Design Prize Switzerland is a competition geared towards Swiss people working in the design industry, companies, institutions and manufacturers who work here or abroad. Foreign designers, who work, study or are employed by a Swiss company can also enter. We had the exciting news last week Dybuster Orthograph was nominated for the Design Leadership Prize in the Research category, so here’s an interview with our brilliant designer Fraser Rothnie on how all of this came about.


Design Prize Switzerland Nominee – Research / 2021

Fraser, why don’t you introduce yourself first? When did you join Dybuster and what are your responsibilities?

I’m the lead designer here at Dybuster, originally from Scotland but relocated to beautiful Switzerland 3 years ago. I joined Dybuster in March of 2019 and since then have produced a lot of exciting work on various projects. A highlight of this work has been designing and creating the Orthograph reward system from scratch, a task for which I was initially hired. My responsibilities are wide-ranging, as every project is so unique. One day I may be 3D modelling, the next I could be creating an exciting 2D illustration. Working at Dybuster is a real treat as a designer, as both Christian and Nathanael never restrict me with my creativity or ideas. I really love working here and coincidentally, I wrote my dissertation on how to create an immersive 3D reward system for aliterate (reluctant readers), so ending up at Dybuster was full circle for me.


What are the special challenges for you in the graphic realisation of learning programmes suitable for children?

I think an aspect of designing programmes for children that I never overlook is simply introducing elements of fun. Myself and Isa (UX) try to create clean, modern designs which retain this sense of fun and playfulness.


What were our ambitions to submit your designs to the competition and in which category are we represented? What designs did we submit?

We have had several awards from other competitions, but none focused on the actual design of the software, which Isa and I have worked very hard on for the past years. We are represented in the Research category, it was the natural fit for what we do at Dybuster. We submitted the project Orthograph for the consideration of the jury. This contains the actual multi-sensory learning, marketing material and the reward system, where users can spend the stars they earn from learning in their very own theme park.


Did we choose the category ourselves or were we assigned to it?

We chose it. In addition to visual material, we also submitted several research papers which back up the research behind Orthograph.


What was the procedure? What happened after we submitted our application?

After receiving the email that we had been selected, we travelled to Biel to present our project to the Jury. We also filmed our testimonial which was used as the announcement of the nominees.

Design Prize Switzerland Interview with Fraser Rothnie & Dybuster CEO Christian Vögeli.

Our nomination was announced on the 7th of September. What happens now? When will the winner be announced?

The winners will be announced at the prize-giving ceremony in November 2021.


Have you won any other prizes so far?

Not specifically a prize, but I did win a university medal for outstanding achievements in my course field when I graduated from Edinburgh Napier University. I received a First Class Honors degree and to this day I am still very proud of the degree, and the medal. Napier is a great university and focuses on acquiring practical skills, all of which, I use in my job at Dybuster.


Thank you Fraser for the exciting insights into your work.