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Saint-Etienne, A Design City Lab

Saint-Etienne joined the Human Cities network  through the Cité du design as a partner in 2010-2012, and now as the leader of the Human Cities_Challenging the city scale project for 2014-2018.

Saint-Étienne is a city in constant mutation, a territory energized by the links that tie art and industry since more than two decades. From the industrial to the visionary city, Saint-Étienne makes “living together” the common denominator to all its actions. It uses design to reveal and catalyze poten­tial creativity of all.

Saint-Étienne is a UNESCO City of Design since 2010, which reinforces its strategy of network developed by the notoriety of Saint-Etienne Higher School of Art and Design, the continuous success of the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial since 1998, and and the excellence hub represented by the Cité du design since 2005.

Acquiring an exceptional tool as the Cité du design, Saint-Étienne and its agglome­ration have bet on design as a territory development engine, in a society that has to face all kinds of muta­tions, from social to economic, from ecological to technique. The French government recently designa­ted the Cité du design as a national reference center for the support of companies, clusters and centers for resource and professionalization of territorial actors.

In 2010, the Saint-Étienne Metropolis has been the first public local authority in France to integrate a position of design management within the conception and spreading of its public policies. This gave the opportunity of giving to the territory design tools for innovation by user-centred and experimentation methodologies. This policy manifested as a hundred public procurements and realisations impacting the daily life of enterprises, local authorities and citizens, and highlighting the diversity of design field. The Saint-Etienne Metropolis received the Design Management Europe Award 2013, celebrating the benefits of design for the success of in the business and services strategies. This long term concrete actions give a high visibility to design and position Saint-Etienne as a fertile territory for innovation.

In the framework of the Biennale internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2015, the Cité du design, leader of the European programme “Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale” proposes to cross the itineraries of the 12 European partners, UNESCO Cities of Design and European Living Labs. The Cité du design asserts its position in the design in European networks. Human Cities is a multidisciplinary network of eleven European partners: design centers, universities, ICT platforms weeks of design, design consultants and creative service that will work for four years (2014-2018). The aim of this network is to share their expertise in innovation serving people in the urban space, using design as a tool for creativity and sustainability. 64 design projects in the territory has been made in 3 years with the aim to conduct effective public policies, innovative and visible. This new success of the Cité du design reinforces their strategy to integrate design in the Proceedings of the local community. The Cité du design following this success will encourage as much as possible participatory approaches to think about the city of tomorrow with its inhabitants and to Saint Etienne and its metropolis, an area that puts people at the center of the process design of public services of tomorrow or renovation of public facilities.


Saint-Etienne Design City
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