Press Release: “Switzerland at Pier 17” Festival Sept 24-25, 2016

“Switzerland at Pier 17” Festival Breathing New Life into Historic Wharf; Transforming Public Space into Experimental Global Collaborative
Inaugural festival weekend showcasing the full­ spectrum of Swiss innovation, entrepreneurship, and design

(San Francisco) SEP 21, 2016- The weekend of September 24th marks the renaissance of San Francisco’s historic Pier 17, and new home to swissnex, Switzerland’s Bay Area innovation lab bringing academics, creatives, and entrepreneurs together under one hangar. During the inaugural “Switzerland at Pier 17” festival weekend, swissnex will open its doors to ideas, dialogues, and panel discussions around the future of how humans will work, eat, live, talk, think, and sleep. The conversations will lead into a one-month long, interactive exhibition open to the public through the end of October.

“swissnex is honored to collaborate with San Francisco to bridge the best ideas from Switzerland with those from the Bay Area; combining forces to foster impactful change.”
Christian Simm
CEO & Founder, swissnex San Francisco


Originally built in 1912, Pier 17 has been home to the exchange of ideas from ‘berth.’ Formerly home to the California & Hawaiian (C&H) Sugar company, then operated by various steamship companies importing goods from Europe and around the globe, Pier 17 continues to evolve alongside the community it serves now home to Switzerland’s innovative outpost aimed at connecting the dots between Switzerland and North America in science, education, art, and innovation. Applying open innovation, firsthand, swissnex is curating a community of university, startup, and corporate residents including: Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Logitech, Nestlé, Pro Helvetia, Swisscom, Swiss Re, University of Geneva, View, and Vitra. swissnex not only embeds resident teams, but also links innovative partner products and technologies to accelerate Swiss startup and design projects in collaboration with InnoSuisse and Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne.

Saturday, Sept 24: Artists, Thinkers, Doers

Saturday’s panel sessions, workshops, and discussions will be headlined by thought leaders, both local and international, from all areas of expertise, including open source trailblazer Tim O’Reilly; Duleesha Kulasooriya, Head of Strategy & Research at Deloitte’s Center for the Edge; Thomas Hirschhorn, one of Switzerland’s most prolific installation artists; Airbnb’s Anita Roth, Head of Policy Research; TED speaker & Principal Scientist of Machine Intelligence at Google, Blaise Agüera y Arcas; biochemist and CRISPR coinventor Martin Jinek, from the University of Zurich; and Dr. Chris Luebkeman, Fellow and Global Director at Arup Foresight, among others.

Sunday, Sept 25: Diplomatic Open House

On Sunday, Switzerland is proud to open the doors to each of its four anchoring Swiss organizations at Pier 17: the Consulate General of Switzerland, swissnex San Francisco, Swiss Business Hub and Switzerland Tourism.

"With its maritime past, Pier 17 has a proud tradition of openness in trade, culture, and communication. Switzerland is honored to help reactivate this urban space as a site for the convergence of people, institutions, and ideas.”
Hans-Ulrich Tanner
Consul General of Switzerland in San Francisco

Ongoing Interactive Exhibition

During the weekend of September 24th, BUREAU A will transform the swissnex Gallery into an interactive landscape of soft geometric forms, unfolding a responsive environment to explore, reshape, and connect. Guests are encouraged to participate in the conversations over Twitter and Instagram to share ideas and grow the exhibition using #swisspier plus #WORK, #EAT, #LIVE, #TALK, #THINK, or #SLEEP – interaction envisioned by Swiss design studio

A Call for All & Open Doors

The “Switzerland at Pier 17” Festival and Gallery kicks off on Saturday with discussions, workshops, and exhibition beginning at 9.30am. In order to manage workshop sizes, tours, and expected attendance, invitations are available by request at and required for admittance. Doors open to the diplomatic open house on Sunday, September 25th with tours occurring at 1pm, 2pm, & 3pm.

Press Contact at swissnex San Francisco

Perrine Huber
Head of Marketing & Communication
swissnex San Francisco t: (415) 604-9772 Email