France, Paris, ENSCI Paris DESIS Lab

For Admission

Starts: 22 March, 2016
Duration :
Instructors: France, Paris, ENSCI Paris DESIS Lab
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City: Paris
Country: France
Coordinator: Marie Coirié, designer /
Operational Managers: Liz Davis /, Katie Cotellon /

Hosting Institution: ENSCI – Les Ateliers, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle 48 rue St Sabin
 75011 Paris, France. Tel. : +33 1 49 23 12 30/17. Website:

Background and objectives
Since its creation over 30 years ago, ENSCI – Les Ateliers has always been a platform for experimentation, a place for exploring new areas of practice – both in terms of design knowledge / skills and methods of teaching / learning them. The creation of a permanent Lab dedicated to social innovation and sustainability corresponds to a firm engagement in the development of these fields as major areas of investigation in the School, at undergraduate (master students), postgraduate (post-master) and research levels. The Paris DESIS Lab is positioned at the crossroads between research (methodology) and design practice. It has been created in answer to the pressing issue of how design can support the transition to sustainable living and responsible consumption. It investigates how to contribute to the design of collaborative solutions involving user-stakeholders and new economic models, how to contribute to participative transformation of local infrastructures towards a sustainable eco-system of actors.

The following points describe the project parameters defined by ENSCI Paris DESIS Lab:
In situ projects
DESIS Lab projects are positioned in relation to an identifiable project context, at a scale that is attainable by students within the given time span. It should be possible to work closely with partners in situ throughout the entire development process and for the project group to be immersed in the context as often as necessary.

Co-design projects
The Lab proposes to maximise traditional ethnographic design practice by including stakeholders in a co-creation process from the offset (joint workshops and inclusion throughout the project to enable appropriation). Working in partnership with those directly concerned by the project gives structure to the design process and also offers a platform for experience building in designing / setting up frameworks, protocols and collaboration tools.

Support for projects initiated by stakeholders themselves
ENSCI Paris DESIS Lab accompanies and supports group initiatives generated by local actors within their own context rather than projects proposed from outsiders.

Public service, associative and citizen projects
ENSCI Paris DESIS Lab gives priority to public service, associative or citizen projects and favors multidisciplinary team working.

Contribution to local development and transformation projects
Our DESIS Lab projects aim to empower local stakeholders in realizing the value of their project initiatives, carrying them forward, and using them as leverage to create social links, to transmit and exchange knowledge and to generate new economic activities.

Primary research areas and activities

  • society pull as a third dynamic of change in dialogue with technology push and market pull;
  • social innovation towards new forms of services, organisation and relationships between people
  • community centred collective and participative innovation beyond the involvement of individual users;
  • social cohesion, peer-to-peer exchange and global connectivity towards open networks;
  • design for societal innovation including (but beyond) social design;
  • exploration of approaches and tools based on participation, interdisciplinarity, scenario building, on-site prototyping;
  • visualisation, mock-ups, experimentation and permanent social conversation. ENSCI Paris DESIS Lab strives to apply the above design principles in its own practice, through project partnerships (DESIS Studio) with external partners, through conferences and encounters, programmed to raise interest and involvement amongst students and staff and promote DESIS to a broader public.

List of Projects and Research

  • Nord Pas-de-Calais: Future of Suburban Areas – Workshop organised with D2PE Nord Pas-de-Calais Region and La 27e Région, Spring 2010.
  • My College Tomorrow: Redesigning Public Action – Experimental studio with La 27e Région, Strategic Design Scenarios, the Directions of Education of Nord Pas-de-Calais and Champagne-Ardenne regions, Autumn 2010.
  • Participative Budget of Colleges: Enabling Project Toolbox for and by Colleges – Experimental studio with the Direction of Education of Nord Pas-de-Calais region, PERL and La 27e Région, Spring 2011.
  • Schools as agents for social change – PERL side session at the 19th Commission on Sustainable Development, NYC, Spring 2011.
  • Sustainable ways of living in Saclay territory, Experimental studio with the the Public Planning Agency of Saclay (EPPS), Spring 2012.
  • Beyond touristic tracks, Everyday local development in an exceptional location – Workshop organised with Vallon-de-Marcillac district, Midi-Pyrénées Region, April 2013.
  • Enabling food distribution : Designing tables for Restos du Coeur – Experimental studio with Urban Act Architecture and Restos (restaurants) du coeur, Spring 2014
  • People Marie Coirié, Liz Davis, Katie Cotellon, François Jegou, Olivier Hirt,Thomas Lommee, Patrick de Glo de Besse
  • Bibliography ACUPUNCTURE PLANNING BY DESIGN François Jégou, Clara Delétraz, Giovanna Massoni, Jean-Baptiste Roussat, Marie Coirié 2012 Water for Growth – From sustaining urban development, to design sustainability Agnes Xue Lishan, Marie Coirié 2010