(Photograph copyright Tabea Reusser)
Having grown up in Switzerland, I had formed my own definition of what Swissness is supposed to look like.
But by returning to my home country after many years abroad resulted in that definition to have evolved. I now think that it is normal for expats to perceive their home country differently while living abroad. For one, I tended to remember the comfy and neat aspects of Switzerland more so than the sleek and modern ones. From today's vantage point, I have realized how normal the coexistence of various styles is in 21st century Switzerland.
For instance, a herd of goats with old-fashioned bells grazing in front of a concrete office building is a normal sight. Traditional and modern live side by side. Whether you have ever been to Switzerland or only have a faint idea of what it might be like, I am sure you will find yourself in one of the following Swiss styles.
Swiss style #1: Sleek simplicity
On the one hand, there is the sleekness of modern architecture. The designs of new buildings are generally kept minimalistic and simple, which does not mean that there is not a specific purpose behind every single element.
Minimalism can also be found in Swiss design, which brought to the world the most popular typeface ever: Helvetica.
Swiss style #2: Alpine coziness
On the other hand, we have quaint alpine chalets with red and white checkered tablecloths, as well as fuzzy Swiss Army blankets or delightful bars of creamy Swiss chocolate. If you were to look up Swissness in a dictionary, these are the images that you would find...
So for me, both of these contrasting themes stand for Swiss style. In my world, sleekness and coziness can coexist without conflicting each other. And actually, the two styles look pretty sharp whenever they appear together...
Now you get to choose which type of Swiss design you prefer: The clean and sleek, or the comfy and cozy! Which one will it be?