June 24, 2019

So far, we have been adopting new technological and e-Commerce tools, but now we are really undergoing a revolution, looking to invest in Artificial intelligence, Virtual Reality, e-Commerce, Omnichannel and more.

The Netcomm Suisse event, supported by the City of Lugano and the Economics Division of the TicinoDFE aimed to support and drive this change.

Brands and sponsors at the event included: Google, Facebook, Giglio Group, Tinext, Poliform, Penta,, Vitra, Flou, DesignWanted and many more. 

The event also included the Design E-nnovation Award, which gave selected local and international start-ups the chance to pitch to the assembled business leaders, who were then able to choose the best one.

Brands from the local and international design sector, start-ups and institutions with the aim of driving and enabling greater business development and digital innovation within the design industry.

Design E-nnovation was opened by Marco Borradori, Mayor of Lugano as well as Stefano Rizzi, Director of the Economics Division of the Department of Finance and Economics of Canton Ticino.

Ticino has seen a lot of exciting design-related developments in the past year, including the City Pop microliving initiative, the arrival of designtech innovators Jakala within the Dagorà innovation Hub, Manno as well as design-driven initiatives from Quadro Vehicles – all of which promise benefits to the local economy.

The focus of the event was on the crossover between the design brands on one hand and technological innovators on the other.

This mix is a powerful one, as explained by CEO of, Claudio Beffa, who said:

“The new era of digital tools such as social networking, virtual experiences and e-Commerce is a revolutionary one for the design world, as products that were previously only known in a small, limited market can now reach and excite customers worldwide.”

President of Netcomm Suisse, Carlo Terreni, explained more:

“Obviously, the new technologies now available and consolidating can have an important impact on the Ticino design industry, but what I think even more exciting is the space opened up by these new technologies and which allows brands to not just sell more to more people, but to really look again at how they work, overcome old problems and radically disrupt their business environment to grow exponentially and generate benefits for the local economy and, actually, far beyond.

It’s really about asking yourself ‘just because we always did it like this, does that mean it’s the best way?’ and more often than not, there is a better way and that’s what we’re here today to explore.”

Particularly of note was a presentation by MIT Professor Carlo Ratti, who works in the field of smart homes and smart cities, who offered an exciting vision of what can be achieved when technology and design come together in the interests of local communities.

After the talks, there has been a moment that nobody wanted to miss: the Design E-nnovation Award, by Loomish SA, a Swiss investment advisory firm specialised in Lifestyle Tech.

Loomish invited start-up and scale-up companies working in the design segment to pitch their businesses to the gathered experts and professionals, who then had the chance to vote on the winners.

The companies involved were:

  • Hexagro Urban Farming (Italy)
  • Keymitt (Luxembourg)
  • OOf Design Ltd (UK)
  • Upscale Interiors AG (Switzerland)
  • Matrika (Italy)

Winners will be announced in the coming days.

Also watching the start-ups were event sponsors, Facebook, Google, Tinext, ForContact, MLL Legal, Giglio Group, Hegias, Hub & Logistics SA and Quadro Vehicles, whose presence shows not just the value of this particular event, but especially that Switzerland in general and Ticino in particular have a massive value for companies looking to invest and grow in the DesignTech industry.

The day closed with a guided tour of the Fondazione OTAF carpentry workshop, led by Director Roberto Roncoroni and Architect Matteo Huber, keen to show the work the Foundation is doing with young and disadvantaged people, helping to enable them to enter the workforce.

Design E-nnovation was an event that resonated and inspired, and also enabled designers, tech brands and interested stakeholders to meet and create opportunities to e-nnovate the future in Ticino, in Switzerland.

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