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What is the Cité du design ?

The Public Institution of Cultural Co-operation (EPCC) Cité du design - Higher School of Art and Design, brought together, in January 2010, the Cité du design and the Saint-Etienne Higher School of Art and Design, on the same site, the former Arms Manufacture of Saint-Etienne.

Supported by the City of Saint-Etienne, the Saint-Etienne Metropole, the Rhone-Alps Region, and the State (Ministry of Culture), it is a platform of higher education, research, economic development and promotion of art and design. The principal missions of the Cité du Design are:

  • The raising of public awareness of design
  • the development of innovation through design
  • design research
  • the organization of major events such as the International Biennial of Design of Saint-Etienne, or annual exhibitions both in Saint-Etienne and abroad.

The Cité du design raises public awareness of design

One of the primary missions of the Cité du design is to raise awareness of design among all types of public: professional and public authority actors, universities, the general public, etc.

The Cité du design has created various communication tools to address these different publics: guided visits for professionals and individuals, general public and professional awareness campaigns, workshops for young people, publications, seminars and conferences.

It provides specific facilities for school and university groups with numerous guided visits, and educational material created specifically for the teaching staff. The Cité du design also works closely with the National Education system: training courses for teachers with the PREAC (resource centre for artistic and cultural education), and projects led by the CDPP (Departmental centre for pedagogical documentation).




The architectural project

La Platine
La Platine
© LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi, photographe : Christian Richters
Vue d'ensemble
Vue d'ensemble
© LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi, photographe : Christian Richters
Vue générale site
Vue générale du site
© LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi, photographe : Christian Richters
Vue de l'ATE, l'un des édifices composant l'ESADSE
Vue de l'ATE, l'un des édifices composant l'ESADSE
© S.Binoux
La platine
La Platine
© LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi, photographe : Christian Richters
La tour observatoire
La tour observatoire
© LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi, photographe : Christian Richters
The architectural project of the Cité du design (approx. 16,000m2) was assigned to the architects Finn Geipel and Giulia Andi of the LIN agency.
Three renovated buildings co-habit with two contemporary constructions; the Platine, which hosts an auditorium, two exhibition halls (1200m² and 800m²), a mediatheque, a boutique and a designer's bureau, and the Observation Tower, 32 metres high, offering a unique 360° panoramic view of the town and the surrounding hills.

After a little more than three years of renovation work, a part of the former Arms Manufacture site came back to life with the opening of the Cité du design in 2009, and the installation of the Saint-Etienne Higher School of Art and Design (ESADSE 350 students).

A site of higher education, research and experimentation, of symposiums and exhibitions, the Cité du design is open to all types of public.