Article | International

Bifurcating matters

Virtual workshop organised by the Institut Français Paris in collaboration with the Cité du design-Esadse

par Maria Moreira

In March 2021, the French Institute joined forces with the Cité du design to offer members of the network of French Institutes from all over the world a virtual journey through the 12e Biennale Internationale Design Saint Etienne, which will take place from 6 April to 31 July 2022 on the theme of Bifurcations. This exchange was an unprecedented success, attracting 120 participants registered.

Through the talks given by Isabelle Vérilhac, Director of Innovation and International, and Olivier Peyricot, Director of Research and curator of the exhibition Autofiction: Une biographie de l’objet automobile, the representatives of the French Institutes had the opportunity to discover the Cité du design, its exhibitions and actions (workshops, conferences, interventions in the public space...). 

Emblematic international cooperation projects launched or planned by the Cité du design with international partners and networks were also highlighted during the workshop as success-stories.

Nathalie Choplain, Cultural Attaché, French Institute of the United Arab Emirates, presented the recent cooperation with the Cité du design around the exhibition Space Exploration and Design organised as part of the Dubai Design Week in 2020, as well as the virtual platform DesignFromFrance.

Affiche du workshop 2021 © Institut français de Lubumbashi

Fiona du Mesnildot, designer researcher of the lab Design des instances de la Cité du Design, shared her experience on the  workshop Voiture Hybride : vers une nouvelle forme de démocratie technique organised "in a hybride way" in early 2021 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in cooperation with the Institut Français of Lubumbashi, UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and  Folk Art. 

Inspiring and collaborative, the workshop also opened the way to sharing experiences and reflecting together on the possibilities of cooperation to explore alternative paths of international cooperation in the new post-COVID 19 reality. 

In 2020, following the sanitary crisis which made travel complicated, if not impossible, the French Institute had to reinvent the format of its workshops. Thus, representatives of French Institutes around the world had access to virtual meetings via a dedicated digital platform. The aim was to organise the reflection and exchanges around the following axes
- Promoting the projection of the French cultural and creative industries internationally;
- Helping and supporting the network's institutions in learning French, dialogue with civil society and promoting the debate of ideas;
- Support the digital transformation of the network by consolidating professional practices and online programming;
- Facilitate the development of partnerships and leverage effects (local authorities, public institutions, Europe).

In 2021, following this first series of experiments, the Institut Français will continue its online workshops and webinars, offering an unprecedented experience of increasingly strong dialogue with national cultural players. 

The Cité du design is an official partner of the platform since January 2021.

Logotype des AIF © Conception graphique des visuels : Joël Guenoun

The Cité du design can help you organise exhibitions, seminars, conferences, residencies, in particular on the sound topics of Bifurcations, Mobility of the future, Design and French companies, etc. 

par Maria Moreira

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