The Christoph Merian Foundation established Atelier Mondial in 1986 under the name IAAB (“Internationales Atelier- und Austauschprogramm der Region Basel”, International Studio and Exchange Programme of the Basel Region). Michael Alder, an architect from the region, built the organization’s studio premises at St. Alban-Tal 40a, Basel. The program has steadily expanded and undergone numerous structural changes since then. Thanks to a unique agreement reached in 2013 with local and regional governments, Atelier Mondial is today a shining example of successful cross-border cooperation in the tri-region between Basel, Mulhouse, and Freiburg. The following institutions support Atelier Mondial both conceptually and with an annual financial contribution:
- Christoph Merian Foundation (project management)
- Canton of Basel-City
- Canton of Basel-Country
- Canton of Solothurn
- City of Freiburg im Breisgau
- Alsace region
The South Baden region assumed a sponsorship role for Atelier Mondial in 2004, represented by the city of Freiburg. The Alsace region followed suit in 2013, represented by Kunsthalle Mulhouse. The catchment area thus expanded, with the programme becoming tri-national: since 2013, artists from the regions of Strasbourg, Freiburg, Basel (city and countryside) regions have been eligible to apply. In 2016, the canton of Solothurn likewise assumed a sponsorship role.
Atelier Mondial also works both nationally and internationally with a range of partner institutions. Switzerland’s public arts foundation Pro Helvetia is a key Swiss partner and provides funding for our guest artists from India, China, Russia, South Africa and South America.
Alongside exchanges with partner institutions around the world, Atelier Mondial also frequently collaborates with local organisations and institutions on shorter-term projects with specific themes. These organisations and institutions include the Basel and Freiburg Houses of Literature, the Basel Academy of Art and Design (HGK), the House of Electronic Arts (HEK), the Gare du Nord, the Textilpiazza, the Theater Roxy, the Culturescapes festival, and the PF25 association.
Our current and former partner cities since the exchange programme was founded in 1986 under its former acronym of IAAB:
Bali (Indonesia), Bamako (Mali), Beijing (China), Berlin (Germany), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Cape Town (South Africa), Clarksville (USA), Douala (Cameroon), Delhi (India), Edinburgh (UK), Fremantle/Perth (Australia), Genoa (Italy), Hangzhou (China), Havana (Cuba), Helsinki (Finland), Istanbul (Turkey), Johannesburg (South Africa), Kyiv (Ukraine), Leipzig (Germany), Manila (Philippines), Marseille (France), Meiningen (Germany), Montréal (Canada), Moscow (Russia), New York (USA), Nouméa (New Caledonia), Oaxaca (Mexico), Paris (France), Port Vila (Vanuatu), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Shabramant/Cairo (Egypt), Taipei (Taiwan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Tokyo (Japan), Warsaw (Poland), Yerevan (Armenia).