tom strala

Tom Strala

(born 1974)
From an early stage in his career, the Swiss designer Tom Strala has worked in an experimental mode, avoiding both industrial and mass production. Design for him is both an art and a way of interpreting thoughts and ideas. Rather than responding to economic need or the general zeitgeist, he looks for radical design solutions that express his world view and that are often based on contradictions, such as roughness and fragility.
strala switzerland


Work I 2001-2016
When we speak of being “between or in between” we use expressions like “to be caught between two stools” or phrases such as ”neither fish nor fowl”. When we’re “in between” we might end up being orphaned by both sides or even feeling as if we were under attack from two sides – leaving us helpless and judging this floating state as useless. This “unnamed center” is like a curtain to a whole universe lifting its veil. On this journey I met beautiful ugliness, the moving standstill or the perverted pragmatism.

56 pages, in english, with idea description and pictures of the objects, only free as pdf ( > download here)


Tom Strala I Téchne
The Greek term τέχνη (téchne) embraces the complete unity of art, intellect, and craft. This is an idea foreign to today’s industrial designers, who limit themselves to the actual design and leave the production to the manufacturers. In contrast, the furniture designer/artist Tom Strala actually lives téchne and seeks out the greatest possible engagement with his works. The photo-book documents not only the creation of the object “Bartok” but also a rarely found creative intensity.

Editor: P! Galerie, Photography book, 48 pages, in English/German, 47 Polaroid reproductions, to be published in 2017, ca. 48 Eur.
book radicality of banality


The Radicalism of Banality
Tom Strala vs. Pierre Jeanneret. A comparison of two artists. Their archetypal works show the search for what is essential. With their timeless artifacts, they ignore trends and the short-lived appeal of sensationalism. They love the radicalism of naked expression, and manage to coax the unnoticed depth out of that which is banal and raw.

Editor: P! Galerie, Photography, 44 pages, in English/German, with 26 photographs and 3 texts, to be published in 2017, ca. 32 Euros.


Designlexikon since 09/08
New York Times 11/06/08
Financial Times 15/04/19
NZZ 08/12, 10/10, 12/11/3, 12/12/16
AD (Architectural Digest) 13/03, 14/03
Icon 15/10
My Art Guide 14/11
museum exhibition


Art Basel / Design Miami, Miami USA 2014
ICFF, New York, USA 2011
The NWBLK, San Francisco, USA 2013
19th Greekstreet, Londen, UK 2015
Fog, San Francisco, USA 2014/2015
Instituto Svizzero di Milano, Italy 2014
Dizajn-Park, Belgrad Serbia 2014
Brand New World, Salone del Mobile Milano, Italy 2015
Radicality of Banality, Pierre Jeanneret vs Tom Strala, Zurich, Switzerland 2016
Musée Dar D'art, Marakesh, Marokko 2017
award winning design


Erich Degen Stiftung, 2001
European Luminary of the Year, 2006
AD, best 500 furniture, 2013
Yatzer, Best of Milano Design Week, Bartok, 2015
Yatzer, Best of Milano Design Week, Frankenstein Chair, 2015
Dizajn-Park, 2014
Jurypresident, Innovation and Design Award, IDA 2007
Jury, Art Zepter, 2013
hsg cca eth lecture


HSG Alumni, convention center Davos, Switzerland
ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
CCA, San Francisco, USA
Miami Ironside, Miami, USA
Design Week Belgrad, Belgrad, Serbia
FHNW, Basel, Switzerland