Media & Interaction Design

The 2021 SESSiON related to the Foundation Year IS NOW




Successfully bridging several disciplines around digital communication, this training is designed for students with a solid visual culture eager to find out more about advanced technology. Prospective, pragmatic and experimental, this Bachelor course is provided in the framework of the Visual Communication Department, which concurrently offers crossover courses and projects enabling students to acquire multidisciplinary skills (photography, graphic design, film).

Rewatch the live information session dedicated to the Bachelor Media & Interaction Design

Learning objectives


First Year

We give you the keys to:

  • Learn about programming with a targeted approach to JavaScript and get familiar with the graphic visualisation of mathematical and algorithmic logic.
  • Tackle the aesthetic, logical and conceptual issues related to the design of graphic interfaces and implement a dynamic graphic visual identity.
  • Acquire the necessary tools to produce a three-dimensional world in Cinema 4D (modelling, lighting, texturing, motion graphics and sequencing).
  • Design interactive three-dimensional spaces using Unity.
  • Immerse yourself incross-disciplinary courses in Photography, Graphic Design, Media & Interaction Design (website), 3D Animation (Cinema 4D) and 2D Animation (After Effects, Premiere).
  • Enhance your theoretical knowledge via courses in theory (History of Art, Photography, Film, Digital Culture, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Media Theory, Project Management, Contemporary Photography, Exhibitions and Publications).
  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.
Typemachines – Michael Pica
Dynamic Display - Jamy Herrmann
Dynamic Display - Jamy Herrmann
3D Graphics - Showreel / ECAL
PACC – Martial Grin
Dynamic Display - Martial Grin
Raster Walker / ECAL.
Workshop with Thibault Brevet
Workshop with Ted Davis

Deuxieme année

We give you the keys to:

  • Design media andgraphic content linked to a project developed for one or more digital media incollaboration with Graphic Design students.
  • Develop a multi-screen/multi-player game implementing real-time interconnection.
  • Become familiar with the notion of network communication and learn about the bi-directional real-time server-client communication protocol, while understanding the issues related to the specific properties of different devices allowing network connections (JavaScript, Firebase).
  • Develop the notion of interface, codes and associated practices (screen layout, navigation in a content, hierarchisation and analysis of the usual metaphors of graphic interfaces via dedicated software (AdobeXD, InVision, Figma, etc.).
  • Tackle electronics and programming principles, particularly through the Arduino platform.
  • Se confronter à l’électronique et au principes de programmation au travers notamment de la plateforme Arduino
  • Deepen notions of modelling and file creation for machining and 3D printing (Autodesk Fusion 360, Cura, PreForm, etc.).
  • Broaden your horizons through practical cross-disciplinary courses within a sequence (videoclip or VR) or editing project (of your choice) in collaboration with Graphic Design and Media & Interaction Design students.
  • Enhance your knowledge through theory courses (Information & Communication, Global Visions).
  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.
Giseigo - Evan Kelly
Workshop «Rendre (in)visible»
Bridget Riley – Sebastien Matos
Network Related Design
Excentrique - Interface Design
Pianeta PUCCI - Pietro Alberti
Twinstand - Mylène Dreyer
Workshop with Daniël Maarleveld
"When Objects Dream" exhibition at the Milan Design Week
Installation at the Châble train station

Third Year

We give you the keys to:

  • Focus on contemporary technology (so-called “creative” machine learning) through targeted tools (ml5js, ml4a, JavaScript, possibly python, C++).
  • Widen your research and experimentation capacities by setting up a free project, in connection with the field, responding to a given subject.
  • Immerse yourself in cross-disciplinary courses to refine your collaborative skills in a transdisciplinary project (creation of a digital platform, including GraphicDesign, Media & Interaction Design and Photography).
  • Broaden your theoretical knowledge with courses in Copyright Law and preparation for writing a dissertation.
  • Take part in weeks of workshops supervised by practitioners from all over the world with the aim of carrying out collective or personal projects.
  • Write a dissertation based on the knowledge acquired during the course of study.
  • Put into practice the know-how acquired in a graduation work and a portfolio, which will serve as a business card to integrate into the labour market quickly or continue your studies on an MA course.
Diploma project – Alfatih Al Zouabi
Diploma project – Paul Lëon
Diploma project – Pierry Jaquillard
Diploma project - Adrien Kaeser
Diploma project - Maya Bellier
Diploma project - Sébastien Matos
Diploma project - Evan Kelly
Diploma project – Benjamin Muzzin
Diploma project - Corentin Vignet
Diploma project - Léonard Guyot
Diploma project - Kylan Luginbühl
Free project – Arthur Moscatelli
Diploma project– Erika Marthins
Free project– Salomé Chatriot


Interaction designer, Motion designer, Multimedia artist, Data designer, Game designer, Physical computing designer, Web designer, Art director, Teacher…


