Usha Müller , 12 August 2021

Stadler Form meets ECAL: Fan of the future

In a collaboration with Stadler Form, students from ECAL unleashed all their creativity in order to design the fan of the future – each person doing so in their own unique way. The result: a wide range of functional prototypes, ingeniously implemented and impressive in their variety.

«Create the fan of the future» was the task given to the undergraduates studying at the renowned Swiss design school ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. The aim of the project was to design a compact, mobile, and fully functioning fan for personal use. No other requirements were stipulated as the aim was for everyone involved in the project to have as few constraints as possible to deal with to let the creativity flow. We shared the knowledge that we have got at Stadler Form with the students and gave them the support they needed to be able to construct functional samples and prototypes. In return, they used their talent, creativity, and enthusiasm to create a range of fans for us that could not have been more varied.

The collaboration began in late summer 2020. After the interim presentation of the projects in November, when they were viewed by Stadler Form founder and CEO Martin Stadler himself who also provided his own personal input, the students were then able to further revise and improve their fans. At the final presentation in February 2021, the most innovative and unique fans – the like of which has not been seen on the market – were chosen by Martin Stadler and his team in order to be presented to the public.

Read this interview to find out what founder Martin Stadler thought of the collaboration with the undergraduates from the Lausanne design school, what surprised the entrepreneur and what inspired him.

The most innovative projects of the students from ECAL chosen by Stadler Form

Fior by Agnes Murmann

"I would say the biggest challenge lay in putting this image aside and reimagining how a fan could work or what it could look like."
In her creation, Agnes Murmann focused on the use of an unusual material for the fan blades which are made entirely from rattan. Her aim was to produce a design for the blades that was unique but also served a purpose at the same time.

Breeze by Alexandre Desarzens

"I was surprised at how quickly things went from ideas and drawings to tangible objects."
The passionate cyclist designed a fan for exercise bikes that was intended to be affordable, small, and easy to use.

Flow-Air by Alex Nguyen

"At first glance, the project seemed to be extremely rigid and superficial. It was, during the course of the project that we saw a much freer aspect in the theme..."

This fan was created in terracotta as Alex Nguyen wanted the object to have not only a cooling function but also an additional contemplative element.

Relax with Flow-Air

Hanna by Constance Thiessoz

"This project allowed me, as a student, to collaborate with a client, to meet their expectations by engaging in a constructive dialogue..."

In the project by Constance Thiessoz, the fan blades are created by folding a single sheet of paper. The colour of the fan can be changed at will to match any interior design scheme.

Get to know Hanna

Flow-Air by Lucie Herter

"Stadler Form's openness and availability allowed me to get constructive and motivating feedback. They were very receptive to our creativity before focusing on the technical aspects."

The aim of this project was to create a fan specially for children. The choice of material means that it is safe to use and because the fan blades are made of whiteboard film, little ones can also paint them and be creative.

Be creative with Flow-Air

Twist-Air by Stéphane Mischler

"This project gave me the chance to work in a field that I have always been passionate about and in association with a recognised brand so I couldn't pass up this unique opportunity."

The aim of Stéphane Mischler was to create a fan with a range of 360° for distributing the air and to invent eye-catching fan blades.
360° refreshment with Twist-Air

The winning project from «Fan of the future» is still a strongly guarded secret. What we can tell you is: The student whose fan the jury has chosen just started an internship at Stadler Form in Zug. This will give him an insight into the product development process on the one hand and enable him to gain some experience of the real world of business on the other hand. We will keep you posted.

Thank you very much to all the Industrial Design undergraduates from ECAL who have made this project such a success. Also, special thanks go to supervising lecturer Christian Spiess and Head of Bachelor Industrial Design, Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard.

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