A building open to the city thanks to its translucent facades

A new school year in a new building

Nantes, October 25, 2022 - In September 2022, 1750 students (including 350 apprentices) and 400 teachers of L’École de design Nantes Atlantique were back in school in a new setting of 11,600 m2, located on the Ile de Nantes, in the heart of the creative district. Previously scattered over several sites, they now have a campus dedicated to design for the world of tomorrow. In addition to this exceptional news, the school continues to develop. Here's a rundown of what's new for this school year.

For L'École de design Nantes Atlantique, this move to the Ile de Nantes reinforces an approach that aims to make design an innovation practice within companies.

"In an uncertain world, disrupted by environmental and societal challenges, design is a strategic issue. [...] it is an avant-garde and creative way of thinking that does not presuppose and brings people together to create a desirable future," says Anne Brochard, president of the school.

The school has given itself the means to achieve its ambition. The volume dedicated to workshops has been multiplied by four, and new areas dedicated to metal, ceramics and textiles have been incorporated. New facilities house the latest digital technologies. These changes open up the field of possibilities for creativity and innovation. New equipment has also been added to the design labs, in particular the Food Design Lab, which is now equipped with a professional kitchen.

The school also incorporates a Learning Lab of over 200 m2 dedicated to educational experimentation. Here, students work in project mode, in an entirely modular space, using tools, technology and digital resources. It is in this Learning Lab that the school's educational innovation unit will prototype training courses for teachers. This space is also open to the school's partners in order to promote cross-disciplinary approaches and connections to the professional world.

design school students

The school's international development continues

  • Back to school with an international focus

While the first hundred or so international students discovered the new building in September, Africa Design School, the first design school in West Africa created by L'École de design Nantes Atlantique and Sèmè City, graduated its first class of digital designers in Cotonou, Benin, and welcomed 150 new students for its 4th academic year.

A building open to the city thanks to its translucent facades
  • A new international studio in Brussels

After China, India, Brazil and Quebec, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique will open a 5th studio in Brussels in September 2023. In a new program conducted in partnership with Be Central, the largest Belgian incubator dedicated to digital innovation, students will address themes intrinsically linked to the environment of the European Union's capital: public policy design, democracy and cyber security.

The international studios are dedicated to long periods of immersion, from 18 to 24 months.

Students take over the steps of the agoraStudents take over the steps of the agora

Creation of the 1st Sino-French design institute

L'École de design Nantes Atlantique has been chosen by one of the most prestigious Chinese art and design universities, the China Academy of Art (CAA) in Hangzhu, to create the first Sino-French design institute, the NACAA (Nantes Atlantique CAA).

The institute, which has just been inaugurated, will offer international bachelor's degree programs in product, interior architecture and digital design as well as a master's degree in design. It is intended to train high-level designers who will occupy strategic positions in innovation. It took two years of work to create this institute in a context marked by the pandemic. The program is coordinated for the French part by Matthieu Rochette-Schneider, also general manager for China of the Centdegrés agency, and Xu Yan, coordinator of the school's relations with the CAA.

Design research and societal issues

Creation of the "New Seniors, New Needs" Chair: anticipatory design as a lever of innovation for the Health and Regions sector

The seniors of tomorrow are between 50 and 60 years old today. The needs of this new active and connected generation are changing. To anticipate their requirements, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique and Crédit Agricole Atlantique Vendée launched the "New Seniors, New Needs" Chair last September, financed to the tune of 80,000 euros by Crédit Agricole Atlantique Vendée. The Loire-Atlantique and Vendée Departmental Councils are also partners.  The Chair will coordinate a two-year design-led research program aimed at producing an immersive and interactive tool that will enable people who are 60 years old today to project their future needs in 2040 and to propose new service offers to meet them.  

Launch of a research seminar: what are the design sciences?

While the contribution of design to the creation of industrial and creative value is well established, its place in the world of research is widely questioned, both by the scientific community and by design professionals themselves.

L'École de design Nantes Atlantique is launching a research seminar that will focus on the conclusions to be drawn from this last decade of projects and debates around the role of design in the world of research.

Design at the service of societal issues: launch of a series of talks, the Happy Hour of Design

The school's Design Labs, dedicated to the exploration through design of themes related to current transformations (social, technological and economic), are launching "The Happy Hour of Design".

The Happy Hour of Design is a series of talks with figures from the world of design, the students of L'École de design Nantes Atlantique and design professionals from Nantes. At each edition, one or two speakers are invited to share their experiences and expertise in the fields of design explored by the school's five Design Labs.  

The first event was held on the theme of design in hospitals, with the example of the University Hospital of Nantes. Future editions will focus on digital materials with designer Etienne Mineur, entrepreneurship and design with entrepreneurial designers Pauline Thomas and Karen Bastien, and food transitions with the Fork Organisation. 

This cycle of talks will be complemented by lectures given by professionals on the shift in design professions, organized by the school's team of undergraduate course leaders.

"We train professionals in innovation who must be in touch with real life and project themselves into the way we will live tomorrow in order to design the uses today," Christian Guellerin, Director General of L'École de design Nantes Atlantique.

Published on 27.10.22