Pietro Alberti
Pierre Allain-Longval
Romain Cazier
David Colombini
Mélanie Courtinat
Mylène Dreyer
Lucien Langton
Erika Marthins
Benjamin Muzzin (2018)
Nathan Vogel

Other alumni

Marius Aeberli, Joelle Aeschlimann, Karian Foehr,, Jürg Lehni, Sylvain Meltz, Matthieu Minguet, Mathieu Rivier, Pauline Saglio, Sigmasix, Camille Scherrer, Thomas Traum, Sebastian Vargas…


Head Visual Communication
Vincent Jacquier

Head Media & Interaction Design
Pauline Saglio

Artistic assistant
Julien Gurtner

Léonard Guyot
Pierry Jaquillard
Kylan Luginbühl
Paul Lëon
Sébastien Matos

Technology centre
Amaury Hamon
Vincent Jacquier
Tibor Udvari
Alain Bellet
Angelo Benedetto
Christophe Guignard
Gaël Hugo
Patrick Keller
Pauline Saglio
Multidisciplinary fields professors
Antonio Albanese
Claus Gunti
Vincent Jacquier
Milo Keller
Violène Pont
Anouk Schneider
Joël Vacheron
Sébastien Agnetti
Sami Benhadj
Harry Bloch
Giliane Cachin
Angelo Cirimele
Cyril Diagne
Marc Dubois
Cedric Duchêne
Andreas Gysin
Matthieu Jaccard
Calypso Mahieu
Benjamin Muzzin
Nicolas Nova
Laura Perrenoud
Cyrille Piguet
Florian Pittet
Pierre Ponant
Jeanne Quéheillard
Mathieu Rivier
Olivia Schenker
Lionel Tardy
Chi-Long Trieu
Sebastian Vargas
Mario Von Rickenbach
Visiting lecturers
Jussi Ängeslevä
Nicolas Barradeau
Antoine Bertin
Thibault Brevet
Ted Davis
Mario De Vega
Dries Depoorter
Julien Gachadoat
Coralie Gourgechon
Jesse Howard
Mario Klingemann
Gene Kogan
Marc Kremers
Béatrice Lartigue
Jürg Lehni
Daniël Maarleveld
Map Project Office
Mitch Paone (DIA Studio)
Hannah Perner-Wilson
Matthew Plummer-Fernandez
Jonathan Puckey
Random International
Andreas Refsgaard
Tim Rodenbröker
Niklas Roy
Philip Schuette (random. studio)
Chris Sugrue
Yuri Suzuki
Thomas Traum
Roel Wouters
Hayden Zezula (Zolloc)


Yearly fees (materials included)
CHF 1 925.–

Language: French

Durée: 6 semestres

Credits: 180 ECTS

Qualification issued
Bachelor of Arts HES-SO in Visual Communication, major in Media & Interaction Design

Frequently asked questions


What are the qualifications required to register for the admission exam in Bachelor?


  • Maturity certificate or Professional Maturity certificate (vocational diploma) or certificate from a recognised three-year school of general education (ECG), each to be accompanied by a General Federal Certificate of Vocational Education (CFC) in the field of desired studies (list available on the ECAL website)
  • Maturity certificate plus at least one year attested vocational activity in the field of studies (except for BA Fine Art) or a Foundation Year successfully completed at the ECAL (or another recognised higher-education establishment of art and design)
  • Professional Maturity certificate with a General Federal Certificate of Vocational Education (CFC) in a profession unrelated to the field of studies plus at least one year attested vocational activity in the field of studies except for BA Fine Art) or a Foundation Year successfully completed at the ECAL (or another recognised higher-education establishment of art and design)
  • Specialized Maturity certificate in art and design (MSAD)
  • Equivalent foreign certificate*

* ECAL evaluates title's equivalences. This procedure being relatively long, a request of examination must be submitted by email to ECAL Secretariat until 17 February 2021 the latest. Request of evaluation submitted after the above mentionned date will not be processed.

Am I required to do an internship after obtaining my baccalaureate / high school diploma, in order to enrol in a Bachelor programme? What conditions apply?

In addition to the requisite diploma, registration for the Bachelor in Visual Communication (Graphic Design / Photography / Media & Interaction Design / Film Studies) or the Bachelor in Industrial and Product Design requires either:
- at least 36 weeks (or nine months) of full-time certified experience in the world of work related to the chosen field;
- or successful completion of the ECAL Foundation Year or of a recognized bridge year for the colleges of higher education in art*.

Professional experience or the Foundation Year diploma are recommended but not compulsory to register for the Bachelor in Fine Arts entrance exam.

* For example, in Switzerland, the Art & Design Foundation Year of CFP Arts Genève, the Art & Design Foundation Year of the édhéa (Sierre) or the Art and Design Foundation Year of Bienne/Bern. Don’t hesitate to contact the ECAL Secretariat for additional information.

