Nouvelles Du Monde

L’Agora du design : La promotion et le soutien de la nouvelle génération de designers

L’Agora du design : La promotion et le soutien de la nouvelle génération de designers

Scout, discoverer, pioneer … The Agora of design is a bit of all of these at once. In forty years, this association, founded in 1983 by the entrepreneur Claude Lévy-Soussan, then led by Alain Lardet from 2003 to 2017, has become, under the leadership of Bernard Moïse, its president, one of the essential players in the design scene in France.

Supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Agora du design is pursuing a work of highlighting all the “design authors”: designers, of course, but also all those who contribute to the diversity, creativity, and richness of the discipline: collectives, curators, researchers, thinkers … With a goal: to bring out the new generation of designers by supporting personal and original research projects.

Emergence, innovation, foresight

On Tuesday, February 20, in the presence of Rachida Dati, Minister of Culture, the entire profession was reunited at the Centre Pompidou for a long-awaited event: the unveiling of the laureates of the research and curation grants 2021 and 2023 from the Agora du design.

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These grants, awarded every two years, amount to three: two grants, each worth €35,000, are dedicated to a research project and one grant, worth €50,000, is intended to support an exhibition project. Their common point: to question the creative gesture, explore the manufacturing processes, and question the production processes of objects.

Promising vintages

The vintages of 2021 and 2023 have proved to be particularly promising, highlighting projects, whether laureates or finalists, that are both exciting and disruptive. Consider, for example, one that questions tapestry, an ancestral gesture if ever there was one, as a potential information system (Tapi(x)erie project by Lauriane Obry, 2023 laureate), while another proposes an exploration of the new materialities of the woven image (Faire le point project by the E-K collective, 2023 laureate). At the crossroads of materials design and fictional design, the Precious Kitchen collective (2021 laureate for the A lier project) is researching a biodegradable glue to create new materials. As for Marine Rouit Leduc (2021 laureate for the project La couleur de la lumière), she explores how colored light affects our perception.

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In terms of curation, two surprising projects were distinguished. Laureate in 2021 with “Conspiracy way of life,” the Pfliegerfoegle collective focused on representations of the Earth and the distrust of scientific discourse. By laying bare conspiracy theories, the collective sees design as “a discipline capable of forging links between popular cultures, sciences, politics, and beliefs.” With “Les Repas de Cocagne,” the exhibition project laureate in 2023, Matteo Penza also addresses the political dimension of a practice shared by everyone: eating. This exhibition “will try to create another value system around eating,” he says.

Note: The projects of the 2021 laureates will be presented at BASE, a center for artistic research, during the Milan Design Week in April 2024 in collaboration with the French Institute. The 2021 exhibition project of the Plfiegerfoegle collective was exhibited at the MUDAC in Lausanne from September 8, 2023, to February 4, 2024, and will also be presented in Milan.

Defending the culture of design in its diversity

At the Ministry of Culture, public policy is implemented within the DGCA – Delegation to the Visual Arts – Bureau of Creative Industries, which, by funding organizations and projects, supports creation, training, research, and innovation in design. The sub-directorate of specialized and higher education and research at the DGCA has supervision over 45 art and design schools, including the ENSAD and the ENSCI-Les Ateliers. And finally, the digital service has also established the Digital Workshop with the presence of a designer.

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Establishing public policy for design aims to support the challenges related to the transition and transformation of society, with a particular emphasis on the cultural aspect to improve accessibility. The goal is to position the Ministry of Culture as a governmental actor promoting a culture of design.

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2024-02-21 12:30:59


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