#SAINT-ETIENNE The Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale has just opened its doors. For 30 days, the whole city and its surroundings, from Saint-Priest-en-Jarez to Firminy and Saint-Chamond, live to the rhythm of design. After an exploration of the world of work in 2017 and some 230,000 visitors in four weeks, “inclusion” was chosen as the main theme for this eleventh edition, the general curator of which was entrusted to Lisa White.
The Cité du Design, recently managed by Thierry Mandon, is the nerve centre of the event. In the former Manufrance buildings, it brings together the Ecole Supérieure des Arts et du Design, a greenhouse, the restaurant “Concept” and various exhibition and experimental spaces. On the occasion of the Biennale, the City also welcomes Chinese schools, which are this year’s guest of honour.
The programme for this year’s edition is attractive and we will have the opportunity to come back to it in the coming weeks to analyse the various proposals submitted to an informed or novice audience. What is to be noted here is the stated ambition to propose, not a design “decorative “
but rather a prospective design nourished by reflections and high level research axes. As part of this year’s biennale, it should be remembered that design is being considered and analysed from the perspective of an innovative triptych: social inclusion, urban reinvention and technological revolutions.
Thus, the question of inclusion becomes as much an issue of urban development with the project of the city of the future “Stefania” designed by the students, that a reflection on diplomacy or international relations with the “negotiation table”. An installation that, during the biennial, aims to be its philosophical laboratory, a place for exchanges and dialogues between schools, movements and visitors.
All this rich programming is developed through the prism of design in the broad sense, as a common ability to solve the problems that our contemporary societies produce. Thus, in the face of the increasing metropolisation of territories and the governance challenges that will have to be addressed in the more or less near future, the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale offers pragmatic, visionary and effective responses to the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s citizens, who are the bearers of meaning and new values, over the years.
from March 21 to April 22