Pro Helvetia Residencies


The Swiss Arts Council, Prohelvetia, promotes contemporary, professional art and culture of national interest on behalf of the federal government of Switzerland. The tasks undertaken independently by the council are outlined in the Culture Promotion Act.


Active in all disciplines except film, the Swiss Arts Council stands for transdisciplinary contemporary artistic practice. They support the creation and dissemination of contemporary, professional art from Switzerland, as well as cultural exchange both within the country and abroad. The council provides (thematic) stimulus for the development of contemporary artistic and cultural creation, supporting projects with a view to aesthetic, personal, and content-related diversity. Advocating for equal opportunity and sustainability, they are committed to creating favorable conditions for artists and cultural practitioners.

Raphael Kouto

Switzerland | Feb - Mar 2024


Rafael Kouto, who lives and works between Lausanne, Zürich and Venice, is Swiss with Togolese origins. He is a creative director, fashion & textile designer, as well as a researcher in upcycling methods, and sustainable and engaging strategies with a particular focus on open source and craftsmanship.


He studied Fashion Design at FHNW-HGK in Basel, earning an MA in Fashion Matters from the Sandberg Institut in Amsterdam. He has had various work experiences at Alexander McQueen, Maison Martin Margiela, Carven and Ethical Fashion Initiative. In 2017 he founded the avant-garde upcycling couture brand of the same name, of which he leads the creative direction, the development of strategies, collaborations and engaging projects for the promotion of upcycling and sustainability through the use of textile waste, dead stock and others materials in the creative and production process. The promotion of upcycling takes place through workshops in collaboration with various institutions and through teaching.


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