13th Biennale InternationaleDesign Saint-Étienne

« Ressource(s), présager demain », 22 May to 6 July 2025

par Raphaël Pigeat

Faced with the challenges of production in the 21st century, what resources are designers working with today to prepare for tomorrow? The 13th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne launches in exactly a year’s time. This edition’s theme: “Ressource(s), présager demain”. Running from 22 May to 6 July 2025, it will be an opportunity for every type of audience to discover fascinating new objects, source ideas and exchange viewpoints around an exploratory, future-oriented design that is tackling contemporary issues head-on, all at the heart of an unmissable festive event.

The teams at the Cité du design and Saint-Étienne Higher School of Art and Design (ESADSE) have been preparing the next Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne for several months already. The guest country for the 2025 edition is Armenia. Designed to appeal to all types of audience, the Biennale will focus squarely on the figure of the designer and offering the public the chance to discover new and original objects and projects from all over the world. Young creators and the students from ESADSE will be in the limelight, and industry will be a constant thread. The 2025 Biennale will be organised at and around two sites: the Cité du design and the Halles Barrouin. Each will be hosting one of this edition’s two main exhibitions. There will also be four other exhibitions and a cultural event every week. A complementary programme of events will be running across the Métropole area to make this one big, enjoyable festival of design.

General curator: Éric Jourdan, designer, Executive Director of the EPCC Cité du design-ESADSE
Scientific director: Laurence Salmon, Director of Artistic and Cultural Development, EPCC Cité du design-ESADSE

Scenography sketch - Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2025 - Halles Barrouin © Joachim Jirou-Najou

A theme that goes to the heart of contemporary issues

“Ressource(s), présager demain”: the theme for this Biennale emerged as the obvious choice from our contacts with designers. Immersed in an era where things feel like they are shifting, an era marked by the depletion and impending exhaustion of certain resources, by the now palpable reality of climate change and growing doubts about some of our modern certainties, designers feel “unsettled”, and that is leading them to question what they do and how they do it. What resources will they be working with in the future? When we say that we are not just talking about natural resources, but also questioning the polysemous richness of the word “resource” in relation to designers, whose practices foreshadow the future.

Two main exhibitions

Ressource(s), présager demain
The 2025 Biennale’s flagship exhibition will cover a 2,000 sqm space at the huge Halles Barrouin, an icon in Saint-Étienne’s industrial heritage situated 5 minutes’ walk from the Cité du design. It will examine the “Ressource(s), présager demain” theme in nine sections, covering issues like the future of industry, artificial intelligence, upcycling, climatic design, low-tech/high-tech, etc. It will be curated by Laurence Salmon and nine designer guest curators, each in charge of one of the nine sections. The exhibition will focus its collective attention and seek to throw light on the delicate issue of resources, i.e. the things the designer works with to establish and assert their practice whilst taking part in the construction of new real and imaginary worlds. From startups to major industrial concerns, companies will be well represented in their capacity as major players in the ongoing processes of economic and environmental change.

Le Droit de rêver, ESADSE international workshops
With a series of workshops at ESADSE with local, national and international designers, the Biennale will be reactivating its exploratory dimension in an initiative led by the students themselves. The work produced at the workshops held over the course of the 2024-2025 year will be unveiled at the Cité du design, with a 1,000 sqm exhibition in the La Platine building. The aim is to show that designers are resourceful: they are creatives working in the field of craft and/or industrial production, defined by their sensitive approach, open to the world. As instigators of ideas and projects, they rely on their creativity, their project methodology and their ability to manage constraints to offer responsible solutions for the Anthropocene era.
ESADSE, which started the Saint-Étienne Biennale in 1998, will thus be centre stage in this 13th edition. It is also in charge of creating the visual identity of the event.

Scenography sketch - Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2025 - Halles Barrouin © Joachim Jirou-Najou

This 2025 edition is designed to be a return to our roots: it gives pride of place to our school, ESADSE, and to international creation, while seeking to make design accessible to all. Our ambition is to ensure that in Saint-Étienne people discover design they have never seen before.

Éric Jourdan, General Curator of the 13th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne, Executive Director of the EPCC Cité du design-ESADSE

A powerful scenography for the Biennale

The general scenography of this 2025 edition has been entrusted to Joachim Jirou-Najou. A graduate of the Arts Décoratifs school in Paris, he initially worked with Pierre Charpin before setting up his own studio. He regularly designs exhibitions for institutions like the Villa Noailles or the Centre Pompidou, and has worked with design publishers like Habitat, EO and Galerie kreo. Inspired by the monumental scale of the Halles Barrouin, his scenography will be reflected across the entire Biennale. For the exhibitions, the space will be structured by elements standing on the ground, elements hanging from the roof frame, blocks of colour and large coloured grids.

Scenography sketch - Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2025 - Halles Barrouin © Joachim Jirou-Najou

Armenia, guest country at the 2025 Biennale

Just as a twinning agreement has been signed between Saint-Étienne and the town of Kapan in southern Armenia, the country will be under the spotlight at the 13th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne. In spite of a tense geopolitical situation, the country is seeing the emergence of a strong new creative scene in the fields of architecture, fashion and arts and crafts. With a scenography by Normal Studio, an exhibition will feature an overview of the contemporary creative work focused on the notion of resources being done in Armenia and among the diaspora.

Curators: Jean-François Dingjian and Eloi Chafaï, with a guest curator, art historian Nairi Khatchadourian (director of Art Station).

Designers, like Saint-Étienne, are resourceful! And the 13th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne will prove it. This landmark event has been attracting visitors from all over the world since 1998. The theme for 2025 projects us into tomorrow’s world. In 2025 the Biennale will be the beating heart of the Métropole and its creative district, which is in the midst of a major transformation.

Marc Chassaubéné, Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture, Design and Heritage Development, City of Saint-Étienne, Vice-President in charge of Design, Culture and Digital Technology, Saint-Étienne Métropole, President of the EPCC Cité du design-ESADSE

13th Biennale InternationaleDesign Saint-ÉtiennePress release
Communiqué de presse

par Raphaël Pigeat

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