Call for Connected Objects

Posted on: 24. October 2016


11th annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2017

The city of Enghien-les-Bains in France has been selected for hosting the 11th Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) from the 29th of June to the 2nd of July 2017. As well as the meetings, the Centre des arts would like to transform Enghien-les-Bains into a spectacular live museum of creative expertise. Multidisciplinary artistic performances will take place in the city’s main buildings, parks and gardens and will give participants, both UCCN’s members and inhabitants, a simultaneously poetic, sensory and immersive experience. The goal is to raise people’s awareness about the UCCN and to display the know-how and skills from creators and artists from all the cities of the network. As a consequence, the Centre des arts would like to cooperate closely with the coordinating cities of each cluster as well as the member cities to set up some interdisciplinary artistic proposals.

A Design Cluster Exhibition

The Centre des arts already hosted various outstanding design exhibitions. Among them, Hyperactive with Matali Crasset in 2009 ; Intérieur jour with the FRAC Ile-de-France (about reinventing the furniture) in 2008 ; The Other with Arik Levy and Towards infinite and beyond with Takahashi in 2007 ; Ame de diva with Maurizio Galante and Extra sensory about the interaction between fashion and new technologies in 2006 ; Domeau et Perres, 10 years for design for 12 French creators in 2002. In context of this event, the Centre des arts will organise a collective exhibition, dedicated to connected objects, in collaboration with the design cluster of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. This exhibition, untitled Are you talking to me? Uses and applications of connected objects, will take place from the 29th of June to the 17th of July 2017. This event aims to promote the network and its activity to the population and the visitors; and to reflect the artistic effervescence of the 22 design cities, UCCN’s members – Buenos Aires, Berlin, Montréal, Nagoya, Kobe, Shenzhen, Seoul, Shanghai, Saint-Etienne, Graz, Beijing, Bilbao, Curitiba, Dundee, Helsinki, Turin, Bandung, Budapest, Detroit, Kaunas, Puebla and Singapour – through the question of connected objects.

Partnership between Centre des Arts and Cité du Design

For the preparation of this exhibition, the Centre des arts chose to join to link itself to a French partner: Saint-Étienne, City of design of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and more specifically to the Cité du design, regarding its expertise and skills. The Centre des arts of Enghien and the Cité du design of Saint-Etienne will closely work together for the coordination and the curating of this exhibition. In this context, links will be created between the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2017 untitled Working Promesse, shifting work paradigms, which will take place from March, 9th to April, 9th 2017 and this collective exhibition. Therefore, in September 2017, the exhibition Are you talking to me? will be presented in the French Tech/Design Tech space of the Cité du design in Saint-Etienne.

Digital Publication

Within the framework of the 11th UCCN Annual Meeting in 2017, a digital publication about the experience of this collaboration will be designed to demonstrate the dynamics of the 22 UNESCO Creative Cities of Design. The project will be developed in both official languages of UNESCO: English and French.


Are you talking to me? – Uses and applications of connected objects

n less than 10 years, the terms “connected devices”, “Internet of Things”, “smart things” and “smart cities” have already invaded technophile vocabularies and our collective imaginations, like the beginnings of an ElDorado heralded by the service market. By talking to each other, such objects will be able to help us to make decisions, identify needs and organise our lives. By exchanging information via the web, these devices will be programmable and responsive, enslaved to our wellbeing. For better or worse, they promise a sea change in our lifestyles, supporting our habits but also confusing our true needs. The wealth of potential afforded by embedded technology is explored by designers and startups to show possible scenarios of future living environments. But what is fascinating, as a user, is how we connect objects by our own will, their capacity to organise themselves by their own volition, autonomously. This ability to track (or control?) remotely turns us into puppetmasters, like children playing with tin soldiers, moving them about as they construct their improvised stories. The communicating object would be an extension of our power of imagination. It would be autonomous and foreknowing, like a devoted butler, able to anticipate our every whim. It augurs the complete automation of our living environment, linked to other objects by a network of digital synapses. By interconnecting our environment in this way, the Internet of Things transforms our living spaces into a kind of worldwide hybrid brain including intelligent machines, streaming media (web), permanent interconnections (Wi-Fi) and in the midst of all this dense communication, human presence.


In context of the exhibition Are you talking to me?, the 22 design cities, members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network are invited to propose a preselection of 5 to 10 connected objects in the following fields: Smart City, Domestic Space, Environment, Health.

Each of the 22 design cities provides a preselection of 5 to 10 objects including at least:

  • 2 students projects
  • 3 projects of professionals (designers, companies, starts-up)One at least object per city will be exhibited at the Design pavilion in Enghien-les-Bains.

For Examples and more Information read:

Call for Connected Objects