Switzerland: Design for Food




Program Description 

Through an explorative immersion in the French Riviera of Switzerland, this Summer-class allows students to discover the broader Food and Design culture in an oversea country.

Offering students to acquire new perception of the world, and to strengthen their ability to respond to the demands of our today’s society, allowing them to discover methods of critical thinking, analysis and examination of real world-situations and to translate them into a visual collaborative experience, this 3-weeks course will be offered to various campuses within the California State University system (CSU ) – with primary choice for San Jose and San Francisco. 

Places we will be visiting include:


The location

The Swiss-French Riviera is the perfect location for such an FLP Summer study. Located between the unique UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Lavaux Vineyard and the famous Montreux Jazz festival, Vevey is a small regional city with international aspects. 

Combining modernity and history, regionalism and internationality, this town attracts visitors from all over the world. Through the presence of the headquarter of the global food corporation “Nestlé”, this small city is located at the south of Switzerland, just across Evian, leaning on the lake of Geneva. Hosting the food museum “Alimentarium”, the house that Le Corbusier built for his parents, and the “Charlie Chaplin Museum”, and “The Nest”, the town is also internationally known for its school of photography and hosts the Biennale and international photo festival “Images”. The students involved in this project will discover the unique richness of people, cultures, and landscape that are concentrated there. 


DSGN 183 Special Topics in Design (3 units)

We are seeking for interested students who are eager to access design engaged practices, and to learn to solve various problems, while engaging within the structure of small multidisciplinary teams.

The purpose of this course is to provide opportunities for students to gain an international perspective on the practice how to discover, and design around the theme “Design and Food.”

The awareness around food and nutrition has drastically evolved since 2000. Today, people are willing to know more about what they eat and want to learn how to control it. More and more, schools and designers have approached this subject with curiosity and creativity as many workshops and programs have raised around the subject in various parts of the world.

Acquisition of knowledge, practical methodology, formulation of a research, creative
exploration based on the various facets available within a given theme: This first workshop proposes to focus on the process of food and nutrition and their design correlation.
Within this context, the students will meet various specialists, visit theme oriented facilities, and exercise their skills in the field of Design and food. Cooking while designing, and designing for food, they will complement their previous skills into an integrative approach. 

First, Students will explore various aspect of our theme, while documenting their entire research into a linear process presentation, such as personal sketchbook, sideshow, etc. Later, small groups will be assembled to explore what is needed to be designed. Finally, each group will create a concept and present their design project. This explorative model allows teams to adopt their own creative approach, according their interest on our common theme.

For this workshop, the subject “Food & Nutrition” will be addressed: Locations, pro-
duction, transport, pricing, trends, processing, design, packaging, taste, waste. This class is not only offered to students in Design. In this case, the theme allows to collaborate with students of the Nutrition Department of CSU who could become part of the design process. 

Prerequisite: Upper division standing.


Jean-Benoit Levy

Program Leader: Jean-Benoit Levy

Jean-Benoit Levy is the founder of Studio AND, a small visual design firm whose work ranges from brand identity systems to print collateral to digital media, for clients in the cultural, social, humanitarian, banking, and public services domains. He is renowned for the many striking street posters he has designed to advertise various entrepreneurs and promote festivals throughout Switzerland. Other notable commissions include postage stamps for the Swiss and US Postal Services, and a coin for Swissmint.    

Jean-Benoit was born near Lake Geneva in Switzerland. He is a graduate of the Basel School of Design, and is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Levy lives with his family in San Francisco.

Published internationally in design books and periodicals, and included in public and private collections around the globe, Jean-Benoit’s work has explored the expressive power of typographic and pictorial signs for over 30 years. For example, in Handbook, published in 2006, Levy investigates how depictions of hands are used across myriad cultures as a universal means of symbolic, instructional, or aesthetic communication. This collection of international hand-signal graphics led to the creation of his sign-language typeface, entitled “H-AND-S.”   

Jean-Benoit  has also regularly brought his expertise and enthusiasm to the classroom, teaching workshops and classes at educational institutions including the Basel School of Design, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the California College of the Arts. He currently teaches at San Jose State and San Francisco State University’s Department of Design. 


Email: Jean-Benoit.Levy@sjsu.edu



It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

$750 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$3385 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$4335   Total Program Cost


* Airfare is not included.  


“This is the first time that this workshop is offered. Together with my partners in Switzerland, we are ready to share the vision I have created for my University. This class is especially concieved for passionate individuals who like to engage, explore, and discover new visions and new cultures while working. We will cook, eat and design. This is not vacations, but a unique and creative opportunity, where each students will be asked to work not only in an explorative way as food lovers, but mostly to act creatively as engaged designers”


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