Review: Forum UNESCO Cities of Design “Cooperation & Impact” in Saint-Etienne

Posted on: 22. May 2019

COD Forum Poster Biennale internationale design saint-Etienne, Photo: citedudesign

Organized by the Cité du design for the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne 2019, the Forum “UNESCO Creative Cities – Cooperation and Impact” on March 21-22 gathered the Cities of Design, policy makers and designers reflect on design as a strategic lever to build common grounds for cooperation, and economic and cultural exchange.


Roundtables on March 21 proposed a reflection on the impact of the designation in the cities, between Asian and European models. Officials and design centres from Saint-Etienne, Graz, Detroit, Seoul, and Shenzhen explained how the designation pushed them to integrate design in public policies, in public space, economy, education. They shared how they try to build indicators to show the value of creative disciplines. Design professionals from Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou demonstrated how design is living an exponential growth in China. It becomes a crucial element for the industry, lifestyle, and cities development. It is also great factor of global positioning and international relations through commerce and cooperations. Denise Bax from UNESCO Creative Cities network secretariat concluded on the necessity to measure and demonstrate the environmental, economic and social value of design to answer societal issues and UN Sustainable development goals.

The Workshop on March 22 took place in Sino-French Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCASF) of Chambon-sur- Lignon, a new place for international cultural cooperation nearby Saint-Etienne. Participants were introduced by Laetitia Wolff to the SMART methodology to better identify goals and set indicators of impact in creative projects.

French-Chinese and international cooperation were finally developed through a China-France business forum on March 21 in Saint-Etienne City Hall and a “Chinese Night” with Chinese fashion and jewelry show and cantonese opera. A M.O.U was signed by Cité du design and CCASF at this occasion, a good path towards new common projects.


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