Students on different courses, practitioners, artists, researchers and tutors work on a single site, a place where ideas and practice come together and where the performing arts are viewed from a contemporary and multi-disciplinary standpoint.
The school’s multidisciplinary approach is reflected in each of its missions: degree and continuing education courses are led by tutors from different fields; artistic research explores projects in partnership with institutions and researchers in Switzerland and abroad; the activities centre proposes a wide range of services focused on the performing arts.
The Manufacture welcomed its first budding actors to Lausanne in September 2003, through the doors of the former precious-stone cutting factory after which it is named.
Founded by Switzerland’s French-speaking cantons and the francophone part of the canton of Berne, the Manufacture joined the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) in 2006. It then developed the missions of a higher education establishment: degrees, continuing education, applied research and service provision. Since 2009, it has offered Bachelor and Master degrees recognised at a European level.
In 2011 the State of Vaud also entrusted to the Manufacture vocational training for the new Federal Certificate of Capacity (CFC) in technical professions in the performing arts, overseen by the professional association ARTOS.
Following on from the Bachelor degree in drama focused on actor training, in September 2012 the Manufacture launched a Master in Drama with the emphasis on stage direction, in conjunction with the Master-Campus-Theatre network which brings together Swiss drama schools in Berne, Zurich, Lausanne and Verscio. In 2019, a new orientation Scenography completes the Master.
In September 2014, a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Dance was inaugurated. The first of its kind in Switzerland, it is run in collaboration with Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and in partnership with P.A.R.T.S in Brussels and the University of Berne.
The Manufacture is therefore the only university in French-speaking Europe to offer degree courses in dance and theatre on a single site.
The Manufacture plans in the future to extend its reach to choreography, dramaturgy and theatre education, thus becoming a true francophone centre for the performing arts and professions.
The Manufacture - University of Performing Arts of Western Switzerland is incorporated as a foundation under private law.
Martine Brunschwig Graf
Ancienne Conseillère d’Etat et ancienne Conseillère nationale - Genève, Présidente du Conseil d’orientation stratégique de la HES-SO Genève
Chef du service de la culture, Canton de Fribourg, Président de la CDAC
Lionel Baier, réalisateur, membre de Bande à Part Films, responsable du département cinéma de l’ECAL (Membre du Bureau)
Cléa Redalié, Responsable pôle culture a.i., Département de la cohésion sociale, Office cantonal de la culture et du sport - Genève
Thierry Luisier, Secrétaire général de la Fédération romande des arts de la scène (FRAS)
Olivier Moeschler, Sociologue, chercheur, Université de Lausanne
Chantal Ostorero, Directrice générale de l’enseignement supérieur du Canton de Vaud
Anne Papilloud, Secrétaire syndicale du Syndicat Suisse romand du spectacle
Luciana Vaccaro, Rectrice de la HES-SO
Alice Durgnat-Levi, secrétaire du conseil
The Representative Council of La Manufacture is composed as follows:
Liona Lutz, Tristan Richon (Président) & Eléonore Bonah, representing the students
Marine Meier, Laurence Pidoux, representing administrative and technical staff
Francine Acolas, Claire de Ribaupierre, representing teaching and research staff
The secretariat is provided by Alice Durgnat-Lévi, who is also secretary of the Foundation Board of La Manufacture.
The Manufacture offers a magnificent working environment within the former industrial complex that was previously the Golay-Buchel factory, rue du Grand-Pré 3-5, Lausanne.
The school, originally installed on two floors at number 5, has gradually expanded in the course of its development and, since September 2015 with the opening up of new premises at number 3, benefits from a floor space of 4,416 square metres on which to deploy its different activities.
At present the school offers: