Design for Debate V

Kueng Caputo

13th of March . 2023, 3pm
Room 54, Ep.1, ESAD.CR
Industrial Design 3th year

Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo — professionelly known as Kueng Caputo — have been working together for twelve years. Their work is characterised by great diversity, an appreciation of craftsmanship and colourfully humorous perspicacity. Their joint diploma thesis at the Zurich University of the Arts already won them a Swiss Design Award in 2009.

This was followed by a residency in New York for Sarah Kueng and one in Japan for Lovis Caputo. The New York Salon 94 gallery invited them to present their work and soon afterwards chose to represent them. Suddenly Kueng Caputo found themselves sucked into the then burgeoning market for collector’s items in design. In the years that followed, a Danish gallery, Etage Projects, also started representing them, and they received invitations from galleries, alternative art spaces, museums, trade fairs, and biennials.

Product designers Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo create both high-end objects and do-it-yourself designs that blend a self-reflective approach with an awareness of the volatile challenges of the design world. They also teach regularly at national and international design schools, seizing the opportunity to inquire into the conventional practice of design and find future-oriented solutions. In addition, they often work with specialized artisans, whose knowledge should be preserved and fostered. In 2016, for instance, as part of a Japanese development project they created their ceramics collection for Arita. Kueng Caputo are increasingly concerned with the social relevance of their endeavors, for the longer they navigate the business world as independent designers, the more acutely aware they become of the currents and forces that are at work. Kueng Caputo see the Swiss Grand Prix Design as na opportunity to take stock. As Caputo puts it, “The prize gives us the freedom and time to question, to reexamine certain things, to reposition ourselves after twelve years, to think about what direction to take next.” And Kueng seconds that, “It gives us a chance to think about what we as human beings and designers have to do, given the situation in the world today.”