The Saint-Étienne Design Biennale got underway here in France last week, filled with installations, exhibitions, panel discussions and a pile of off-site events. This is the 10th anniversary of the Biennale (so there have been 6 of 'em--counting year zero), and the mood was celebratory on the one hand, and a bit nostalgic on the other. The venue for the event is Cité du Design a completely re-furbed (well, almost finished) site of a vast former weapons manufacturing plant, which will be home to a design school and various studios once the festival pulls up its tent pegs. So ya, swords into plowshares as it were, but of the "design thinking" kind.
Saint-Étienne is a very easy city to get around in (trams run almost continuously) and quite charming too, so if you're in the neighborhood, make sure to take a train over and check out the event. Tons of info at the Biennale site.
Panel above: Elsa Francès, Director of the Cite du Design and curator of this edition of the Biennial; Maurice Vincent, Mayor of Saint Etienne; Jean-Jack Queyranne, President of the Rhones Alpes Regional Council; Françoise Gourbeyre, elected representative in charge of the culture.
>> View all Saint-Étienne Design Biennale posts here.
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.