Bubble Ballet

Award-winning Swiss design studio Greutmann Bolzern bring a hypnotic installation of shape, light, and texture to swissnex San Francisco. The star performers? Soap bubbles.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


December 09, 2011 10:00 am - January 06, 2012 6:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)



The room is dark but for glowing pools of viscous, shimmering liquid. Dozens of wire shapes rise and fall from the ceiling, dipping down below the surface and slowly, silently emerging with a glistening fragile skin.

This balletic dance is an exploration of geometric shapes accomplished with mere soap, wire, and water by the Greutman Bolzern Design Studio. The firm won gold for the piece, originally called ‘…und plötzlich platzte der Traum’ (and suddenly the dream burst), at the 2010 Designers’ Saturday in Switzerland.

The installation, on view at swissnex San Francisco through December 23, 2011, yields insights into the design process behind a new wire chair from Carmen Bolzern and Urs Greutmann, known for their creations for the office world. Initially an exercise devised to determine how textiles would fit onto the chair’s wire frame, the sudsy film trials took on a life of their own and became the unique Bubble Ballet installation.

Visiting Hours

Dec 9-Jan 5, Monday-Friday, 10 am-6 pm (closed Dec 26-30 and Jan 2)

After Dark Showings (open until 9 pm):

Tuesday Dec 13
Wednesday Dec 14
Thursday Dec 15

Tuesday Dec 20
Wednesday Dec 21
Thursday Dec 22


Carmen Greutmann–Bolzern and Urs Greutmann

Carmen Greutmann–Bolzern (born 1956) and Urs Greutmann (born 1959) opened their practice, Design Studio Greutmann Bolzern, in 1984. Since then, they have worked on projects ranging from nail files for Sulzer Innotec to full-fledged office renovations for Denz. They focuses on comprehensive interior design solutions that take into account spatial organization, color, materials, light, ambience, and furniture.
Carmen and Urs Greutmann and their team of collaborators (designers, interior architects, model-builders) work out of an old cigarette plant on the banks of the Sihl river in Zurich’s Kreis 5 neighborhood—an operational base that provides them with their own in-house 200-sqm modeling and prototyping workshop and all operational freedom to follow their motto: research analytically, act innovatively.
Over the course of its existence, the Design Studio Greutmann Bolzern has garnered a long list of awards, including Red Dots for their “Kiki” table (1998), their “Skin and Structure” room system (2003), and most recently for their g656 office chair series for Giroflex (2011). They have designed groundbreaking product lines for Denz, Lista Office LO, and many others, and were first prize recipients at the IDA (International Design Awards) 2008 for the first-class check-in lounge for SWISS Airlines.
Since 2003, Carmen and Urs Greutmann have also been commuting regularly between Zurich and Munich, where they share a chair for product design at the renowned Akademie der bildende Künste.


Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos