Programme Outline

We offer one Swiss (based) designer the chance to spend 3 months in the world renowned porcelain town of Arita, Japan, to develop their own ceramic design project in collaboration with local craftsmen. The programme is hosted by Arita Town & Saga Prefecture and sponsored by the Swiss government.

Expected Outcomes

Participants are expected to produce prototypes of their own original design that could be produced by the local craftsmen. Participants are encouraged to immerge themselves in the local environment and foster exchange with the local craftsmen as well as the wider community which can be used as a source of inspiration for their project in Arita. Besides the design aspect we expect designers to show a hands-on approach and actively engage in the production process of the prototype(s). After completion of the 3-month programme, participants will be provided with the opportunity to present their work locally in Arita and are supported to present the outcomes afterwards in Tokyo and/or Switzerland.

Purpose of the programme

Saga Prefecture and Arita have a desire to culturally promote themselves on the wider global stage by offering a platform where overseas creatives can gather and explore artistic activities together, thus forming a unique and diverse community. The residency programme provides international designers as well as local potters with an opportunity to gain new inspiration and learn from each other. For more information about the creative residency programme please check our website:

Relevant Field

Ceramic Production Work

Basic Residency Period

11th January 2022 – 31st March 2022

Number of Residents Accepted

1 designer

Application Requirements

The applicant must have some professional experience in a design field that can be related to ceramic design and manufacturing in a broader sense. CRA is not open to students. The designer must either have their main place of work in Switzerland or be a Swiss national. Excluding technical guidance, applicants are expected to be self-sufficient in terms of daily life in Arita. The following requirements (A-K) must also be met while on the programme:

  1. Understand the purpose of your stay and the programme itself, and be able to stay there for the entire period (excluding Saturdays and Sundays).
  2. Being free from restrictions on any occupational activities during your stay.
  3. Be able to live together with other residents (1-2 people) during the period of your stay.
  4. Be in good health.
  5. Being able to communicate in English or Japanese.
  6. Be able to obtain a visa if necessary and comply with all safety requirements and public health measures for entry into Japan. (For further details, please contact the Japanese Embassy in your country. CRA can assist with visa acquisition.)
  7. The artist should donate one sample of their work at the end of the residency to Saga Prefecture.
  8. Be able to participate in residency events organised by CRA such as presenting the results of their work, doing a workshop or talk, hosting open studios, etc.
  9. Any accident insurance required during your stay must be paid for by the artist before visiting Japan.
  10. In principle, family members are prohibited from accompanying the designer during their stay.
  11. The expenses required for the 90-day programme (including travel, production and living expenses, etc.) must be prepared by the person himself/herself with the aid of a subsidy.

Available Support & Services

  • Communication Support (English and Japanese)
  • Project Planning Support and production advice
  • Matching the designer with a pottery
  • Visa application support
  • Facilitating cultural exchange
  • Final presentation & opportunities to present the results outside of Arita
  • Accomodation in our residency house
  • Free bicycle provided for daily house to work commute


The finalist will receive the following subsidies from the Swiss Embassy.

CHF 11’000

Breakdown of expenses to be included from the subsidy (three months periods) :

  • Pottery technical advice / support fee *- 60,000 yen per month
  • Accommodation*- 60,000 yen per month (utilities and internet included)
  • Travel expenses home to Arita round trip
  • Production costs
  • Material costs
  • Living expenses (food expenses roughly – 30,000-50,000 yen per month)
  • Work transportation to EU cost (roughly 50,000 yen+)
  • Transportation expenses (domestic travel, etc.)
  • Other miscellaneous costs

* indicates fixed cost

How to Apply (open call for participants)

Please apply using the CRA application form

Recruitment Period

Monday 28th April-Monday 7th June 2021
Deadline: Monday 7th June 2021 17:00 (UTC + 2 CET)

Selection and Notification

8th-18th June

First screening: up to five finalists will be selected based on the submitted materials.

21st-30th June

Second screening: online interviews with the selected candidates from which one successful designer will be chosen

1st July-9th July

Final decision notification

Notification Method

The results of the first and second screenings will be notified by email from CRA.

Judging Panel & Advisory Board

BIG GAME (designers)
Heinz Caflisch (founder of OKRO)
David Glaettli (design director)
Embassy of Switzerland in Japan
Arita Potters Association
Creative Residency Arita