Call for projects | International | Biennale 2022

Banc d’essai, 4th edition

Extended deadline 11.10.2021
Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2022

par Maria Moreira

Banc Gisèle © Kamel Secraoui/ KLD Design, 2018

Version française

A must-do event for urban furniture producers, designers and urban creators, Banc d'essai is a real showroom for experimental urban furniture and an indispensable "laboratory" for urban design. 

Since 2015, this event has enabled some sixty companies and manufacturers of urban furniture to test their creativity and develop new products with designers to make public spaces more user-friendly. The last three editions of the Banc d'essai have generated many new objects that have become real references.

Banc d’essai 2022

Public space, sports and recreational space!
Designers are invited to imagine the objects that will transform the city into a creative and recreational space of exploration for young and old...
• How can urban furniture become a playful or sportstool and meet the needs of ownership and diversion? 
• How can public space encourage free sports activity and induce more interactive recreational behaviour?

The aim is to experiment with urban objects (in the broader sense): urban furniture, connected objects, plug-ins, temporary installations, urban staging, micro-architecture, artistic installations, sound installations, graphic interventions, ground markings, urban services, interactive signage, urbansports equipment, cardio modules, health courses, collective games, playgrounds,hopscotches, giant board games, large chess games, etc.

Banc d’essai proposes to install prototypes in the public space and to test them with the general public. The proposals, which are freely invested by the inhabitants and Biennial's visitors, are installed on sites identified by the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne and the City of Saint-Étienne.Each selected candidate has access to a report on the use of their project, produced by a team of experts and designers.

2022 Edition Context
Saint-Étienne Métropole, through the project Cité du design 2025, aims to finalize the transformation and conversion of the Manufacture district in which the Cité du design is located. In this respect, the 2022 Banc d’essai edition will be an opportunity to experiment with new uses that could have a lasting impact on this district. In addition, and as a complement to this local dynamic, the Cité du design is supporting the national programme Avec le design actif, faites bouger votre ville ! (with active design, get your city moving) as part of the partnership signed between Action Cœur de Ville and the COJO Paris 2024, to encourage the development of "active design" in our cities by "hijacking" spaces and public facilities to encourage pedestrian traffic and free physical activity, in order to combat sedentary lifestyles, obesity, etc. This is one of the major axes of the legacy that the Paris 2024 Olympic Games wish to leave in as many territories as possible. 

More information on 

Selection criteria

- Relevance of the proposal
- Technical feasibility
- Aesthetic quality
Application deadline: Monday 11 October 2021 at noon.

- Online registration: submit your project via online form!  
ATTN: One application per object, or range of objects, or installation project
- Incomplete applications will not be considered


Conditions of participation of the Banc d'essai 2022 contest

This edition of Banc d'essai will start on June 1, 2022 for a period of 4 months and will be integrated into the France Design Week in September 2022.

Important dates :

– July 2021 :  Launch of the Call for Projects
– 11 October 2021 : Application deadline 
– October/November 2021 : Selection process
– End Novembre 2021 : Deadline for sending the images and full technical data for the selected projects 
– Starting from 30 May 2022 : Reception, installation et set up on the sites
– Wednesday 1st  June 2022 : Inauguration Banc d’Essai.
– Starting from 26 September 2022 : Dismantling.


Any individual of legal age, self-employed person, company, or collective exercising an activity officially legally registered may apply. Applicants will be required to take out insurance covering damage to and from their facilities, as well as their civil liability. Students will be required to provide a certificate of accompaniment from their School, as well as a certificate of insurance.
The proposed projects must be new concepts, prototypes or products (single object or small series) not yet commercialized or or marketed for less than two years. The prototypes and projects exhibited must be usable and available to the public without danger. A detailed technical sheet to fill in as well as the rules of participation and temporary occupation of the public space will be sent to the selected projects.

The exhibitor will fully cover and be responsible for the following:
- The insurance of the objects and products. The exhibits remain the property of the exhibitor.
- The packaging and the cost of transporting the exhibited items to and from the exhibition.
- The organisers of the Biennale Internationale Design 2022 and the sponsors will not bear any transport costs.

Participation in the call for projects is free of charge. Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will not be presented to the selection committee.

Support for the Participants 

The City of Saint-Etienne is committed to supporting the project leaders. To this end, it will give up the occupation of the public space free of charge. It will ensure coordination between the candidates and the partners of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2022 and local service providers for the implementation of the projects:
- help with installation on site
- press conference- communication and promotion
- discovery report

Discovery report

A team of experts and designers will observe the uses of the object during the exhibition. At the end of the experimentation, a discovery report on uses of the object in the public space will be given to the companies and designers.This will provide valuable feedback for the production of the object.


The partners of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint Etienne 2022 will be responsible for press promotion and specific communication for the Banc d'essai 2022 event.The partners of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint Etienne 2022 authorise the candidate exhibitors, for the exclusive purpose of promotion, information and publicity relating to their activity, to use the terms "exhibited in the context of the Banc d'essai 2022 call for projects" and "presented as part of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint Etienne 2022".

Selection Committee

The selection committee will be made up of a jury of experts, elected representatives and professionals from the sector, designers and town planners. The selection committee reserves the right to accept or refuse projects that do not meet its selection criteria (relevance of the project to the issues of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2022 ; relevance of the initiative to the Saint-Etienne area, feasibility of the project; cost, process and design approach) or out of necessity, given the large number of applications that could not all be received under the right conditions. The members of the jury and the people who have access to the files submitted within the framework of this call for projects will keep confidential all information relating to the projects of unsuccessful candidates. Unsuccessful projects will be destroyed.

Banc d’essai 2022 perimeter 

The selected proposals will be installed in the strategic areas of a pathway labelled the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2022 in the heart of the city. The projects and the sites where they will be installed will be selected on the basis of their coherence and relevance. 

The final location of each project will be decided by the partners in November 2021.


Beyond the experimentation, the City of Saint-Etienne or the other sponsors will study the possibility and interest of perpetuating the installation of certain objects in the public space. This proposal will depend on a partnership or corporate sponsorship during the application analysis phase, with the company that owns the products.

Submit your project via online form

In case of any questions, please contact us at

par Maria Moreira

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