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Rado Star Prize Switzerland
for Young Talents – Communication Design



David Colombini

Media and Interaction Design:

ECAL 2014, Prof: Alain Belet, Christophe Guignard

Information Experience Design:

Royal College of Art, 2017

Thomas Grogan

Industrial Design:

ECAL 2014, Prof: Elric Petit

Design Interactions:

Royal College of Art, 2016

With the help of:

Niklas Hagemann

Supported by:

Migros Culture Percentage


“Attachment” is the development of a diploma project at ECAL. It focuses in a surprising and poetic way on the connections between digital and analogue communication. Imagined as a kind of refinement on the traditional message in a bottle, the work’s deeper meaning lies in stimulating human interaction, relying deliberately on the principle of coincidence. Its centrepiece is an automated mechanism inspired by the artist Jean Tinguely, with the help of which digital messages communicated via the internet can be converted and sent out in analogue form. The machine engraves a message and password on a thin wooden board, and then dispatches it by means of a helium-filled – compostable – air balloon on a journey into the unknown. Whoever happens to find the wooden board can access – using the password – the messages left by the sender on a website specially set up for the purpose, and so get in contact with him or her.    

Comments of the nominators

In a surprising and poetic way, this flying “message in a bottle” redefines the basis for communication with an unknown recipient. In an age of practically frenzied digital communication, this project – incidentally a masterly accomplishment in technical terms – comes across as a positive act of resistance.