Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts
A museum rooted in everyday experience
The mudac is the only museum in French-speaking Switzerland exclusively dedicated to design and contemporary applied arts. It has built its identity over the course of the 105 exhibitions presented from 2000 to 2016. After its new home has been completed, it will continue with its policy of fostering openness and exchange between numerous contemporary art disciplines, by including all forms of expression, materials, techniques and approaches. Diversity, plurality and high standards are the three watchwords that define the mudac. One could also add the word “contemporary”, since the museum specialises in works from the past 15 to 20 years.
The mudac is a museum that is sensitive to the experiences and everyday concerns of 21st-century society, revealing new or fundamental trends through its thematic exhibitions. Camouflage in design, art, architecture, urban planning and fashion; experimenting with relations between people and pets; packaging; the relationship with the sense of touch; pleasure objects... There is no limit to the subjects tackled by the mudac, which likes to raise questions that concern everyone, without claiming to provide definite answers, but offering an open, critical and often playful forum for reflection. Switzerland’s well-known design museum at home and abroad, the mudac conceives exhibitions that often travel through Europe and beyond.
The mudac’s collections will at last be shown in the spaces they deserve. A rich selection from the prestigious contemporary glass art collection, one of the most famous in the world, will be permanently on show. The contemporary jewellery, ceramic, design and print collections will be shown to the public on a rotation basis. Two or three catalogues per year will add to the scientific research department of the museum.
An exceptional dynamic
The mudac’s current building, a beautiful but complex 17th-century house, has proven to have limitations in terms of logistics, security and visitor comfort, placing drastic constraints on exhibitions. Having new walls within PLATEFORME 10 will enable the mudac to take part in the exceptional dynamic created by the grouping of three museums dedicated to visual art. The future of mudac will therefore be an open one, in the strict and figurative senses: it will be attractive, reactive, perfectly in tune with the times, accessible to people of all kinds from Switzerland and elsewhere, as well as receptive to questions that concern the worlds of art and design, and therefore pertain to contemporary lifestyles.
Lausanne, city of design
The mudac’s strong identity, combined with ECAL’s reputation (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne), has earned Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud an international reputation as a centre of excellence in contemporary design. The development of PLATEFORME 10 presents a major opportunity to strengthen this position and make design one of the main driving forces of this future district and of Vaud’s cultural life. The design craze that has not abated since the 1990s, allied with the diversity of mudac’s programme, has generated interest from a very wide range of people of all ages from all cultures and backgrounds. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that design is one of today’s most stimulating fields of contemporary creativity. Its ability to intersect and unite disciplines and its place in everyday life make it perfectly suited to the new public space that is taking shape, which is a place of culture, but also a place of social and urban life.
The new mudac, in an emblematic setting
The mudac and the Musée de l’Elysée will share the building designed by Portuguese architects Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus. It is distinguished by a large horizontal rift that separates the mudac in the upper section from the Musée de l’Elysée, the building’s plinth. The exhibition rooms will be illuminated by a zenithal light. They will be flexible spaces that can be adapted according to the needs and themes of temporary exhibitions. The exhibition rooms will thus be fulfilling the missions of a museum, offering the public an area that inspires discussion and criticism about the transformation of objects and the evolution of society.
mudac — The Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts
Year founded: 2000 (formerly the Musée des arts décoratifs de la Ville de Lausanne, founded in 1967)
Director: Chantal Prod’Hom
Collections: Approximately 3,000 objects including a contemporary glass art collection unlike any other in Europe
Focus: A platform for encounters and exchanges between design, applied arts and contemporary art; dialogue between established designers and young creatives, spectacular prototypes and pieces alongside everyday objects.