Research project, ECAL 2020


Enabled by Design

Enabled by Design is a joint research project between EPFL and ECAL, funded by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, which aims to foster collaboration between young entrepreneurs involved in technological projects and designers.

Over recent years, EPFL has identified a genuine need for design expertise to successfully transform laboratory technologies into products that are available to users. Design is now a crucial resource in innovatory projects because of its user focus, strategic vision, iterative methodology and creativity. Collaboration with designers offers added value to products/services and allows the young entrepreneurs to reduce uncertainty, validate market opportunities and communicate a coherent and persuasive message to potential customers and investors.

The research team has created a web-based platform to create links between entrepreneurs and designers seeking to collaborate on technological projects. The platform offers different design missions (UX/UI, industrial design, graphic design, video, animation and photography), displays the findings from a variety of collaborative projects and provides a series of tools and articles to facilitate collaboration.

There is currently a design center within the EPFL Startup Unit which offers this service to start ups on an ongoing basis and seeks to transform emerging technologies into usable products.

Main applicants

Luc Bergeron (project leader)
André Catana (project leader)

Research team
Isabel Casado
Daphna Glaubert

EPFL/Federal Polytechnic University of Lausanne, Enable programme

Supported by 
ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
Gebert Rüf Stiftung



N.a., Supporting entrepreneurs from lab to market, in Startupticker.ch, 6 September 2019 
Tiago Peres, How to build a good prototype, in Technologist.eu, 2 January 2019

March 2019 – October 2020

Product diagnostic tool. © ECAL/Calypso Mahieu

Design Project Starter Kit tools page. © ECAL/Joelle Aeschlimann