The Experiences
of Beauty

BENJAMIN LOYAUTÉ, joint general curator of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2015

The general theme of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2015 is The Experiences of Beauty. This edition will examine the importance of forms and the meaning they give to functions, usages or the quality of life. What values are conveyed by the aesthetic? With what intentions? What do the forms produced say about the way of life, the usages and practices of a society? What do they insinuate about the state of the world?
At a time when industrial production has become even more globalised, how can the individual's need for his own identity be reconciled with the ever more homogeneous signs produced by design? Can this discipline liberate us from the issues of desire and identity so that they can feed other ambitions? How can our identities be reconciled with those produced by branding? To what extent does design play a role in humanity's aesthetic experience? How can we cultivate plurality of forms and experiences? The challenge of this Biennial is to show that other routes are possible, not only the monotonous and repetitive ones produced by globalisation: the intention of the curators and exhibition designers will be to demonstrate and share what the aesthetic aspect of design can offer.

Nowhere else!

GAËL PERDRIAU, Mayor of Saint-Étienne, Chairman of Saint-Étienne Métropole and Chairman of the EPCC, the public cultural institution responsible for the Cité du design and Saint- Etienne Higher School of Art and Design

The Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne is always a big event. By its length obviously, as it lasts for an entire month to give everyone the chance to really get the most out of the programme. Also by its location, as the IN takes over Saint-Étienne from the Cité du design to the site of the old Manufacture d'Armes, from the tourist office to La Plateforme, from the Amicale Laïque Chapelon to the Musée de la Mine, from the Musée d'Art et d'Industrie to the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain. But also the Le Corbusier site in Firminy, the Saint- Pierre church, and in Lyon Le Plateau at the Hôtel de la Région Rhône-Alpes, not to mention some thirty OFF projects taking place across the entire area. And finally, by its theme since this year it is attacking the Experiences of Beauty... no less! Benjamin Loyauté, joint general curator of the Biennial, with Elsa Francès, will bring to the event his fresh outlook, his sharp take and his expertise in this field. The international aspect will not be overlooked, this year's guest of honour being Korea, whose capital Seoul is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, like Saint-Étienne, the only French city among eleven other world cities. Finally, the economic world will also feature, with Industry Week, The Labs and the Design and Innovation Forum: this is the expression of a political will to involve design at the heart of industrial innovation, to build bridges between design and business, to encourage the creation of value, wealth and jobs. And yet the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienneis anything but an event that is accessible only to connoisseurs, researchers and designers, since all types of audiences are invited to come and take part, from professional to schools, from families to those who are simply curious ... with some 55 exhibitions there is truly something for every taste. And the Biennial gives pride of place to young talent, to young creative artists and designers: Sam Baron's exhibition on Europe's art and design schools will be simply unmissable. As you will have guessed from reading these few lines, Saint-Étienne is the place to be from 12 March to 12 April 2015 - nowhere else !

The Biennial, a revealer of daily life

LUDOVIC NOËL, Director of the Cité du design

The ninth edition of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne remains faithful to its positioning on projects that deal with the way we live, communicate, travel, eat, work or entertain ourselves. For each edition, the Biennial looks for international works that are able to reveal designers' proposals to address different societal challenges. The Biennial is also a revealer of the day-to-day life of the singular public establishment that we are, bringing together in the same entity an educational institution, an international event and a design centre. The Biennial reveals young talents and their creations in all the exhibitions. The ESADSE accompanies the emergence of personalities in art and design, through the completion of personal projects, exhibitions or projects with partners. For many years, the Cité du design has been maintained that design is a factor in competitiveness for businesses and has given them concrete support in their experimental, innovation or research projects. And so once again this year, the Biennial is showing the most remarkable proposals from businesses, enabling some thirty of them to try out their new products or services (The Labs) and encouraging business/designer encounters. The Biennial is open to the world and seeks out the best projects, wherever they are produced. The Ville de SaintÉtienne has always acted locally whilst aiming for an international perspective, whether it is by establishing partnerships between the ESADSE and many institutions abroad, the involvement of the Cité du design in European networks and programmes or joining UNESCO's network of eleven Cities of Design, one of which is Seoul, our guest of honour. Being a UNESCO City of Design means being involved in a process of mediation all year round, reaching out to all types of audience, in particular children, for a city that is exemplary in its involvement of users in public policy-making. Resolutely, the Biennial provides us with a feast for the eyes and food for thought with the very latest innovative or singular international proposals. The Biennial also reveals the positions of the ESADSE and the Cité du design and something of their day-to-day work.