Saint-Étienne is a constantly-changing city, driven by the relationship between art and industry for more than two centuries. From the industrial city to the visionary city, Saint-Etienne makes "living together" the common denominator of all its actions. It uses design as a developer and catalyst for the creative potential of all. Saint-Etienne is a UNESCO City of Design since 2010, strengthening a network strategy developed by the notoriety of its higher school of art and design, the success of the International Design Biennial since 1998, and the pole of excellence represented by La cité du design since 2005.
Saint-Étienne Metropole is the first French local authority to integrate, since 2010, a design management function in the design and implementation of its public policies. This approach helped to equip the area with design innovation tools focused on practice and experimentation. The action resulted in hundreds of achievements transforming the daily lives of companies, communities and citizens; thus highlighting the plurality of the design fields: service design, product design, digital design, graphic design, design and social innovation, and industrial design. Saint-Étienne Metropole won the Design Management Europe 2013 award, which rewarded the contribution of design management to the success of strategies of companies and public services from 17 European countries. These concrete long-term actions provide a clear design vision and make the Saint-Étienne area a fertile ground for innovation.
The city has many major institutions in the field of design such as La cité du design, Saint-Étienne Metropole Modern Art Museum, the Museum of Art and Industry, Le Corbusier’s Firminy Vert and even La Rotonde, center of scientific, technical and industrial culture. Finally, many opportunities for vocational training are offered in addition to the numerous major events organized in the field of design.
As a Creative City of Design, Saint-Etienne envisages:
- Disseminating a culture of design focused on customs and new lifestyles which place the human side at the heart of reflection;
- Sharing experiences and good design practices;
- Accelerating the development of the city;
- Improving the quality of life of inhabitants;
- Promoting designers and companies in the area;
- Creating links between creative communities;
- Forming a pole of expertise which aims to develop cooperation to make cities more human and more creative.