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Noemi Niederhauser | Research Trip

Senegal | Visual Arts

July 2023 — Visual Arts

Noemi Niederhauser

Artist website

Lausanne-based designer and artist Noemi Niederhauser will spend time in Dakar, Senegal from 12-24 July 2023 to conduct field research towards a new collaborative project titled “Noyyig Dëkk Bi” (Wolof for “pulsation of the city”).

Noemi is fascinated with materials and their relation to time and history, and their endless processes of transformation. She implements collaborative projects with groups of people inside/outside the design and art world, and carefully analyses the social, economic and ecological impact that her approach generates over the long term. In her work, Noemi explains that her aim is “to make a local circular economy tangible; a “closed” production circle, reinventing the relationship between what we produce and consume. I focus on the values of the concept, not only with an outcome but within the complete creative process. It puts design at the centre of a questioning of sustainability and local impact.”

Noemi’s research will take place in the neighbourhood of la Medina, a district dedicated to metalwork. Here, artisans work primarily with recycled metal through techniques of cast iron and sand formwork. Noemi has visited this area several times over the past three years and met many of the local artisans. For “Noyyig Dëkk Bi”, she plans to collaborate with a metal welder from this neighbourhood for the design and crafting of various objects made of recycled aluminium which can be reproduced in small series. The functional range will include side tables, small stools, plates, trays, etc. made by re-using and recycling materials available on site. The designs will reference the urban and architectural patterns and details Noemi has observed while commuting through Dakar’s busy streets.

The purpose of this first research trip is for Noemi to develop the plan for the collaboration and creative process, and start a few prototypes. She will document and archive everything in order to potentially develop a small video about the whole process.


Noemi Niederhauser is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. She is a ceramist, designer, mycologist, visual artist, curator, and the co-founder of the artist-run space A-DASH in Athens, GR. She holds an MFA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, London, UK (2014) and previously studied ceramic design at the Applied Art School of Vevey, CH (2010). She is currently  a ceramic design teacher at SFGB-B, Bern (CH). She is a 2016- 2017-2019 recipient of Pro Helvetia research grants and awards. Noemi’s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries, museums and institutions such as: Milan Design Week; Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven (NL); Swiss Design Awards 2019, Basel (CH); Raw Material Company, Dakar (SN); Documenta 14, Athens (GR); The Centre for Sustainable Fashion and Arts Council (UK); the MUDAC, Lausanne (CH); the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (UK); the MCBA, Lausanne (CH).