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Inspiration

PATRICIA
LUNGHI

WORK IS A MATTER OF THE HEART

Patricia Lunghi Journalistin und Kulturmanagerin

Patricia Lunghi, journalist and culture manager in Lausanne, Switzerland


 

You studied art history and semiotics with Umberto Eco in Bologna – are a journalist for the design magazine Espaces Contemporains – organize and curate Switzerland’s Design Days –are the mother of 12-year old twins – and live in an amazing loft in Lausanne. What drives you?

 

Work is always a matter of the heart for me. I derive a lot of energy from my work and always put this energy back into my projects. Working in the cultural sector is exciting but earning opportunities are limited. That’s why I always pursue several different activities. Frankly, you could say that my career “chose me” rather than the other way around. I never made a career plan; I probably would have gotten ahead faster if I had made one. When I lived in Bologna and Milan, I worked as a freelance journalist and organized festivals but didn’t earn a lot of money so I also taught French and worked in clubs at night to make ends meet. I really learned a lot then – but it also took a long time until I was able to establish myself professionally.

 

You invest substantial amounts of time and are on the road a lot in order to be a successful freelancer.  How do you manage to balance all these activities?

 

For my work as a journalist I usually sit in front of the computer, visit exhibitions or work from home so that’s easy to arrange. But when I work as a freelance culture manager I do travel a lot. Both types of activities complement each other well: The first is more static, the other dynamic, which is an excellent balance to me.

 

Which globally known design brands are Swiss – and why is Switzerland so successful in design?

 

Vitra and USM Haller are definitely among the best-known Swiss design brands. There are also a lot that are less well-known internationally like Ruckstuhl design carpets) or Wogg and Röthlisberger (design furniture) – and of course Freitag design bags are known everywhere. There are also a lot of other Swiss brands like Logitech, Nespresso and Movado, which are not primarily known for design. Design has such a strong footprint in Switzerland because there are lots of funding programs and design awards like the world-renowned ECAL where famous designers like the brothers Bourelle and Campana studied – all of which generates a lot of positive publicity for a small country like Switzerland.

What is today’s most important design trend?

 

I think that would be the „design thinking“ approach, which has becoming increasingly important in the business world. It’s based on the idea that problems can be solved more effectively when people with different types of expertise work together in a creative environment. Design thinking’s approach focuses on developing innovations that are truly useful for the people that use them.

 

You were born in Switzerland, have Italian roots and hold two passports. What does that mean to you?  

 

It wasn’t always easy for me when I was young. Many people were hostile towards foreigners and I felt “different” for a long time. Today I consider it an inner wealth to be a part of two cultures.

 

What are you planning next?

 

By now I have so much personal and professional experience that I’m ready for a big project. I have something exciting in the works – but you’ll have to wait until I can tell you more about it.

 


Interview conducted early in 2016