Know us

The missions of
the Cité du design

Design focused on the person

The Cité du design structures its activities around the major transversal themes which contribute to the democratization of design. Design places the person at the core of its reflection, whether it be for the improvement of uses and lifestyles, for optimizing energy consumption, for accompanying changes in housing conditions, or for facilitating the development of health care and mobility.
A platform of reflection on practices, needs and uses, the Cité du design demonstrates how design can contribute to the emergence of new dynamics within contemporary domains; social, economic, touristic or cultural.
The principal aim of the Cité du design is to actively contribute to the development of the economic, touristic and cultural attractiveness of the region.
La Platine
© LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi, photographe : Christian Richters

Raising public awareness

In the light of these aims, raising public awareness of the realities of design and its uses emerges as a prime mission. It functions by offering a large choice of actions in collaboration with a network of institutional, cultural and economic partners catering to all types of public: exhibitions for the general public (including the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial), workshops for children, teacher training, publications and raising awareness in the business sector.
Exposition Comfort, Biennale du design 2010

Developing higher education in design in the Rhone-Alps Region

The mission of development of higher education in design in the Rhone-Alps region is based on two complementary axes : on the one hand the ESADSE proposes two major training options; Art and Design, along with a sixth year post-graduate diploma in design based on research. On the other hand the Cité du design has created and developed the Consortium of Design Higher Education, which federates higher education institutions.
"Et que l'aventure commence !" Exposition de l'ESADSE / Cité du design

Develop the use of design by economic and social actors

The Cité du design organizes professional training workshops for designers and, with its new facilities, offers resources for all economic and social actors: the materials resource centre, the mediatheque, auditorium, seminar rooms and a shared work space, the designer's bureau.

To encourage the development of design among social and economic actors the Cite du design seeks initially to enhance a better integration of design in local authority structures, with calls for projects, and the communication of best use practices. The City of Saint-Etienne and the metropolitan region have used its expertise to introduce design when necessary by applying a transversal logic (from public transport to social housing, through to urban space design and the graphic image of the local authority). Positioned at the heart of the Rhone-Alps Grand Project, "Design in the City", the Cité du design becomes the vanguard of public actors.
It also organizes promotional events for design enterprises, backed up by networking and the development of professional training. In October 2007 it presented the Design Map exhibition: professions, applications, teaching, bringing together more than 80 designers associated with as many companies, proposing their objects, their design, their inventions - commercialized or not. Then in May 2008, the Cité published the Saint-Etienne Design Guide, where the best addresses (shops, hotels and restaurants), featured next to portraits of designers and company presentations, or cultural actors: a broad vision of design in the city. The Cite du design practices an approach of diffusion to stimulate a growing demand from companies and businesses, and by means of its network, puts into place actions to highlight exemplary examples of the design approach. For example the exhibition "Design and Companies" highlights some forty companies committed to design in their strategy. With the new facilities available, the Cité du design will renew and consolidate this dynamic by encouraging meetings between professional sectors, and accompanying enterprises in their first steps in design research and development.
Stand Powned, Design map, édition 2012

Developing research and innovation through design

The development of research and innovation through design requires a necessary identification of uses and new practices. The Cité du design responds to national and European calls for research projects, and directs research programmes for partner companies linked to the Consortium for design higher education.
In the context of its mission to develop innovation, the Cité du design, in synergy with professionals in design, human sciences, architecture and engineering, also puts into place programmes and methods leading to the creation of objects and services which correspond to uses and new needs.

Experimenting with new concepts in the Saint-Etienne region

With the aid of its Laboratory for emerging practices, the Cité du design experiments with new concepts in real life situations in order to assess their feasibility, and their subsequent diffusion. In this context the Cité has lead a project with its partners in Rive-de-Gier, concerning extreme emergency accommodation, integrating the concepts of quality of use, sustainable development, and design for all. This approach has been listed by the Housing Ministry.
Appartement d’urgence Rive de Gier, avec le Call Pact
Designers : Jacques Bois et Marie Reine Portallier