Intense and unexpected

Photographs: Regula Bearth © ZHdK

Student portrait Merlin Zuni

Merlin Zuni is a user experience designer studying towards an MAS Strategic Design. He considers continuous learning not simply a professional means to an end, but a way of life.


Yvonne Hachem: Why did you choose the MAS Strategic Design?
Merlin Zuni: During the Covid-19 pandemic I had time on my hands and thought, “Why not expand what I’m doing?” My client projects focus on design thinking and design method, so I wanted to combine this work with other content.

What do you appreciate about your programme?
The MAS consists up of three CAS, which can be selected on a modular basis. The CAS Design Technologies opens up many topics, but you don’t become an expert in any of them. With Coding for the Arts, I delved deep into a subject. Design Leadership was intense and an unexpected experience. The different orientations of the courses and the flexibility of the MAS are great.

Why are you pursuing further training?
I was eager to improve myself and learn more about the world already at school. Life-long learning has accompanied me ever since. After the birth of my first child, I wanted to be the best possible father. I broadened my scope as a designer and committed to continuous learning and in-depth reading.

What is your master’s thesis about?
At the digital agency I work for, we organize ourselves. We have no bosses, so everyone is responsible for their own area. This set-up is purpose-driven. When making decisions, we ask ourselves, “Will this harm the purpose?” If the answer is negative, nothing prevents realization. My master’s thesis explores a core process: Purpose to Action to Impact.

How do you see ZHdK?
I knew the names of famous Swiss designers such as Adrian Frutiger and Josef Müller-Brockmann from studying graphic design in San Francisco 15 years ago. I reinterpreted one of Müller-Brockmann’s posters as a digital project on the CAS Design Technologies. Connecting with ZHdK’s predecessor institutions, the meeting of past and future — that’s special.

What energizes you most?
Sports. My body is tired afterwards, but my brain is brimming with new energy. When I play basketball at my age, I feel like an eight-yearold kid again, playing with my friends. Children have so much energy, not only physically but also emotionally.

Further student portraits published in Zett
Yvonne Hachem ( is an editor and a member of the communications team at ZHdK Continuinig Education Centre.
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