why le lieu du design

By

Jean-Paul Huchon

Chairman of the Ile-de-France Regional Council

A little over a year ago, I spoke of creating a specific site dedicated to design in the Paris region. Since that time, much progress has been made. The project has taken shape.
It has become a reality. Since we have all understood that there was a need to elaborate a genuine strategy for design’s presence on our territory. That there was an urgent need to invent a site promoting industrial design and eco-design serving a sustainable development scheme. That there was an interest in uniting design’s various structures and actors in a single location.
That it would be useful to create a single platform for meetings and on-going dialogue.

The Paris region has many advantages:

  • a broad range of public and private schools recognized in Europe and beyond for technical and technological teaching as well as their training and educational methods in creativity and innovation;
  • world-class tourist infrastructures;
  • a public transportation network unique in the world;
  • first place in organizing professional salons.

The Paris region is experiencing a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, we are world-renown for our excellence in creation. On the other hand, insufficient industrial structuring in creation is seen as a handicap in particular in terms of visibility and readability.

Le Lieu du Design must participate in a more global approach: making the daily lives of citizens easier, more pleasant, and more comfortable, as well as safer and more respectful of the environment.

By

Laurent Dutheil

Le Lieu du Design’s General Manager

Design is at the heart of any innovative strategy. Our competitors have realized this. We have great potential and a number of advantages. It is up to us to develop, promote, and disseminate them.
Le Lieu du Design should not do what is already done, and done very well, but unite various actors in this economic sector essential for our competiveness and our attractiveness.

The Lieu du Design must fulfill several ambitions:

  • disseminating the design scheme to small businesses in the Paris region: we must help our firms exploit design’s potential as a strategic tool, anticipating their needs by highlighting innovation assistance schemes;
  • developing use of eco-design and industrial design favoring research into and use of new materials;
  • accompanying designers to better capitalize on their experience thereby gaining better visibility and recognition on the European and international levels;
  • raising public awareness of design by being an instructional space for research, exhibitions, and information by being a place of dialogue and exchange accessible to and useful for everyone;
  • creating bridges with the Centre Francilien de l’Innovation and the Paris Region’s competition hubs: our project is defined, above all, as a networking project.

Its main goal is to unite Paris region actors in design, disseminating design and innovation throughout the Paris region industrial fabric and strengthening, through promotional activities, design’s attractiveness in the Paris Region.
Placing design and innovation at the service of the economic world and convincing firms to use design: that is our goal!

SNCF – TGV 3G - Agence MBD Design

Design: above all an economic issue

Design should fire the imagination. Particularly French design, benefitting from Paris and the Paris Region’s global aura and a beneficial geographic location. It irrigates all sectors of the economy. From automobiles to construction, public transportation to household appliances, from furniture to industry and services, design is everywhere. Design is supported by a multitude of talents, famous signatures now internationally recognized as well as a large number of creators whose work merits promotion.

Design in the Paris region is 4000 firms, more than 30,000 jobs and at least €2.5 billion in sales. Nearly two-thirds of French designers are concentrated in the Paris region, that is 8000 designers and 16,000 jobs.
The Paris region is an excellent territory for creativity and attractiveness.

Design’s penetration rate in small businesses remains low. More than 60% of French firms have never used design services. And less than 20% of French firms deem design to be strategic.
The design approach is largely dominated by its esthetic and mass market dimension to the detriment of its economic impact. Design is often associated with fashion and luxury and even the pure creation domain.

Eco-design cardboard furniture - El Kartoñ

Yet, design is a genuine leverage for economic growth:

  • in terms of added value;
  • in terms of product differentiation and comparative advantage;
  • in terms of return on investment;
  • in terms of creativity and innovation, during growth periods as well as crisis periods.

Le Lieu du Design’s primary vocation is to be a host for continuous exchange between various actors in the design sector: students, researchers, industrialists, designers, consumers... Its goal is to provide direct access to a set of resources currently scattered in various locations and unite energies around two major headings for strategic development promoting industrial design and eco-design.