Portraits Series for CRITERION ZURICH MAKER DAYS - DANIEL HAGER - PHOTOGRAPHY AND FILM | Switzerland and Worldwide | Fotograf Photographer Cinematographer Drone Photography Drohnen-Fotografie Zürich Schweiz


Exhibition - project description

The Trace Gallery presents Zurich Makers: a microcosm of the city’s most passionate makers. The exhibition opens at the same time as the Criterion Zurich Maker Days takes place across the city, when selected studios, kitchens, production spaces and offices are opened up to interested visitors. Inside the gallery, meanwhile, a composite image comes together of creative spirits and thoughtful individuals who represent the best of Zurich. This is a personal project from photographer Daniel Hager and an initiative entitled ‘Mit viel Herzblut’ by the film makers Lauschsicht. Both portray individuals and groups, who stand behind unique, crafted products and innovative business ideas.

Daniel Hager, a Zurich native whose work takes him around the world, is drawn to people who care about what they do. His portraits include figures who work on a strategic, industry-wide level, such as the team from the Circular Economy Transition initiative, or Johanna Seeliger of Impact Hub, who works on recruiting more women into leadership positions. Many work hands-on with materials, like Melanie Hanimann, who brings African clothing brands to European retail market through the company Hanimanns or Marcel Krummenacher, a product designer who crafts ceramics under the Studio Sediment label. Hager and Lauschsicht bring us into working environments and face to face with names behind labels. Rather than spending time creating an elaborate staging, Hager develops a relationship with each of his subjects. Lauschsicht’s short films come in close to reveal a maker’s gestures, their craftsmanship or some of the details that sets apart what they do. Their project is entitled ‘Mit viel Herzblut’, which translates as ‘With Heart and Soul’ and reflects makers who look for excellence every day.

The intimate, direct portraits and videos reflect the values that drive these people’s work; these are not individuals who work at arm’s length from suppliers or manufacturers, but people for whom working relationships, ideas of sustainability and quality count. Some Zurich Makers are innovating and finding new ways of operating or making, others are refining old media, methods or technologies. As Hager’s and Lauschsicht’s work show, everyone involved is an individual, and these individuals take care of others in what they do.


Hanna Akerström, Johan Olzon, Kalle Westbom behind Soeder* is a creative collective that has been designing simple and natural basics for everyday life since 2013, based in Zurich and Basel. In Switzerland and throughout Europe, it collaborates with producers and artisans who are among the best in their field. The result is contemporary products, from clothing and backpack to cooking utensils and furniture to jewellery and care products. The latter are even produced in their own factory in the Zurich region, under the supervision of Johan Olzon. Soeder* consistently and carefully uses natural resources, cultivates convincing craftsmanship and translates both into straightforward design and clear functionality. In meaningful objects that enrich life as long as possible.


Three years ago, Anna rented a villa in Bali, rebuilt it and furnished it. Through this she got to know many craftsmen. She sublet the two additional rooms to young, creative people who wanted to stay in Bali for a longer time. A home away from home - a creative place that motivates to create. This is how the exchange between the different designers, socially committed people and the Balinese came about, which promoted new small labels. During this time Anna also founded the bag and jewellery label LES SOLIDES. Les Solides tells the love story between Switzerland and Bali with simple, minimal, timeless design and the people behind every single piece produced - a counterpart to mass consumption in our fast-moving times. Quality comes first here. Each piece is unique and should become your personal favourite and companion.

Mireille Lalive d'Epinay - Goldsmith

The name "mir die Goldschmiede" comes from the idea to use the first three letters of Mireille Lalive d'Epinay's first name and to achieve an ambiguity in the sense of "that belongs to me". Mireille has been running the business for 22 years, for three years in the Mühle Tiefenbrunnen.

QWSTION - Matthias Graf, Christian Kaegi, Hannes Schoenegger

Since the beginning Qwstion has invested a lot in the development of its own materials based on natural fibres. Their latest innovation is a fabric made from the strong fibres of naturally grown banana plants called Bananatex®. But why does Qwstion consciously develop solutions with global potential? Because the world needs alternatives! The international team of now 20 people is concerned with pursuing the combination of functionality and sustainability with maximum consistency. Matthias Graf, Hannes Schönegger and Christian Kägi, three of the five founders, lead the team in Zurich together with Niels Meyer-Jueres and are always happy to invite you to their store, where they not only present their own products, but also many other good everyday products that have been timelessly designed and sustainably produced.

ZURIGA - Ivo Engeler, Moritz Güttinger, Reni Diggelmann, Felix Spuhler, Tizian Schöni, Flavio Gerster, David Siegrist

At the beginning of ZURIGA stood the rational idea of an espresso like in Italy. But from a coffee machine that is so small that it fits in any carrier bag. So the idea became a project. And the project turned into a manufacture of seven heads: designers, engineers, lateral thinkers, thoroughbreds and yet all part-time employees. For example, their manufactory is located in a former SBB building. It has a small, lockable room where the SBB workers used to smoke their Znüni cigarettes. If the Zurigans are now looking for ideas, they lock themselves in. And they don't come out until they smoke - the heads.


