March 15, 2017

Notes from the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne @ Metro Times

As a kind of sister city based on our shared heritage of an industrial manufacturing boom followed by economic decline, the city of Saint-Étienne, France, extended the invitation to Detroit to be a featured presenter in this year’s Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne. Saint-Étienne is one of 22 international locations recognized as an UNESCO City of Design — a designation that Detroit received in 2015, making it the first City of Design in the United States.

For places like Saint-Étienne and Detroit, examining the future of work is crucial to the rebuilding of the city, and being a City of Design indicates a hope that the practice of design will be integral to the authorship of a new chapter for these cities. On this international stage, Detroit represented the United States among contributions from dozens of countries with three major exhibitions: Out of Site, ShiftSpace, and Footwork — as well as with a host of panel discussions, musical performances, and other programming.

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