Innovation from interdisciplinary collaboration

From PV module to design object

Mar 1, 2021 | ANNINA SCHNEIDER (EMPA), STEPHEN WITTKOPF (HSLU)
There is plenty of space for energy generation on building envelopes. However, photovoltaic façades are still rare, even though technology and aesthetics can be combined. As part of a competition, students at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) therefore designed photovoltaic modules as design objects for a façade of NEST on the Empa campus. The winning projects were selected on February 19, 2021.
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Lynn Balli's PV module designs will be installed on the façade of NEST in the summer of 2021.
The designs of the HSLU students simulate PV modules in a new guise of colors, patterns and motifs, and are intended to integrate visually into the NEST research and innovation building. The artworks were created as part of a two-week block workshop held by the Department of Design and Art together with HSLU's Department of Engineering and Architecture.
Audience Award
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Winning project of the online voting. Design: Florence Schöb
At the end of the workshop, there were two selection processes at a public online event to award the best projects: Firstly, participants were allowed to choose their own winning project via online voting. The winner was Florence Schöb with her design "Networked".
Jury Award
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Winning project of the jury. Design: Lynn Balli
On the other hand, a six-member jury consisting of executives from Empa, HSLU and Zug Estates se-lected the official winning project, which will be installed on the façade of NEST in the summer of 2021. The design "Glasklar" by Lynn Balli convinced the jury with its elegant highlighting of the dy-namics of glass and the successful implementation with eight individual works of art. 
Further Information

Prof. Dr. Stephen Wittkopf
Head of KIT (Knowledge and Innovation Transfer)
Tel. +41 41 349 36 25


Press Contact
Annina Schneider
Communication Empa
Tel. +41 58 765 41 07


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