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A survey on emerging convivial design in a human scale city

During the European programme Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale, the Cité du design, lead partner,  has chosen to put the spotlight on different projects undertaken by the inhabitants of its own city.Human Cities programme, which by the end of its survey, was no longer questioning the effects of scale leading to interactions between the actors, but a form that was gradually revealed as the survey progressed: the mesh.

The book “Maillages” (Meshes) consists of a review of experiences and experiments . It is a survey made by the designer Magalie Rastello who interviewes the collectives that were active in Saint-Étienne during the Human Cities project. Her work is completed by structuring commentaries by the heads of the programme at the Cité du Design (Josyane Franc, Camille Vilain, Olivier Peyricot and Nathalie Arnould), all of which has been editorialised by Victoria Calligaro, with the unwavering support of the associations and collectives and, finally, some reflective contributions from Raymond Vasselon.

Since 2014, the Human Cities network has been working on Challenging the City Scale to question the urban scale and investigate cocreation in cities. The Human Cities partners have carried out urban experimentations in 11 European cities empowering citizens to rethink the spaces in which they live, work and spend their leisure time.


Challenging the City Scale, journeys  in People-Centred Design is the final book of the project. Through conversations with people involved, the book examines how bottom-up processes and their design, tools and instruments generate new ideas to reinvent the city. It offers inspiration and insights to everyone, from practitioners and politicians to designers and active citizens, eager to try out new ways to produce more human cities together.

Title : Challenging the City Scale, Journeys in People-Centred Design

Collective book co-edited by: Olivier Peyricot, Josyane Franc, Frank Van Hasselt
Authors: Josyane Franc, Olivier Peyricot, John Thackara, Alice Holmberg, Côme Bastin, Fleur Weinberg, Anya Sirota,  Frank Van Hasselt, Robin Houterman
Graphic design: Audrey Templier, Isabelle Daëron Language: English Publisher and distributor: Birkhäuser, Basel
Co editors : Cité du design (Saint-Etienne) et Clear Village (Londres) ISBN: 978-3-0356-1796-2 Format : 21,5 x 26 cm (vertical)– 176 p Price: 39.95 € Available in partner’s  bookshops and bookshop distributed by Birkhäuser Open access digital version: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/510323?format=EBOK

As cities organizations are facing major urban and technological transformations, European citizens are taking possession of their cities, collaborating or acting for its renewal. Which kind of tools are set up to think and produce the public space together? How to make these bottom-up initiatives sustainable?

Challenging the City scale 2014-2018 / Investigation is a collaborative research work of Human Cities project, made from more than 80 case studies collected by the partners in Europe. They tell about actions led by creative citizens to transform their urban environment. Researchers from Cité du design Saint-Étienne, the Department of Design of Politecnico di Milano and Urban Planning Institute of The Republic of Slovenia Ljubljana provide a state of the art of these initiatives. Analysing these multiple examples, they investigate how urban dwellers participate, get organized and collaborate with creative professionals to prototype more liveable cities.

This scientific work published by Cité du design Saint-Étienne is addressed to researchers, practitioners, but also developers or creative citizens.

Title: Human Cities / Challenging the City Scale 2014-2018 / Investigation Main authors: Cité du design Saint-Etienne: Isabelle Daëron, Floriane Piat & Eléa Teillier Design Departement, University Politecnico di Milano: Davide Fassi & Laura Galluzzo Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana: Matej Nikšič, Nina Goršič & Biba Tominc

Language: English Copyright © Cité du design, 2018 ISBN: 978-2-912808-79-0 . Format : 215×260 mm – 240 p – not sold – free distribution within the framework of Creative Europe Programme of the European Union 2014-2018

Special issue of Saint-Etienne Higher School of Art and Design Magazine about Human Cities.

Invited by Cité du design Saint-Étienne to join the Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale European programme, the Images_Récits_Documents team at ESADSE (Saint-Étienne Higher School of Art and Design) has been pondering the notion of the scale of the vision of urban space through photography.

Actually, academic partners of Human Cities were in charge of developing Masterclasses. That’s why the laboratory Images, Narrations, Documents (In French : Images_Récits_Documents — IRD) of the ESADSE has worked for 2 years with ERASMUS and international students on the topic of the scales of urban visions, under the direction of Kader Mokaddem, teacher and co-director of the IRD lab.

The Masterclass relied on the practices of documentary photography developed in the lab’s research programme “Documenter, fictionner un territoire” since 2010. The students and researchers enriched their ideas with the meeting of international speakers and local stakeholders.
This issue of “Occurrence” traces the results of this work.