Conflicts and Success of Creative Cooperation: The Swiss Exhibition on Women’s Work SAFFA 1958

Leaflet Matrix Design Co-operative, 1980s, courtesy Jos Boys

Guests: Katia Frey & Eliana Perotti (ZHAW, Winterthur)

SAFFA 1958 is the acronym for the second exhibition on Swiss Women’s Work (Schweizerische Ausstellung für Frauenarbeit), held from July 17 to September 15, 1958 in Zurich, displaying the subject of women’s lives and activities and presenting a showcase of contemporary women’s design and architecture in Switzerland. On the one hand, it was a collective endeavor concerning the work of Swiss women’s associations as initiators and organizers; on the other hand, it involved the creative troupe, the women architects, and designers in the building process. Although the collaboration was not easy and generated all sorts of conflicts – between political positions, between the generations, between married and unmarried women, between the organizers and the planning women – the whole undertaking resulted in incredible popularity and financial success. These dynamics reveal crucial cooperation issues, namely concerning collective work among women that we can explore at SAFFA 1958 as a case study exhibition. The lecture draws on the results of an ongoing SNSF-funded research project based at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Winterthur.

31.05.2021, 18.30h