Artwork Honoring IMX's Women Faculty Now on Permanent Display

This was published on November 8, 2018

An installation sponsored by NCCR MARVEL and EPFL's Institute of Materials now inspires those passing through the entry hall of building MX on the EPFL campus.   

The Institute of Materials (IMX) has inaugured artwork celebrating its women faculty in the entry hall of building MX. The installation, which is two meters high and two meters wide, features nine currently active members of the department and one professor emeritus and was designed by graphic designer Alban Kakulya.

The project, sponsored by IMX and NCCR MARVEL, was initiated by MARVEL director Nicola Marzari after he saw a similar display at Imperial College in London and realized how strong was IMX in this respect.

“They had a really nice window on women in materials, showcasing all their female staff,” he said. “Since IMX also has a very strong component, I suggested we do the same.”

Dr. Homeira Sunderland, deputy director of IMX and herself an artist, lead the two-year search for the perfect tribute. Having looked through many proposals, she knew she had found the right match when she saw Kakulya’s. Instead of simple photographs, he suggested graphic portraits inspired by them.

“When I saw his work, I said, ‘that’s it, this is the one,’” she said. “I found these portraits much more interesting visually and also more timeless. I think the result is very beautiful.”

The featured faculty now include Professor Esther Amstad, Professor Maartje Bastings, Professor Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Professor Cécile Hébert, Professor Véronique Michaud, Professor Sylvie Roke, Professor Karen Scrivener, Professor Emeritus Nava Setter, Professor Vasiliki Tileli and Professor Helena van Swygenhoven. The artwork has been designed such that additional portraits can be added as professors join the IMX faculty.  

“It is important to attract outstanding female scientists and professors, and it is even more important to welcome them in a friendly and collegial environment," said Fontcuberta i Morral. "This is certainly the case at IMX”


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