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News from the People's Factory

Andreas Wilmsmeier

Recyclable Plastic – Do it Yourself!

This time it is not about ironing plastic bags to create a fascinating new material, this time you’ll learn to see lids of PET bottles as a wonderful raw material.

These colourful lids can be shredded to a granulate with the help of a machine called “Plastic Wolf“, available in the Fablab Luzern. As a granulate, the lids fit into the cylinder of our tabletop injection moulding machine in the People’s Factory. The granulate is heated to the right temperature in the cylinder until it melts and then pressed into an aluminum mould positioned under the cylinder. The result is a large paper clip, either coloured (when using a mix of lids) or monochrome (when using lids of one colour).

On 4 Wednesdays, the People’s Factory will be open for you from 4:00pm to make your own XL paperclip. Participation is free of charge, but you will have to bring 10 PET plastic lids and the small ring attached to the lids…

Plastic moulding will take us until about 7:00pm – after that, we are invited to join the Plastic Talks in the Neubad.

  • Wednesday 23.01.2019 // Plastic & Tokenomics
  • Wednesday 27.02.2019 // Circular & Plastic
  • Tuesday 19.03.2019 // Plastic & Planet
  • Wednesday 17.04.2019 // Plastic & Water

As with our Plasticious workshops, our moulding workshops are supported by PlasticTwist.

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Plasticious! – Again!

Last Saturday we ran our second Plastic Twist Workshop – Following our motto “On the bags, ready, iron away!”, 9 participants covered the floor in the People’s Factory with colourful plastic bags of all sizes. There was no shortage of raw materials and the variety of shopping bags really spurred on creativity. After a short period of time, everyone got the hang of it, grew familiar with handling the unknown material “plastic bag” and mastered the arbitrary shrinking processes of the bags perfectly.

Again, we forgot the time, most of our guests stayed much longer than planned. And once again, we are absolutely thrilled about the fascinating metamorphosis of plastic bags into book covers, pencil cases, coin bags, wallets, spectacle cases, key rings – a colourful range of new products!

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Popup Exam – Lucerne School of Art & Design

People’s Factory is hosting the Popup Exam of 25 students of “Design Management, International” from Lucerne School of Art & Design

When: January 24, 2019, from 10:00 am – 05:00pm
Where: People’s Factory, Bundesstr. 21, 6003 Lucerne
What: Exciting visions for selected companies, developed by the students
Extras: Apero from 05:00pm

Stijn Ossevoort, lecturer for “Creative Problem Solving and Opportunity Finding” and his students are embarking on an exciting experiment, taking their exams on 24.01.2019 to the public, in the People’s Factory in Lucerne. Anyone interested in how professionally, yet creatively, students approach shaping future, can join in for the pop-up exam.

Every student has chosen a real company and has developed a vision for that company for the next 10 to 30 years. They learned the tools of the trade during their studies: To recognise trends, drivers, impulses that could be relevant in the future, to describe them and to creatively derive scenarios that could be realistic. For example, A “Visual Translator” that is able to translate complicated texts into a simple graphical form; or a vision that puts your entire living space up in the air. Companies such as Google, Novartis, Swatch, a local real estate company or the Insel Hospital in Bern are looking forward to exciting visions from extremely committed students.

We are looking forward to everyone who is interested in what drives young, committed students and what they are able to achieve with their creativity!

And for all those who missed the “Pop-Up Exam” and are still curious, you can come to the People’s Factory for another month, until 21.02.2019, to see the great results during our opening hours.


Wim Lanz

1st Plastic Twist Workshop


We started with an introduction to plastics. Did you know that there are over 44000 different types of plastic?

Equipped with a lot of new information and a pile of plastic bags the participants brought along, we moved on to ironing multiple layers of plastic bags into thin, durable sheets of plastic. As it turned out, there are no limits to the creativity: From randomly combined colours to carefully designed patterns, with texture or smoothly ironed, it didn’t take long until we were able to put our laser cutter to work to cut the individual shapes of nicely designed items from the newly recycled material. In the last step, the new shapes were sewn together by hand with a saddle stitch or the sewing machine. This resulted in many different new products such as a coin pouch, a bag for fruit shopping or mobile phone covers.

Inspired by their success, our participants didn’t want to stop at the end of the workshop, so we extended the three hours scheduled to a total of five hours. In retrospect, it was one of our most creative workshops so far and we were able to demonstrate how easy it is to recycle readily available plastic material and create something nice and functional out of it.

Wim Lanz

People’s Factory Goes India

A few months ago we received an invitation to tender from Swissnex India: Swiss start-ups working in the field of digital production or production machines and interested in exploring business opportunities in India were invited  to participate in the Maker Week 2018 in November 2018 in Hyderabad, India.

