Pandemic Objects: Making Medicine in Pandemic Times

In this project, BFH and ZHdK used ethnographic methods to investigate how the pandemic shaped everyday hospital life. The results are presented as a special exhibition for the Medical Collection of the Inselspital Bern.



Covid-19 has brought changes to hospitals and created stories that are both significant to medicine today and impossible to capture in a few years' time. "Pandemic Objects", a cooperation of BFH with ZHdK and Medizinsammlung Inselspital Bern, has documented and archived some of these changes through objects and their associated stories.

Course of action

In collaboration with designer Laura Haensler from the Zurich University of the Arts, a number of different sites and clinics were visited to collect 'pandemic objects' and their relevant stories. The project took an interdisciplinary approach, paying particular attention to the hospital as a whole and highlighting the importance of infrastructure sectors such as cleaning services, hotel services, facility services and laundry for the daily operation of the hospital and its interrelated workflows. The collected objects and their stories were prepared for the Medical Collection Archive and published as part of a special exhibition.


The special digital exhibition opened on 27 June 2023 and was complemented by a corresponding on-site exhibition with public talks with research participants.

Looking ahead

The speical exhibition can be visited here:

Was hat eine Pizzaschachtel mit der Pandemie zu tun?
Was hat eine Festbank mit der Pandemie zu tun?
Was hat ein Rasierer mit der Pandemie zu tun?