Biennale and economic transition


par Vincent Gobber

When enlisted to serve economic development and innovation, design can be a revitalising factor for companies and local authorities. It can constitute an approach for responding to crisis situations, pushing through radical change, inventing new systems and organisations, involving users (customers or citizens). Ever since it was created, the Biennale has encouraged companies to get involved through the exhibitions and experiments, and by organising special events for professional audiences.

The Carrefour des expériences (Experience intersection) is a place for coming together to imagine, debate and experiment with other pathways. Talks, seminars, co-creation workshops, Labos, showrooms allow the paths and initiatives of the participants to meet and be enriched by each other. Designed to echo the exhibitions, it is a place for producing knowledge and action to choose the way ahead faced with today's bifurcations.

Professionals' Week, which will run from 7 to 10 June, is aimed at companies, public actors and designers and offers talks, workshops and specialist inter-professional encounters. It is co-constructed with economic and local authority partners: competitiveness and specialist clusters, development agencies, etc. The central theme of this edition is collaborative innovation in all its forms. How does the initiation of collective projects, in their internal management or at ecosystem level (relations with counterparts in the same field, users, networks of partners) enable companies and local authorities to respond better to societal and economic issues?

Thanks to the Labos and co-creation workshops, the economic actors also have access to experiments involving Biennale visitors. The aim is to improve and validate the products and service provided by companies to putting them in touch with their end users. Numerous companies have already participated in the Labos: Carrefour, Cellux, Decathlon, Digital League, DTF, Medical, EDF, Enedis, Focal JMLab, Legrand, Marithé+François Girbaud, Michelin, Pôle Agroalimentaire Loire, RTE, Seb Weiss, Sigvaris, STIPLASTICS Healthcaring, Thuasne Microsoft, Yamaha.
In 2022, these workshops will be focusing on the major themes of the Biennale: the city, the environment, mobility, health and housing.
Finally, several types of exhibition give pride of place to companies:

Dépliages, one of the Biennale's six major exhibitions, presents the design methods of many French and local companies (DTF, Lactips, Jean- Paul Gaultier, Michelin, Salomon, Sigvaris, Suez, etc.).

FABécole: companies from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions, partners of the materials library and Esadse (Saint-Étienne Higher School of Art and Design), have worked closely with 3rd year design students taking the Object option. The aim is to produce a series of objects that characterise and promote their know-how. Companies taking part include: Axalta, Benaud Création, Brocatelle, Céramique du Beaujolais, CFL, DAP, Ekoé, Julien Faure, Polyvia, Sofama, Valtex Group.

Du sensoriel au biomimétisme is the result of a co-production by the materials library at the Cité du design, Ceebios (Centre for biomimicry), the Big Bang Project agency and Centrale Lyon Enise. It is a journey around materials and processes, the sensory and the living, which invites us change the way we look at the world so that we can build a more sensitive, more sustainable future.

• Temporary showrooms echoing the topics covered by the professional talks allow put the spotlight on certain products, services, materials or know-how.

par Vincent Gobber

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