The People’s Factory, along with 3 other Swiss startups, was selected out of over 200 candidates. On 8th November, the time had come: 8 days packed with appointments, presentations, discussions and conversations with a lot of high-ranking contacts as well as participation in the Maker Fair exhibition in Hyderabad with a joint Swiss exhibition booth. Indian culture played a major role, especially the very tasty, but also partly very spicy food from the region where the spiciest Indian recipes originate.

We were overwhelmed by the energy and creativity with which modern topics such as digital production are supported and promoted in India: From very young students, who implemented creative ideas to solve local problems with modern technology (supported by teaching staff), up to first-class incubation centres for start ups, everything is there.

The People’s Factory attracted so much interest that we decided to start working on plans to develop and produce our own digital machines. Our goal is to make industrial technology as appealing and simple as home appliances in terms of design and operation, so that everyone in the world can take control of the production of everyday objects.

Stay tuned for future updates or reach out to us, if you are interested in updates.

Marianne Wilmsmeier

Saikat Biswas / Empoise Design Studios

Saikat Biswas is an Industrial Designer from India. He has a vast experience of developing and delivering industrial design solutions of a varied spectrum, from creating mobile phones to designing trains. He has studied industrial design at National Institute of Design, India and was an exchange student to the Pforzheim University of Applied Science, Germany. Saikat has patents and design recognitions to his credit. During his stint at Provoke, Finland, he worked for big brands like Nokia, ABB, EADS, Boeing, Cisco, Kone, Huawei and more. Many of the products designed by him are commercially successful in their respective domains.

In 2010 he co-founded Empoise Design Studios, a full-service Industrial Design consultancy based in Bangalore, India. It has since become a leading Industrial Design Studio in India. Empoise has collaborated companies all over the globe, for companies ranging from Startups to Global Fortune 500 like Samsung, APC, GE, Reliance, Wipro, Lava, Luminous, Zebra, Ezetap, Viptela, Cypress and more.

With a team of seasoned designers and engineers, Empoise brings in integrated design and manufacturing experience and capabilities. Its workflow is purposefully designed to bridge the arduous and demanding gap between capturing and understanding consumer and market insights to effective commercialization through desirable and practical Industrial Design and Engineering solutions.

To find more about Empoise, please visit


Marianne Wilmsmeier

Julian Hoppen

My fascination for product design started as a child with first playful creations with wood. Only later did this fascination become a passion for product design. During my studies in Industrial Design, my initial focus was on graphical design, but more and more shifted towards the design of truly enjoyable physical products.

The biggest reward for me is to see my ideas become concepts and then real, functional enjoyable products. This is what motivated me to support the People’s Factory. Producing these products myself creates a much more emotional bond between people and objects and hopefully strengthens awareness of the consumer society in which we live.


Marianne Wilmsmeier

Nikki Kreis, Kreisdesign

Swiss-born Nikki Kreis worked as an interior architect in Australia, New York and Berlin before settling in London and starting Kreisdesign. She quickly identified Birch Plywood as her perfect material as, not only is it beautiful to look at, but made from fast growing sustainable wood and cut efficiently to reduce waste it is very environmentally friendly. The Peg-it-all collection of pegboards and home accessories now includes more than 60 products and is stocked in independent retailers in the UK and Europe.

More about  Nikki here.


Marianne Wilmsmeier

Daniel Groß, Zenziwerken

Starting at studying graphics design, then working as an illustrator and photographer while transcending into software development, Daniel was longing to produce something more “touchable”.

A CNC-machine made the perfect playground for the self taught industrial designer. Wood is his main material, because it has a natural look and feel and very unique characteristics, while being as well a natural resource as being wide available.

Many designs show features that that make perfect use of the peculiarities of a CNC, making it extremely hard to do on traditional woodworking tools.

Daniel draws a mayor part of his inspiration from the own use and is thus living the vision of the People’s factory.

More about Daniel here.


Rated 5.00 out of 5
Marianne Wilmsmeier

Justyna Fałdzińska & Miłosz Dąbrowski, UAU Project

UAU Project is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Warsaw, Poland. Founded in 2011 by Justyna Fałdzińska & Miłosz Dąbrowski, graduates from Industrial Design Faculty on Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

Currently our main interest is exploring and experimenting with consumer oriented 3D printing for use in home production because we think it’s the future. We want to show that 3D printing is the best way to make good design accessible. We develop our products with passion and commitment, with only the best quality materials. Our environment is of utmost importance to us, so most of the materials we use are either biodegradable or highly recyclable.

More about Justyna and Miłosz here