Designer In Profile: Guy Lafranchi, Principal at Guy Lafranchi Applied Design 

Name: Guy Lafranchi

Company: Guy Lafranchi Applied Design 

Position in Company: Principal


Tell us a little about your background in design:

Born 1966 in Bern. Education in Architecture at the ETH Zurich, diploma 1994. Already as a student back in the 90`s my heartbeat was driven by the unexpected, experimental and individual approach of architecture, highly influenced by my mentor and blessed friend Lebbeus Woods, showing me that architecture is not primarily about shapes and forms but about innovative systems and organisational principles. Since 1995 privately employed, Atelier Guy Lafranchi Bern. Since 1995, collaboration with Lebbeus Woods (1940 – 2012). Since 2006 Director of, Bern (Research Institute for Experimental Architecture). Since 2006 Professor of Architecture at the University of Applied Sciences Bern, specializing in design and innovation processes.

Glad Ltd., since 2010, is an internationally active architecture and design studio based in Bern, Switzerland, a design consulting platform for planning, architecture and design processes as well as design communication.  Glad Ltd is “Part of Mic.mind.set”, cooperation with fsp architects focusing on the digital chain (design, planning, execution and operation)

I started with the design of furniture in 2011.


How would you describe your personal design style?

I have no design style but a design process which regularly starts with my sketchbook drawing abstract landscapes and fields of forces where I step by step come to the definition on a “DNA” for the project or brand. These steps are marked by information from the outside like production processes, material etc. This happens by permanent iteration.

The design “Style” for more complex challenges has changed from a one-man show to by now a network of Interdisciplinary collaborators through which corporate architecture and fashion, digital planning and production, business transformations and Design is planned and executed in a participatory process together with the client.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

My design inspiration mostly arises with the help of metaphors and the Analog, these can be out of Nature, technology or even swarm theory for complex planning challenges.

Finding a guiding metaphor is also a great way to create guidance through the process from design to execution.

In the case of the desk GL4A, the analogue of the “folding” was part of this guidance, with which we also have designed the overall concept for a jewellery store.

Certainly, great inspiration arises always with the study of production technology and material behaviour.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

Design and Architecture are moving into a field where the interaction of humans with technology creates a new way of understanding and daily life. Digital and sensorial technologies plus Artificial Intelligence allow us to create objects, spaces, buildings and cities that adapt to the needs of individuals and populations at large. Sustainability in terms of material use and production will also open new opportunities in the Design Landscape The direction goes versus a holistic approach in the field of both these aspects.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2019 and beyond.

  1. Participation and Collaboration
  2. Disruption
  3. Creativity
  4. A fusion of Tech and human behaviour
  5. Speed

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Follow the 3C`s: Content.Context.Commitment.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

Very much so. Why?

Because Design and Architecture is everywhere but the daily pleasures, needs and interactions with it are not really on the surface in our daily routines unless we have professions within the design field.

So there are two main fields of important effects of the Award:

  1. Exchange among us Design professionals, the work we do but also the physical exchange happening at the Awards itself.
  2. All other humans who are confronted with the multiple great projects of the Awards can bring or reactivate the daily confrontation and pleasure of Design and Architecture.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the following projects:

Projects with our Company Collaboration BYCONIC. Corporate Architecture/Fashion, Digital Planning and Production, Business transformation and Design

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

Pushing the envelope on all the project and scales I am currently working on, from Corporate Architecture to Furniture Design.

Kick Start new Projects 2020

Creating a new Web Site

Increasing my Content about Design Experience on Social Media Instagram/Facebook

Growing the network and intensifying the exchange on Linkedin

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?

Creativity and passion

Your favourite holiday destination?


Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?

Justbeandb Sicily

Your favourite book, film & song?

Book by Michio Kaku “The future of the brain”

Film: Godfather trilogy

“Song”: Set of DJ Solomun “The boiler room”

Your favourite food and drink?

Italian Food and Red Wine

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?

Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and a Sun-downer with my wife

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

Filmmaker, Percussion Musician.