Discover the new Zürich

This inspiration trip curated by dotsandplanes for Designregion Kortrijk brings us from September the 3rd-5th to Zürich, the new Zürich and the creative industry connected to the city. Züri - as the city is called in Swiss-German - is not a grey city, on the contrary, it is a pleasant and efficient place with one of the highest scores in international rankings related to quality of life for its 347,000 inhabitants.

Insiders’ views

We learn to know insiders, such as chief brand officer Bruno Marti of the 25hours Hotel group, who will talk to us about the concept behind the hotel that we will be staying at. In Belvoir Park, we dine with the Belgian ambassador Frank Recker, who gives us an insight in the Swiss welfare model. During our stay we will discover a public transport system that runs regular like clockwork, take a dive with the locals into the refreshing river Limmat and get a taste of the nightlife with Hans Georg Hildebrandt, founder of the young Swiss tonic brand called Gents.

Tour highlights

Company visits to international names such as Freitag, known from the colourful bags made out of disused truck tarpaulins and a production and architecture tour at the Vitra Campus in Basel are part of the programme. We will also visit eye-opening examples of urban renewal, such as the participative residential development called Kalkbreite and Zürich West. In the heart of the city we'll get immersed into the world of high-end printing and bespoke stationary at the Hieronymus flagship store. It was designed by Belgian architect Glenn Sestig and constructed by the Kortrijk-based interiors specialists Descamps. We will also get a closer look at two high flyers in the field of education. We meet Thilo Alex Bruner, born and bred in Zürich and Head of Master Product Design at Écal, the successful school of art and design in Lausanne. Last but not least we pay a visit the campus of the renowned university ETH, which is virtually a small village within the city of Zürich.

program details

Below you find the highlights of the tour, download full programme details here

3 Sept

arrival Zürich



Freitag was founded in 1993 when brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag, both graphic designers, where looking for a functional and water resistant bag to carry around their designs. They finally decided to create their own bags from disused truck tarpaulins. Today, Freitag is an international company with 150 employees and a production of 350,000 bags per year.

city exploration & visit Hieronymus

In the city centre, we visit the flagshipstore of luxury printing business Hieronymus, designed by Belgian architect Glenn Sestig and constructed by Descamps, interior specialists from Kortrijk.
early evening

25 hours Hotel concept

Bruno Marti, chief brand offer and member of the executive team of the 25hours Hotel Company talks about the concept and the planning of a second hotel in Zürich in 2017.

dinner with Belgian Ambassador

We dine with Belgian Ambassador Frank Recker in the Belvoir Park Restaurant, a true Swiss institution and part of a renowned hotel school in the former Villa Escher.
4 Sept

breakfast session Écal

Thilo Alex Bruner, born and bred in Zürich, is Head of Master Product Design in Écal (Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne). Écal is on of the world’s top three design schools, in the same league as the Royal College in London and Eindhoven’s Design Academy.

Vitra Campus

Vitra produces design furniture for the home, office and public spaces. Vitra works with the most renowned designers of planet earth, owns its own Vitra Design Museum and the Vitra Campus is an architectural sensation with buildings by Sanaa, Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando and Zaha Hadid to name a few.

ETH Zürich

ETH Zürich, often referred to as the ‘MIT of Europe’ plays an important role in attracting businesses like of Google to base their headquarters in Zürich. The ETH architectur department is world-renowned and has an interesting exhibition programme, which recently included work by Belgian architects Devylder Vinck Taillieu from Ghent.
early evening

private visit of the Museum für Gestaltung

The most complete collection and archive of Swiss Design is housed in a former yoghurt factory, which was recently converted by EM2N architects into the Zürich University of Arts, a creative campus including a museum in the heart of the newly developed area Zürich West.

Züri lifestyle

We take a dive into the river or the Zürichsee and discover the Züri lifestyle by the water, before getting ready for a night out with ‘Gents Tonic’.
5 Sept




An urban renewal project, instigated and built by the local community, which brings sociologists, politicians and project developers from the corners of the world to Zürich to discover how theoretical visions of living of the future have been successfully put into practice in Kalkbreite.

boat tour Zurichsee

early evening

visit Centre Le Corbusier


departure Zürich

dotsandplanes is creating an amazing tour in any case, but be aware that the schedule might be subject to slight changes.

tour guides

Tour guides Joost Vanhecke and An Michiels have an in-depth knowledge of the European design scene. They work on commercial and cultural projects within the field of design and architecture and are both part of the core team behind the international Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk (Belgium).
In 2014, Joost and An founded dotsandplanes together with digital strategist Brik De Maeyer.

Joost Vanhecke

Joost has an in-depth knowlegde of the European design industry and over the years has initiated, curated and managed numerous projects ranging from exhibitions to product showcases, temporary restaurants and pop-up shops. Joost beliefs that sharing is rewarding and teaches at the Rubika school of design in France.

An Michiels

An worked 10 years as a project architect in London (UK). In 2010 she shifted her focus and obtained an MA Curating Contemporary Design at Kingston University (UK). She initiated design events and works in communication and design writing.


Participation fee starting at 1.950 euro (incl VAT).


  • international return flight with SWISS in economy class from Brussels to Zurich
    incl. Taxes & fuel
  • local transfers by coach
  • two 4* hotelnights in design 25 Hours Hotel
    inc. breakfast
  • all meals with basic beverage package
    listed in the program
  • visits - entrance fees - activities
    listed in the program
  • Dutch-speaking guidance and specialist guides on site
  • Transfer from Kortrijk to the airport on September 3
  • Transfer from airport to Kortrijk on September 5
  • VAT & handling fee


  • Booking fee of 20 euros / billing address (added to invoice)
  • Travel insurance of 18 euros / pp (optional)
  • personal expenses

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