From May 23 to Jun 13
Call for applications

Higher Diploma in Design Research (DSRD)

CyDRe (Design Research Cycle) course starting in autumn 2022 at Esadse-Cité du design in Saint-Étienne

par Sandra Jacquier

Call for applications from students and professionals wishing to complete their training with a course in design research from September 2022 on the Cité du design-Esadse (Saint-Étienne Higher School of Art and Design) research platform.

Voir la version française

Égrégore affiche n°1 © Camille Lamy

This call for applications concerns one place available for the Higher Diploma in Design Research (DSRD) course: 3-year course.
Deadline for submission of digital applications: Monday 13 June (12:00)
Interview online or in person: Thursday 30 June 2022
Course start date: Tuesday 6 September

Information: 33(0)6 99 13 77 60

Design and art research at the Cité du design-Esadse

Led by designers and artists (researchers and/or lecturers), design and art research at the Cité du design/Esadse (Saint-Étienne Higher School of Art and Design), organised as a research platform, the course centres on the historical controversy confronting technical culture and art. A range of thematic areas cover the exploration of technical culture, design and digital technology, exploration and criticism of the representations and spaces of modernity, design and the Anthropocene, design in public policy, vernacular design.

The research platform
The platform is a space where the researchers can share and pool tools and work. The resources it offers include a media library, a materials library and production workshops as well as singular tools like the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne, the Azimuts magazine, publishing opportunities, etc.
The team and the researchers
The platform hosts multiple forms of research work organised in three types of laboratories: Laboratories, Labs and Units.

The CyDRe (Design Research Cycle): Esadse's post-master's cycle

Designer, researcher; lecturer, head of the CyDRe course: Ernesto Oroza

The CyDRe is open to students and experienced professionals who wish to complete their training with a design research course in a unique educational environment on the Cité du design-Esadse research platform.
The aim of this research course is to train a community of researchers involved in research based in the district and on the research themes that are currently the focus of the debate on the platform.
Under the supervision of the Editorial Director, the students on the Esadse post-master's course publish a research magazine, Azimuts


The Higher Diploma in Design Research (DSRD)

Languages: French and English

The DSRD is aimed at students and researchers wishing to develop design research work focused on the Saint-Étienne district and in contact with its communities. The research is along-term project over 3 years. The designer-researcher undertaking the DSRD course must have a taste for confrontation with the production of forms and dialogue with local communities. The course is intended for designers wishing to make a career in design research, teaching in an art school or in social activities in contact with communities.
To stimulate the process of design research rooted in and committed to local communities, the platform places the student researchers at the heart of a network of connections with academia, institutions and associations. This creates an environment that enables them to conduct their research in a singular territory with a specific industrial, urban and social history. The programme therefore encourages students to take a close interest in the vernacular production practices that can provide responses to the needs and problems of local communities.
Engaged in a permanent dialogue with the research team supervising the post-master's course and subject to certain conditions (of coherence and quality, in particular), the student researcher conducts their research and takes part in the CyDRe collective projects, namely the Azimuts magazine and the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne.

After completing the 3-year Design Research Cycle which culminates in a submission to a panel of independent examiners, Esadse awards the student the Higher Diploma in Design Research (DSRD), the School's own diploma accredited by the French Ministry of Culture. The DSRD is a training course offered by a network art schools under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. It is not a university degree.
The final submission is an integral part of the research process and can in fact take several forms: an exhibition, a paper ordigital publication, a broadcast, an event, etc. It is accompanied by a document/portfolio substantiating the research work carried during the course, which will be provided to the examining panel before the final submission

The Higher Diploma in Design Research (DSRD

The student researchers' application must include a research subject which explicitly ties in with one of the areas of research being developed byone of the research entities:

The Deep Design Lab

The Deep Design Lab explores in depth the material manifestations and visual representations of the Anthropocene, through the following themes:
– Bifurcations: How can design, by the creation of experiments and scenarios, propose a "meta-discourse" to guide political decision-making? How can design accompany and/or provoke radical changes?
– City lands: How can design contribute to making these altered landscapes inhabitable (again)? How can we introduce a new cohabitation"contract" between the human and the non-human?

