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Human Cities Exhibition at Biennale Internationale Saint-Etienne 2017

By Camille Vilain

After Milan and Belgrade, the exhibition  of the project  Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale was set up in Biennale Internationale Saint-Etienne 2017 from 9th March to 9th April 2017. To maximize the visibility and exchanges with the public, the exhibition had 3 forms and locations

  • A synthetic form on Cité du design site, where the main exhibitions and events of the Biennial takes place
  • A more developed form in a vacant shop of  Rue de la République in the city centre,  where the Cité du design led an experiment of temporary occupation of closed shops by creative projects during the Biennial
  • A teaser on the Saint-Etienne main street under the arches of the City Hall

The Cité du design Saint-Etienne built the exhibition concept together with the designer Jean-Sébastien Poncet. Like the title of the project “challenging the city scale”, the exhibition was based on the different scales of actions led by the Human Cities partners in their experimentations and in some inspiring case studies selected from the  Human Cities State of the art : from the street to the district, to the whole city, the landscape or the virtual scale. Videos and totem objects were telling the particular process and methodologies implemented in each city to involve local partners and citizens : the  “Jakomini radio” broadcasting the sounds of Jakomini street in Graz,  the kilim carpets of the thinktents used to make colletive discussions for the playgrounds in Belgrad, the model of insect-house made with the children of Ljubljana before the installation in real scale in their district etc.

From the human, body scale to the street, district, the whole city and even the virtual scale, everywhere in Europe the city is a field of action for creative people together with the citizens. Cities are transforming. They become a  world of networks, connections and multipolarity. Alongside with the traditionnal place makers, new experts  are getting involved to create vibrant urban environments adapted to the transformations of the city life. They are designers, architects, artists, community associations, festivals, creative industries, leading bottom-up initiatives as and with residents to transform the city.

Occupying vacant buildings to test new ways of working or learning ; federating the makers community to contribute to the development of a district; activating and improving the quality of public spaces involving cultural and associative stakeholders, users, residents etc. ; we wanted to show to the public that in Europe today, initiatives are taking

 

Full catalogue of the exhibition can be viewed here.

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