Bally Heleneum Lab lands at Villa Heleneum

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Institutional Communication Service

22 November 2021

The City of Lugano has signed with the Bally Foundation, a non-profit organisation of the Swiss luxury brand, an agreement for the enhancement of the prestigious spaces of Villa Heleneum as the home of the new project Bally Heleneum Lab, dedicated to art, fashion, design, sustainability and innovation, whose opening is scheduled for 2022. In addition to permanent and temporary exhibitions, a line-up of educational activities will launch in collaboration with LAC Edu and USI, with which Bally is already developing a digital and multimedia exhibition, part of the Lifestyle Tech Competence Centre programme.

With this new location in Lugano, 170 years after its foundation, Bally wants to pay homage to its long history of success, honouring the Swiss tradition and pioneering spirit, thus preserving its heritage and link with the territory. Art, fashion, design, sustainability, innovation and craftsmanship are the values behind the Bally Heleneum Lab at Villa Heleneum in Lugano. The prestigious building from 1931 is a few steps away from the city centre, surrounded by nature and overlooking the lake. From 2022 it will host some selections of the historical collection of the Bally Museum and Archive and a series of temporary exhibitions involving the local community and attracting a global audience of visitors.

"USI is involved in the project through the Institute of Digital Technologies for Communication," explains Professor Lorenzo Cantoni, director of the Master in Digital Fashion Communication at USI, "the students of the Master in Digital Fashion Communication are developing, within the course of Online Communication Design, ideas and projects for the creation of a virtual exhibition related to the world of footwear and the discovery of the mountain, with particular focus on the conquest of Everest that saw the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reach the summit for the first time, in 1953, with Bally boots. In the coming months, moreover, a PhD research will be launched - within the Digital Fashion Communication team of the Institute - oriented both to the study and creation of digital exhibitions and to the enrichment of the collection that will be exhibited at the Bally Heleneum Lab".

Villa Heleneum will be transformed into a unique destination and a dynamic cultural hub integrated into the local area. In addition to the permanent and temporary exhibitions, a line-up of educational activities will be implemented in collaboration with LAC Edu and Università della Svizzera Italiana, with whom Bally is already developing a digital and multimedia exhibition, part of the Lifestyle Tech Competence Center programme. Multimedia rooms will be set up in the Villa. Technology and innovation will also enter the scene through art installations and interactions with other research institutions, both national and international. Bally Heleneum Lab will host not only the Bally Foundation - which in collaboration with MASI supports the artists of Ticino through the annual Bally Artist of the Year award - but also the Peak Outlook Foundation, which has been committed for years to the protection of the alpine environment, to develop and offer to the public initiatives on the theme of sustainability.

More information is available in the attached press release.

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