The Laboratoire Images-Récits-Documents
The Images-Récits-Documents (Images-Narratives-Documents) laboratory is part of the Design and Creation unit and hosts young researchers working on approaches are at the interfaces between different theoretical practices.
The areas of research covered are centred on the enunciative capabilities of visual design. Image and narrative form are the focuses of the research, in 3 main areas:
– Documenting and fictioning a territory(DFT)
– Territory and graphics (TG)
– Knowledgeable images – images of knowledge (IS)

The Laboratoire d'Expérimentation des Modernités
The Modernity Experimentation Laboratory (LEM) centres its work on artists and designers' experimentation with contemporary practices whilst orienting the necessary theoretical approaches towards praxis. It questions the permanent, resilient features, continuities,ruptures and transformations that form our contemporaneity. It encompasses two areas of research:
– Arts and Crafts today: The Arts and Crafts movement focused on several issues that are now finding new relevance in contemporary creation in art and design.  A relationship with the history of art consisting not of ruptures but of revivals, a critical attitude taken to concrete utopias in connection with ecology, an unapologetic relationship with technique and craftsmanship, a blurring of the boundaries between art, decorative art and design are all questions that have particular resonance in art and design today. This programme benefits from partnerships with universities (Jean Monnet and Lyon 2) and at international level with Art Schools in Brussels, Bratislava, Porto, Tétouan and Montréal.
– Picturality : The Picturality section concentrates on contemporary forms of painting. It also extends to the multiplicity of forms and media - sculpture, photography, cinema and objects -which include a pictural dimension and are influenced by the history of painting.  This section takes part in the activities of the Art Schools' Painting Network (Réseau Peinture des Ecolesd'Art).

The Random(lab)
Esadse's Random(lab) is a place for practical and theoretical research with a focus on experimentation in art, design and digital technologies. It is one of two components - along with the NRV Lab - of the Digital Research in Art and Design unit of Esadse/ENSBA Lyon. The Random(lab) is also one of the three laboratories of Esadse's Design and Creation research unit. Two areas of research are proposed for applicants:

– New design tools/new means of production  : For the next three years, as part of the European Erasmus+programme "Digital Tools for Creative Collaboration" and in conjunction with a collaborative project for the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2022, the Random(lab) will be focusing a strand of research work on the issues around the teaching of design and art using digital means.

– Digital devices and creation : Initiated notably by the publication"MàJ : design, environnements techniques & pratiques exploratoires" (Editions Cité du Design, Esadse/ Université Jean Monnet/Université de Strasbourg, April 2021), the Random(lab) wishes to conduct, over the coming months, projects questioning design through the prism of current digital techniques, in particular digital machine tools (CNC, robot arms,etc.), AR/VR and/or artificial intelligence.

Course conditions

Students  on the DSRD at Esadse benefit from:
–  student status,
–  a research bursary of €4000 a year,
–  accommodation on site consisting of a studio and dedicated workspace open 24 hours a day,
–  privileged access to all the intellectual and material resources offered by Esadse and the Cité du design (workshops, documentation centre, materials library, digital centre, research centre, laboratories, etc.).
They are assured of the presence of a permanent two-member supervisory team, the members of the research teams, and external contributors  who are brought in as and when required by the different projects.


Students on the DSRD course pay the annual Esadse registration fee (€521 in 2022) after presenting their CVEC payment certificate (student life and campus contribution), which they can obtain after paying online on the CROUS website.
The DSRD course runs for 3 years. The bursary cannot be extended beyond that.
The outputs produced by the student researcher as part of their CyDRe course and any related intellectual property rights belong to them. However, the student researcher must make them available to the institution, the EPCC Cité du design-École Supérieure d'Art et Design Saint-Étienne, and allow their use for its internal and external communication needs and the promotion of the work produced by the CyDRe.
Students in the second year of the course can apply for a mentoring or tutoring position, subject to availability, their skills matching the position available and the joint validation of the head of the CyDRe and the student's research supervisor.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have a DNSEP or an equivalent qualification gained after 5 years of higher education (master's),or be able to prove that they have at least 5 years' experience in the design field. For all foreign students, a working knowledge of French is preferred and a good command of English is essential.


The selection process will take account first and foremost of the relevance of the applicant's proposed research project and whether it corresponds to the current research practices and the student'sability to fit in with the Cité du design-Esadse research platform; the student's previous studies and experience and their motivation

1) Applicants must complete the electronic application form

Electronic application form

2) In parallel, applicants must send an email to Esadse enclosing a digital folder containing the following items:

–  copies of degrees and certificates;
- 1 curriculum vitae detailing the applicant'shigher education and/or any activities connected to the professional sector in question;
- 1 portfolio of personal work (photos, drawings, models, texts, publications, etc.) accompanied by a structured presentation (illustrated if necessary) of the future research and the career plan motivating the choice of this training course (1 page);
- 1 detailed covering letter;
- 1 letter of recommendation (optional)

Send only by email to Esadse at à (subject: "CyDRe-candidature2022")

par Sandra Jacquier

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