The Esadse (Saint-Etienne Higher School of Art and Design) course lasts a total of 5 years: It leads to two national diplomas: the DNA (national diploma in art), after three years and the DNSEP (national postgraduate diploma in plastic arts), which is equivalent to a masters after five years of study. Each year, between 300 and 350 students attend the Esadse. As well as these two courses, the Esadse also offers a Design Research Cycle.
The Art option is the original and privileged space where the different fields of the plastic arts, the theoretical issues raised by the social and cultural sciences and the issues specific to creativity in the plastic arts collide. As well as teaching artistic skills and practices (photography, drawing, painting, video, volume, sound, installation and new technologies), the Esadse also offers a unique educational environment where students constantly have to measure themselves against a range of critical critical views. Their practices are also enriched by an extensive and regular programme of activities, visits to exhibitions, workshops and seminars as well as numerous institutional partnerships.
The teaching of design at the Esadse combines the imperatives of learning to master knowledge between soft skills and know-how. The technical, analytical, anthropological and economic dimensions are core concerns in the curriculum. The different fields in which design is applied that are covered by the course include: furniture, product design, urban planning, exhibition and stage design, service design, etc. This construction of a reasoned way of thinking combining knowledge of the cultural background and technical skills is one of the major advantages of the design teaching offered at the School.
If art and design clearly cover different areas in the creative field, if they orient the paths students will take and direct them to different careers, they are always ways of defining two differing positions or postures, from which each of them can, within its own boundaries or from the the other's territory, be questioned, taken apart or reconstructed...
The Art option
In this space, which is both complex and free of transmission of knowledge and experiences, the students on the art course have two main areas in which to develop over their core course (from year 3 on) and during the project phase. These major subjects are to be understood as "colourings" of the course. The main subjects are:
They make their appearance at the beginning of Year 3 when the student chooses between them, and they are then developed during the project phase. The DNSEP in Art remains a generalist diploma and does not specify which main thread was followed
The Design option
The design option, beyond the necessarily open, across-the-board and all-encompassing approach that the discipline imposes, given the large number of societal, productive and economic mechanisms it touches upon, offers three areas of specialisation during the project phase, which characterise the DNSEP. These three specialisations are:
• Media, with two subdivisions:
- contemporary digital practices
In February 2015, the Esadse opened a new cross-disciplinary specialisation that encompasses both the art and the design options: the Spaces option. This will lead to a DNSEP in Art with a specialisation in Spaces and a DNSEP in Design with a specialisation in Spaces from June 2016.