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Design and Architecture Open Call

Call for application: 2024 Róng Design Library Residency Program X Pro Helvetia Shanghai

Róng Design Library Residency Program

This Residency Program is co-initiated by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia with its Liaison Office in Shanghai and the Róng Design Library. The Róng Design Library invites Swiss designers to participate in a residency in a village near Hangzhou, China and to focus on the search and deconstruction of Chinese traditional crafts techniques and materials. This one-month residency will take place between March 2024 and December 2024 depending on the candidates’ and the host’s availability. 

The collaboration with Pro Helvetia Shanghai represents a distinctive facet of the library’s residency program. Its aim is to foster a dynamic environment that bridges traditional crafts and contemporary design, inviting mutual inspiration. Residents will engage with local artisans and gain fresh perspectives. In its eight-year history, the program has welcomed 50 designers from 10+ countries, including Swiss designers like Jean-Philippe Bonzon, Josefina Muñoz, and Laura Couto Rosado. The selected designers from the 2019-2020 call (postponed due to COVID) are Laure Gremion, Karin Lorez (WEER), and Alix Arto. 

Residency for Swiss Designers

Pro Helvetia Shanghai supports two to four Swiss designers to become Róng Design Library’s residents for the year 2024. The candidate designers will be able to research and study Chinese traditional handicrafts and materials (bamboo, silk, mud, copper, paper, etc.), and combine the learnt techniques with their own practice.  

The selected designers will benefit from the following: 

  • International flight tickets 
  • One-month accommodation 
  • Budget for traditional craftsmanship workshop visit (flight/road transportation & accommodation) 
  • Materials and sample-making support (up to CNY 5,000 = CHF 600) 
  • One local assistant
  • A one-to-one professional adviser support from the four co-founders of Rong Library during Designer’s stay, including design and production support and business development consultant in China
  • Possibility to use the showcase space in Róng Design Library to exhibit the results of the residency
  • Possibility to exhibit at fairs 
  • Matchmaking events with related local business owners 

How to apply?

The application file must include (in PDF version): 

  • Studio contact information (Website, social media pages, etc.) 
  • CV and short biography (approx. 150 words) 
  • Portfolio (max. 10 images of previous works) 
  • Motivation letter (approx. 300 words) explaining what you plan to create during your residency period 
  • Proposed dates of your residency (suggest up to 3 periods) 

Application Criteria: 

  • Emerging talents are designers who completed their professional education in a design-relevant field or who founded a company (as a legal entity) less than seven years ago 
  • At least 50% of the studio members are Swiss citizens or permanent residents in Switzerland. If there is more than one studio member who would like to apply for this residency project, each of them will need to submit a separate application. 

To take part in the 2024 Swiss design residency, please send your application to shanghai@prohelvetia.cn before Monday, September 25, 2023 (UTC+2). 


  • Application deadline: 12am, Monday, September 25, 2023
    Announcement of candidate: Wednesday, October 25, 2023
    Residency period: One month, between March 2024 and December 2024


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

Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council

Design Switzerland

(All images above ©Róng Design Library)


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