Sina Wild wanted to put on her hands differently than always on a keyboard: She learned the craft of pottery, among others from a Sensei (master potter) in Japan as well as in England. Today she lives and works in Zurich. She produces under the label Sina Wild Studio in her workshop in Zurich. She loves working with clay as a material and the infinity of possibilities that this material brings with it and thus permits experimentation. As soon as she has tried something new - a new clay mixture, a different glaze - she already has the next new idea. Characteristic of Sina, who prefers to spend the rest of her time in nature and with friends, is also her commitment to environmental protection and women's rights.

Yael Anders - Designer

The Zurich designer Yael Anders works mainly with illustrations and visual designs. Her main medium is paper and her creative style finds its beginnings in everyday life - more precisely: in this planning. Her style is illustrative, ana- logic, haptic, solid, playful and fits perfectly to primary materials. With their in-house designed "PLANNERS", new designs are created directly through creation. She further develops this language of forms through various techniques and gives the content a new form. This design language began to convert it beside paper also on other materials and thus UNSEEN developed: Porcelain long barrels for tea, coffee, plants or also different. Minimalist forms meet intuitive lines and organic patterns. Individual glazes and hand-painting turn the originally serially cast and standardized object into a unique specimen.

HANIMANNS - Melanie Hanimann

Africa as a fashion Mecca is mainly still undiscovered in our country. Not many trendsetters from the northern hemisphere dare to go there. But Africa is huge and basically has an open heart that wants to captivate with its indescribably many moving cultural traditions. The result is fashion with a soul and global potential, for which the Zurich fashion agency Hanimanns wants to open the doors wide. Urban, colourful, cultural dresses and accessories from West Africa are sold here by Melanie Hanimann. She comes from the marketing sector and a few years ago lost her heart to Ghana, where she occasionally lives. The idea to bring African fashion designers and their creations to Europe originated from this passionate love. As equal partners, they realize ambitious fashion goals and thus make the leap to become a cultural link.

STOLL KAFFEE - Shem Leupin

Every Stoll coffee has a little secret inside it. This is given to it either during roasting or mixing and makes it unique. Shem Leupin is probably one of the most prominent representatives of the still young coffee scene in Zurich. He was reigning Swiss barista champion in 2013 and is one of the leading minds behind the COFFEE concept and STOLL KAFFEE. If he's not brewing or tinkering here, then Shem is probably at the coffee roaster Stoll Kaffee in Zurich, where he also works.

BREWDAZ - Janek, Kim, Sergio, Manoj, Jorim, Julian

Brewdaz's goal is to brew high quality specialty beers and promote local beer culture. From sour ale with hibiscus to black beer with notes of coffee and chocolate to Indian Pale Ales with a strong hop flavour, everything is brewed here that gives connoisseurs a unique beer experience. Brewdaz consciously wants to stand out from the relevant mass production and big economists and prove that it is possible to brew good beer on a small scale. True to the motto: Better Beer, Better People.

LA FLOR - Laura Schälchli, Finn Ramseier

In the past, silk called La Flor was traded in Zurich. Today, the name stands for a chocolate brand that is particularly sustainable and fair. Managing Director Laura Schälchli loves good food and always tries to show that sustainability, fairness and simplicity simply taste better - especially in the chocolate business. La Flor then continues this natural simplicity and produces all its chocolates from beans to bars without additives in its factory in the heart of Zurich with the indispensable, talented chocolatier Finn Ramseier, who works by hand whenever possible, although normally nothing works in chocolate production without a machine. He creates from gut feeling, just as he does meticulously.

FABRIKAT - Regina Gregory, Franziska Browar, Donovan Gregory

When you enter the store Fabrikat, you immediately notice that people work here who love to see things age and observe how they become more and more beautiful through use. Our working environments today are often characterized by pragmatism and price awareness. Fabrikat attaches great importance to the tools with which we do our work and believes that these tools also contribute to the quality of our work. In addition, Fabrikat loves to take things into his own hands and to do things himself. With Fabrikat, the Internet is to become a bit more manual again. Good advice is a matter of concern to the people of Fabrikat.

STUDIO SEDIMENT - Marcel Krummenacher

Marcel Krummenacher is a qualified ceramic & glass designer MA and specialises in the manufacture of porcelain. It is his passion to revive and convey these rarely used techniques. Marcel's studio is a ceramic studio in the Zurich district 6. Products made of liquid porcelain for daily use are cast here. Everything 100% handmade in Zurich. The studio as a workshop also offers courses and enthusiastically teaches hardly known forming methods. They work with porcelain slurry and casting moulds.