Volvo Art Session “Human Meets Digital” took place 12. – 14. October at Schiffbau Zurich. The inspiring event also celebrated the launch of the new compact SUV XC40. I attended the 6. VAS and share with you my vast impressions.

Andy meets Warhol at VAS 2017. Shot by artist & photographer Sebastian Magnani


Volvo Art Session (VAS) has made a name for itself as a forum for international and national artists, designers and progressive thinkers. This year Volvo Art Session under motto “Human Meets Digital” touched the growing and increasingly powerful link between humans and technology. After a warm welcome by Natalie Robyn, Managing Director at Volvo Car Switzerland, renowned futurist and Time magazine Influential 100 Honoree Martin Lindstrom held an inspiring speech talking about the pros and cons of the increasing digitalisation and its impact on humans. Martin made his points in a well-structured, humorous presentation clear( I particularly liked his story about playing with LEGO as a kid and how in later year’s he shaped the strategy of the firm). His conclusion was that we (as well as brands and marketeers) should start focussing more on humans, their behaviour and emotions. And that these “small data” are what make a difference in the end. The peril of getting lost in an idealised digital world is great and technology and social media is only supporting that fact. Thus, the role of technology should be to amplify the human dimensions.


Also, a breathtaking part of the session was the show: a powerful mix of design, art and innovative technology underlying #HumanmeetsDigital”. It was implemented by flora & fauna visions (Leigh Sachwitz) on behalf of EQAL. I have never before experienced such a a unique blend of disciplines (dancers Afina Feodossiadi and Daniel Asamoah to a choreography by Jeffrey Jimenez and music by Dariuz Voltra). I was transferred into an electric and gripping mood which was also underlined by stunning light laser art.


At its opening on the 12.10, Schiffbau in Zurich was transformed into a genuine “Session of Art, Exchange & Innovation”. Approximately 350 invited guests attended the venue which featured an exhibition by art collective Refrakt from Berlin as well as a light installation by the discipline of interaction design of the ZHdK in cooperation with Lucid. The installation was called «Through Momentum»: under the artistic lead of Joël Gähwiler and Moritz Kemper, it reflected the aspects of digitisation in a playful way. The installation featured a grid of 48 light objects hanging from the ceiling; as soon as someone enters the installation they “interact” with the spectator.

Andy Meets Warhol experiencing «Through Momentum» with artist & photographer Sebastian Magnani


While entering Schiffbau, my attention fell on the new Volvo XC40 in a red colour. The same model in a shiny white colour was also featured in another part further inside the venue. What I really liked about this car was the urban and compact character of it, the smart use of spaces as well as innovative features such as a car sharing app and a really cool two-tone finish (Ian Kettle, the designer of the car mentioned that it makes the car’s design even more vivid). As someone living in a city as Zurich, I think it is the perfect car to safely use both in the city as well as on (weekend) getaways to the mountains or museums and galleries in other cities. Its price begins at 35.000 CHF.


Definitely an interesting initiative by Volvo Switzerland and a cudos for all involved in coordinating and brining such a diverse programme to life (+an international team of artists, influencers, key players from around the globe).

Also, thanks for the warm assistance of all attendees.

I’m already curious for next year’s event.

Take care & write to you soon.

Read the German version here




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