France, Paris, ENSAD DESIS Group

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Starts: 15 January, 2021
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Instructors: France, Paris, ENSAD DESIS Group
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ENSAD DESIS Group, Paris, France

Coordinator: Anna Bernagozzi,

Hosting Institution: École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris

Address: École des Arts Décoratifs
31 rue d’Ulm
75019 Paris
Phone: +33 142349700


The presence of an “ENSAD DESIS group” highlights the role of the school as one of the main actors with regard to the investigation of social innovation research for sustainability. The group contributes to the creation and reinforcement of pedagogical activities that are already producing and triggering society’s resilient driving forces, focusing on sustainable design processes as well as their elaboration and application to social issues of different entity. The ENSAD DESIS group actions will encourage students and citizens to ask new questions, study new contexts, imagine new uses and means of inventing tools and concrete processes, but will also foster the creation of new interactions between institutions at an international level. Empathy, conviviality, analytical ability, adaptation, and flexibility will be its keywords.

Background and objectives:
L’École des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) de Paris is a main French cultural institution and has been part of several international research projects aiming at improving the quality of life by designing ad-hoc actions capable of translating the intelligence but also the fragility of specific environmental, geographical, cultural or natural contexts.
From 2014 to 2016 ENSAD hosted in the framework of ENSADlab the research laboratory Labodives ( under the direction of Rudy Baur and Sebastien Thiery with PSM (la Plateforme de Service aux Migrants), PEROU (pole d’exploralion des ressources urbaines), CIVIC CITY (international design research network) in order to find new forms of experimentation and activism by adopting design tools in the framework of contemporary conflict situations (migration and hospitality issues).
From 2014 to 2018 ENSAD has developed the yearly international Symposium “Forging the future” ( conceived, organized and moderated by Anna Bernagozzi, Francesca Cozzolino, Aurelie Masse and Sophie Krier on themes such as “Ecology in the city: exploring tomorrow tactics and tools” or “In Time and Place: Investigating the tangible variable of temporality within sustainable creative practices ff. Among the speakers we find Timothy Morton, Lucy Neal, Barbara Adam, Philip Beesley, Elie During, Ezio Manzini, Alastair Fuad-Luke, Jonathan Chapman, Arne Hendriks, Patrick Viveret, etc. April 14th-19th 2015 ENSAD showed in Milan the exhibition “ENSADland”, a resilient design territory showing the work of 12 young graduates from ENSAD’s Product Design department and their capacity of creating empathetic solutions and sustainable production tools that – based on concepts of resilience and adaptability can help, accompany, educate, and give a sense of responsibility to the citizen/user. These products-services enable the citizen/ user to take stands and to act effectively on contemporary social, economic, and environmental problems. Curator: Anna Bernagozzi.
Since 2017 ENSAD is officially part of the EU financed program 4Cs (Creative Europe). The project aims at co-developing new tools of conviviality (physical and on a more political and social level) that will allow future citizens to better cohabit in our far too anthropocentrated and mondialized society. The activities within the project 4Cs include academic activities but also ad hoc interventions in sensible areas.

Primary research areas and activities:
The engagement of the ENSAD DESIS Group lies In the beliefs that designers will be among the key actors in the construction of tomorrow’s world. Their action will include the very essence and forms of organisation of human activities and underline the fundamental nature of the ethical dimensions, social justice and respect for living beings. Designers must contribute to establish new relationships capable of creating new resilient driving forces by focusing on the very structure of processes as well as their elaboration.
Design for resilience involves a flexible and horizontal approach to research, production, and development, in which all the players contribute on an equal basis. This participative and collaborative process of creation makes the most of the skills and know-how of each individual, with each person playing a fundamental role.These action need a reconsideration and reinvention of conceptual reference points and concrete action frameworks and makes it necessary to examine more open, fluid and dynamic social structures. Designers must be capable of facilitating the creation of a symbiotic society that « naturally » includes these new typologies of social forms that acknowledge and capitalize on diversity and fosters « border crossing practices ». Design becomes an intellectual, creative and humanistic process, capable both of fueling reflection and of co-generating fluid actions and initiatives. The primary research areas and activities of the group include issues related to post-coloniality as well as design practices that foster innovative solutions aimed at improving conviviality, hospitality and people’s lives overall in the context of today’s migrations.

List of projects and research projects:
Title: 4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture
Year: 2017-2021
Fund: Creative Europe (title, year, fund, 2 lines description, website)
Description: The 4Cs seeks to understand how training and education in art and culture can constitute powerful resources to address the issue of conflict as well as to envision creative ways in which to deal with conflictual phenomena, while contributing to audience development through active participation and co-production.

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