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Unesco Convention Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Online inventory of the Living Traditions in Switzerland published by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture

  • In 2008 Switzerland accorded to the ‛UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage’. The online inventory/website is a crucial part of the implementation of this convention. It aims to make the public more aware of the diversity of Switzerland’s traditions.

    The project was awarded to Lorenz Tschopp design after a creative pitch against several other design studios.

    The main challenge for the design was to develop a visual language that works for the broad and divers spectrum of traditions and whose aesthetic does not project a one-sided/fixed idea of tradition. At the same time the design had to make a text heavy website engaging.

    For cost reasons the website needed to be designed to work with the content management system and be in line with the standard web layout structure of the Swiss state. But for the first time this layout also had to be translated into an additional version for mobile phones.

    The UNESCO Convention knows five categories of living traditions: oral expressions, performing arts, social practices, knowledge concerning nature, traditional craftsmanship. This subdivision into categories informs the design solution. Each tradition has a colour associated, depending to which category it (primarily) belongs. This colour coding gives additional structure to the content. It further adds a playful element and promotes the idea of ‛living’ traditions.

    For each tradition the website provides a description, together with images, videos and audio documents. To make this wealth of information easier to digest, the different types of content are provided in collapsible menus. This solution proves particularly advantageous for the version for mobile phones as it reduces scrolling and eases the in-page navigation.

    Logo design: Reflector, Visuelle Gestaltung
    Web development: Seitenbau GmbH
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