The last three decades have seen increases in organizations, institutions, and events dedicated to promoting design and innovation in the field.

Consider these developments:

- During the 1980s institutions for design trainingand promotion were established, such as the ÉcoleNationaleSupérieure de Création Industrielle (national higher school for industrial design), the Agence pour la Promotion de la Création Industrielle (agency for the promotion of industrial design), and the Centre de CréationIndustrielle (center for industrial design) at the Pompidou Center.

- During the 1990s promotional expositions emerged, such as the Saint-Etienne International Biennial and the Observeur du Design in Paris.

- During the last decade policies to popularize design were adopted, as embodied, for example, in the Lieu du Design d’Île-de-France and the Cité du Design in Saint-Étienne.

As the art of giving form to function, design is a key feature of many sectors. Once the province of manufactured products, design is now applied to food, sound, textiles, data, and even medications.

Designers understand the relation between an object and its users and aim to improve users’ experience. To do that they must master drawing, various technical disciplines, and computer science (2- and 3-D multimedia). The many design training programs now offered in France’s schools of art and design are of excellent quality. Organized around a 5-year curriculum that begins by providing the general training that future designersneed, the programs emphasize both artistic and scientific skills, combining art, engineering, and computer science. After completing the general core curriculum, students specialize in one of many media, materials, or sectors of activity.



Since 1999, France has been one of the most active countries in the area of industrial innovation through design. The Observeur du Design is an international exposition organized by the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris, which confers awards on the most innovative products. The exposition has been awarded the “International Competition” label of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.

The Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial invites design students (15,000 for each event) to display the designs of the future while discovering the best of current work.  France’s regions have also developed spaces for the sharing of knowledge, such as the Lieu du Design (“the design space”) and the Ile-de-France Innovation Center in the Paris region.