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France | 10th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne

By FEDERICA LUSIARDI - March 7, 2017

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The 10th International Biennial of Design of Saint-Étienne takes place from March 9 to April 9, 2017. The 2015 edition registered some 208,000 visitors, with the participation of 20 international exhibitors, 6,200 professionals, and 18,000 students.

The second largest city on the Auvergne-Rhone Alpes region, located at about 60 kilometers from Lyon, Saint-Étienne has been successfully reconverted from industrial center into a “capital of design” (a role recognized in 2010 with the inclusion in the UNESCO Creative Cities network) through the creation of the Cité du Design, and an interesting urban renovation strategy.

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above and cover-image:  Cité du Design, Saint-Étienne. Photos LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi 

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The 2017 Biennale, entitled “Working Promesse. Shifting Work Paradigms”, has been conceived as a research and experimenting platform, focused on the role of designers in a constantly changing world of work. Like in the other editions, this year’s Biennale features events taking place at the Cité du Design and in various venues across the city, with the participation of students from the ESADSE – École supérieure d’art et design Saint-Étienne, the twinning between Saint-Etienne and Detriot – both mambers of the Cities of Design network – and a wide program of exhibitions, workshops, and meetings between designers and manufacturing companies.

Olivier Peyricot – Scientific Director of the Biennale, and Director of the Research Department at the Cité du Design– asked a series of curators to work on the theme of this year’s Biennale from different points of view in order to present a diverse overview of work paradigms.
The outcome takes the form of a ten-step thematic path across the Cité du Design.

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1) Best-of métier. The best working tools, from the most ordinary to the most unexpected. Curatorship and exhibition design: Christophe Marchand.

2) Panorama of the work mutations. At a time when work is invading our private spheres, the domestic space offers no escape from this hegemonic movement. The exhibition presents an overview on various work paradigms which give people the possibility to invent new social behaviors, as well as new ways to live together.
Curatorship: Research department of the Cité du Design under the management of Olivier Peyricot, with Jennifer Rudkin, Tiphaine Kazi-Tani and Léo-Pol Martin.

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Panorama of work mutations: The End of Work / Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon, Neoteny Institute for the End of Work, reduced scale. Call center, plants and repeated movies, 2017. © Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon

3) Extravaillance ≠ Working Dead An exhibition which is a reflection on how work is no longer recognized as a value. Co-curatorship and exhibition design: Didier Fiuza Faustino, Alain Damasio and Norbert Merjagnan. Special guests: the Zanzibar collective.

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EXTRAVAILLANCE ≠ WORKING DEAD.This serie of coins on which a work of erasure of the value was operated, acquires by this appropriation, a capital gain corresponding to the work value. © Cléa Di Fabio 

4) MATRIX DESIGN, The company’s ascent. The exhibition depicts, through five real cases, how a company develops and merchandizes a new product and how this process influences in turn the internal organization of the company itself.
Curatorship and exhibition design: Cité du Design-Management of the Pôle Entreprises & Innovation (Business & Innovation Centre)

5.1) La gueule de l’emploi. The exhibition features a research by the students of CyDRE (Design Research Cycle) on the relationships between various jobs and the “morphology” of the people doing them. Does work shape us?
Curatorship: CyDRE / Design Research Cycle at the ESADSE (Saint-Etienne Higher School of Art and Design).

5.2) Architecture du travail. Architecture as a Political Practice: Labor
The exposition will present the work produced by an annual programme of workshops/seminars for masters students organised by the ENSASE (Saint-Etienne architecture school) and Archeworks in Chicago in partnership with the EnsapBx, the Indian Institute of Management and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Curators: Xavier Wrona / In collaboration with Manuel Bello Marcano, architect, sociologist, lecturer at the ENSASE

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Architecture du travail. Meeting with a person in charge of the World Trade Center maintenance, Bruxelles. © Koen Berghmans 

6) Tiers Lieux’s experience: Fork the world!  Fork the world! investigates the concept of “Third Place” as places capable to promote freedom, creativity, and new forms of social organization.
Curatorship platform and embedded designers, scenographers: Yoann Duriaux, accompanied by Aurélien Marty, David Réchatin, Antoine Durigan, Baptiste Menu, Rieul Techer, Nicolas Loubet et Simon Sarazin and by the RDC, a collective of embedded designers made up of Léa Bardin, Hellène Gaulier, Juliette Gelli, Guillaume Jandin, Marion Pinaffo and Raphaël Pluvinage, documented by Floriane Piat from the Cité du design’s research department and Antoine Burret, author of a book on third places, “Tiers Lieux et plus si affinité”, the World Trusting Foundation became creator of the exhibition “Tiers Lieux’s experience: Fork the world”. Designed by the RDC collective, with input from and among the World Trusting Foundation.

7) Cut & Care – A Chance to Cut is a Chance to care. Through a selection of furniture and objects, the exhibition is a study about new, increasingly sedentary, forms of work.
Curatorship and exhibition design: KVM-Ju Hyun Lee (Korea) and Ludovic Burel (France)

8) Player Piano.The exhibition reasons about how we have shaped out future on political, economical, and social models based the idea of a never-ending increase in goods production and consumption to which we are told that there’s no alternative.
Curatorship and exhibition design: Joseph Grima / Space Caviar (Italy).

9) Demain, c’est loin. The exhibition showcases works of the DNSEP (Diplôme national supérieur d’expression plastique) 2016 graduates.
Curators: Stéphane Le Mercier-Dauny (Art course); Eric Jourdan (Design course – Objects option); Michel Lepetitdidier (Design course – Media option) and Michel Philippon (Design course – Spaces option) Exhibition design: Biennale production department

10) Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale/Saint-Étienne 2017.
The Human Cities project focuses on participative urban design, Saint-Étienne is also renowned as a unique example of large creative workshop, in which professionals develop and test urban renovation processes and methodologies in strict collaboration with the local community. Curators: Cité du Design – International Relations and Design Management for local authorities departments. Exhibition: Jean-Sébastien Poncet and CORP.

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Human Cities _Challenging the City Scale/SaintÉtienne 2017 / Workshop Human Cities-Ici bientôt at Saint-Etienne in June 2016 © citedudesign.

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Banc d’essai 2017 B09 – European canteen. Designer: talking thing, Partners: asbl equama (be) and Ville de Saint-Etienne. Place de l’hôtel de ville and Cité du design © acaunes 

Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne
Site Manufacture – Cité du design
3, rue Javelin Pagnon
42000 Saint-Étienne
9 March / 9 April, 2017

Saint-Etienne-les ateliers créatifs de la Manufacture

The Manufacture’s Creative places / LE MIXEUR, third places dedicated to innovation and creation. © EPA Saint-Etienne / Pierre Grasset 



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