Can ECAL help me find an internship allowing me to enrol in a Bachelor programme?

No. ECAL offers a foundation year, but does not help applicants find an internship to register for a Bachelor programme.

Is it possible to join the Bachelor programme directly in 2nd or 3rd year?

In some cases, recognition of prior studies may be granted in the form of ECTS credits, depending on the applicant’s previous education. ECAL management makes a decision to this effect only after the admissions procedure has been completed and on receipt of an artistic application providing information on all previous studies (type, field, skills, courses, credits, grades, etc.).

Can I register for the entrance exam for a Bachelor programme even if I don’t have the requisite diplomas or certificates?

Yes. ECAL may exceptionally accept applicants demonstrating extraordinary artistic talent in a Bachelor programme even if they do not meet the admission requirements. However, applicants must first send the ECAL Director a written waiver request.

NB: This concerns in particular applicants who have not completed any training and who have no diploma.  Applicants who are under 25 at the time of the application and who have a CFC or a diploma from an upper secondary specialised school (école de culture générale, ECG) must first obtain a professional or specialised baccalaureate before registering for a Bachelor entrance exam.

What does a waiver request comprise?

Applicants requesting a waiver submit an application comprising a letter of motivation, a CV and a portfolio. If the request is accepted, they can register for the entrance exam in the field they have chosen.

Can I register to do the entrance exam for the Foundation Year and for an ECAL Bachelor programme at the same time?

No. If in doubt, please contact the ECAL Secretariat.

Can I register for two ECAL Bachelor entrance exams at the same time?

No. You are allowed to register for only one Bachelor entrance exam at a time, as it is not possible to do the practical and/or theoretical tests for two at the same time. Don’t hesitate to contact the ECAL Secretariat if you have any questions.

Is it possible to follow a foundation year in a HE other than the ECAL (at the HEAD or the edhea for example), and then apply for a Bachelor's degree at the ECAL?

Yes, the successful completion of an equivalent preparatory year allows you to apply for a Bachelor's degree at the ECAL.

What are the maximum 15 documents included in the portfolio?

These are projects that can each contain several pages.


What are the languages of instruction?

Courses and workshops are in French in the Foundation Year and at Bachelor level (some Bachelor workshops are in English). Master / MAS programmes are for the most part bilingual (English/French). Fluency in French is therefore essential for the Foundation Year and Bachelor programmes. The same applies to English at least for Master programmes.

Do I need a language certificate to enrol in an ECAL course?

Yes. For the Foundation Year and Bachelor programmes, non-French-speaking applicants who have not attended school in Switzerland must be able to attest that they are proficient in French at the B2 level of the European Language Portfolio. The B2 level is required on registration.

Generally speaking, language proficiency is also checked by the juries during the entrance exam.


Does ECAL have a residence?

ECAL has neither a residence nor a campus, but it can, to a limited extent, help students looking for accommodation. As the housing market in the Lake Geneva area is relatively tight, students are advised to make arrangements well in advance.

Can ECAL act as a guarantor on a lease signed by a foreign student?

No, not at the moment.

Practical informations

Due to a serious lack of availability on the local market, it is very difficult to find an accomodation in Lausanne therefore you should look well in advance to find a suitable accommodation. Please keep in mind that you may be required to provide a
3 month safety deposit.

The following solutions are available:

Furnished studios or flat-sharing for students in Lausanne

Rooms to rent

Scholarships / tuition

I am a foreign student. Can I obtain a scholarship in Switzerland?

Educational assistance (grants or student loans) is awarded by the cantons and is intended for Swiss students (nationals, foreign permanent residents and persons with refugee status). It is not available to foreign citizens residing in Switzerland for the purposes of study only. However, the Swiss Confederation offers excellence scholarships to foreign students, researchers and artists for a period of study or research in Switzerland.

I am resident abroad. Will my tuition at ECAL be higher than for a student resident in Switzerland?

Except for the Foundation Year, where the course fees are determined by the student’s domicile, tuition is the same for all students in the same Bachelor, Master or MAS programme.


Does ECAL offer evening or summer courses? Can I sign up just for certain specific courses or workshops?

No, not at the moment.

Can I have a tour of ECAL?

En dehors des manifestations organisées par l’ECAL (expositions diverses, Open Day, etc.), aucune visite n’est autorisée à titre individuel. Des visites de groupes peuvent être organisées, mais planifiées suffisamment à l’avance. Le cas échéant, merci de contacter directement le Secrétariat de l’ECAL, à l’adresse

My company wishes to hire an ECAL student as an intern or employee. What do I have to do?

Please send the ECAL Secretariat, at, an advert in A4 PDF format containing all the information on the internship or job. The advert will be published on the ECAL intranet. Interested students will contact the advertiser directly.