Rafael Kouto – Don’t Steal our Sunlight


The goal of the video installation Don’t Steal our Sunlight is to deconstruct and reconstruct the creative process, showing the possibility of creating a new narrative by emphasizing the consequences of climate change. These new narratives and visions come about through the personification of climate change, including the melting of glaciers and desertification, through two different textile production techniques and the inclusion of special effects in the video – where data on these changes are translated into visual elements. Participants in turn become active in the production process, in value and in achieving a result.

Rafael Kouto will hold a workshop on
Tuesday, 07.06.2022, from H13:00 to H17:00, during which the technique of ‘Melt and dye’ will enable participants to dye textiles and their own garments by melting ice sculptures containing textile dye.
Free participation at any time during the duration of the workshop. Please bring your own clothes to be dyed.


Rafael Kouto (*1990, Lucerne) is a Swiss, with Togolese and Italian origins, fashion & textile designer and researcher in upcycling methods and sustainable strategies with a particular focus on open source and craftsmanship. He studied Fashion Design at FHNW-HGK in Basel, earning an MA in Fashion Matters from the Sandberg Institut in Amsterdam. He has had various work experiences at Alexander McQueen, Maison Martin Margiela, Carven and Ethical Fashion Initiative.

In 2017 he founded the avant-garde fashion brand of the same name, of which he follows the creative direction, the development of strategies, collaborations and engaging projects for the promotion of upcycling and sustainability through the use of textile waste, dead stock and others materials in the creative and production process.

The brand has numerous awards and recognitions winner of the Lotto Sport & Diesel International Talents Support Awards 2019; winner of the Swiss Design Awards in the Fashion & Textile category 2018 and 2019 and finalist 2020 and Gebert Ambiente Design Preis 2020-2021. His vision has been featured in Vogue Uk, Vogue Italia, Harper Bazaar Italia and Dazed among other prominent publications.

The collections have been exhibited at the State of Fashion Biennale (NL), Fuorisalone (IT), Drapers Sustainable (UK), Textilmuseum St. Gallen (CH) and Museum für Gestaltung (CH) and are also part of both collection archives and presented at Mode Suisse, Zürich (CH) and Fashion Open Studio x Berlin Fashion Week (D).

The promotion of upcycling takes place through workshops in collaboration with various institutions and recently through teaching as associate professor in Fashion Design at the IUAV in Venice. 

During his residency Milano Calling 2021/2022 by Istituto Svizzero, he focused his research on the development of participatory projects related to sustainability, upcycling, climate change and open source in the creative and production process in fashion and textiles.