visiting (flight/road transportation & accommodation)
  • Materials and sample making support (up to CNY 5,000)
  • One local assistant
  • One-to-one professional adviser support from the four co-founders of Rong Library during their stay, including design and production support and business development consultant in China
  • Possibility to use the showcase space in Rong Library and other possible venues, and possible opportunity to exhibit at fairs
  • Match-making events with related local business owners
  • Other networking opportunities in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and other cities  


Designers may submit their application up to 7 years after obtaining their degree or grounding their company.

To take part in the 2019 Swiss design residency, please send your application to shanghai@prohelvetia.cn before Friday, August 2nd, 2019.

The application file must include (in pdf version):

  • Studio contact information (Feel free to include additional links to your website, social media pages, etc. )
  • CV and short paragraph of biography (apx. 150 words)
  • Portfolio (max. 10 images of previous works)
  • Motivation letter (apx. 300 words) explaining what you would plan to do/make during your residency period.
  • Proposed dates of your residency (suggest up to 3 choices)


  • Application deadline: August 2nd, 2019
  • Announcement of candidate: August 20th, 2019 (extended to August 30th, 2019)
  • Residency period: One month, between October 2019 and October 2020

We are looking forward to receiving your applications. Please email us at jfan@prohelvetia.ch for any questions.

Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council

Design Switzerland


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