The national higher school of decorative arts is a public, higher education establishment run by the ministry of culture and communication. A flourishing, intellectual, creative and artistic centre, its motto is: innovation, multidisciplinarity, partnerships. Like the large anglo-saxon schools, the ENSAD has 710 students, both French and foreign, and offers 10 training sectors: Interior design, Spatial art, Film animation, Graphic design/multimedia, Object design, Textile and materials design, Clothing design, Printed images, Photo/video, Scenography. In addition, the school’s research laboratory, (EnsadLab) offers ten research programs covering the fields of art and design. There are 50 student researchers of whom several are also completing a doctorate in a French university or abroad. ENSAD is a member of the Higher Education Research Pole- Paris Sciences and Literature - Latin Quarter.


Several venues constitute le Manège in Mons: - The Théâtre Royal - The Théâtre le Manège - The Site of the Arbalestriers/Maison Folie - The Abel Dubois Auditorium


The first art centre dedicated to the relationship between artistic creation and nature, the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire displays an ambitious program of contemporary art as well as the International Gardens Festival.


The aim of Valenciennes’ Higher School of Art and Design is to train artists, designers, creators and cultural professionals in the best theoretical and practical conditions. It offers a specific academic training and works at correlating its didactic projects to the most innovative reality of today. The course that has been established calls on a multi and transdisciplinary practice: sculpture, installation, volume, drawing, painting, etching, silk screen, photography, video and multimedia. The pedagogy developed around the whole array of media is questioning artworks and their contexts. The pedagogy program is also envisaged as dynamics exploring the relationships between the following three approaches: design and society, design and construction, design and representation.


Mains d’Œuvres' mission is to run a cultural centre dedicated to social and artistic invention. Our primary vocation is to welcome and assist artists, arts organisation and professionals from the civil society who are involved in thinking, research, emerging and non-institutional practices, with a view to promoting their insertion into the art world. The centre is mainly a workspace offering long residencies (three years on average) to achieve this professional level. We accompany projects in all disciplines (drama, dance, music, visual arts etc.) and multidisciplinary projects, or those pertaining to the field of digital arts. Beyond this principal vocation, activities of diffusion, production and public gatherings etc. are developing. Firmly anchored in its region, constantly seeking sensitive crossovers linking art and society, Mains d’Œuvres is a resolutely multiple venue, open to all.


Ircam is active in all the fields linked to sound research (from fundamental research to industrial opportunities) and musical creation, for concerts or performing arts, thanks to seven research and development teams, a production department having set up some 97 concerts, operas and performances in 2011, and an education department which organises numerous training sessions. Today Ircam is one of the largest, publicly funded research centres in the world dedicated to musical creation and scientific research. A unique venue where art prospection and scientific and technological innovation converge, the institute has been directed by Frank Madlener since 2006, and comprises more than 160 collaborators. Ircam is developing its three major axes (creation, research and transmission) with a season in Paris, an annual festival and touring shows in France and abroad. A multidisciplinary academy of creation, (a first in France) set up by the festival that revealed it, was launched in June 2012.


The laboratory's creation responds to the emerging framework for research in higher arts schools. Its objective is to experiment with the innovative and interdisciplinary forms and sound art practices with regard to the issues of spaces and networks. On the one hand, its mission is to create a body of knowledge and a critical space concerned with audio art practices that are in the midst of an evolution, in the current context of major technological and socio-technical development, and on the other hand to explore the historical context which founded these practices at the crossroads of the fields of music and visual arts (sound installation, sound art, electronic and electroacoustic musical performance, audio art, digital arts, network arts etc.) The Locus Sonus laboratory of research in art has worked, since its launch in 2004, on the reciprocal challenges between spatial audio and network audio. It is available as a post-graduate diploma by a pool of arts schools: ESA Aix in Provence, ENSA in Bourges (since 2010), ENSA Nice Villa Arson (2004/2010), ESBAM Marseille (2007/2008). The laboratory offers work and production processes which methodologically combine practical experimentation with critical evaluation by publishing the work as public art productions. Specialised in spatial and networked sound, Locus Sonus has opened a field of research on the creative territories linked to the interconnection of spaces by the transport of sounds. This investigation engages the intersection of several points of view: the artistic one, through the interrogation of forms and practices of sound art and how they engage the public, the technological one, of artistic experiments on the tools and systems of communication that are rapidly evolving, and as a consequence, the evolution of the creative and social locus generated by sound and technological spaces. The research directions currently engaged concern the fields of ‘sonification’ and hybridisation of the virtual and physical space (New Atlantis), as well as the issues linked to remote listening, in the NMSAT documentary program (The history of sound art and of network music). At the same time, the collective projects elaborated during the last few years continue to develop, such as the Locustream (a live streaming network of open microphones around the world) as well as the interfaces and installations that have flowed on from them (SoundMap,Tardis, etc.). The resources of the laboratory are open and available to researchers and artists.

LIVING LABS en Pays d'Aix

The Living Labs of the Aix region is building on its European experiences, notably launched in 2006 by the Finnish presidency of the European Union. Several dozen Living Labs have since been created in Europe and the rest of the world. These initiatives generally gather public and private partners, businesses, associations and individuals, with the aim of carrying out a life-size test for new services, tools and uses, with a philosophy of open innovation, in a precise experimental territory, This approach, which appeared in the 1990's with the arrival of new information and communication technologies, has considerably developed since then, with the help of open source, creative commons licences, participating media and collaborative Web portals that have come with the Web 2.0, and also with open data and the sharing of public information. These contemporary technologies outline the contours of tomorrow's world where the concepts of social innovations and creative economies are serving a society that is reinventing itself. One of the specifics we will be developing resides in the skills and expertise of the partners of the project consortium, the link between art, science, research and industry. Indeed, we are trying to get creative people, business people, scientists, artists and inventors of new tools and collaborative projects, some of whom have a social vocation, to work together. Put differently, the way for scientists and businesses committed to sustainable development to collaborate and invent together. Particularly, one of our aims is to revive and reinforce the links between the academic world, innovative businesses, artists' networks and other actors involved in the fields of research and innovation in our region and elsewhere, on a national and international scale. This articulation between scientists, artists and businesses could take on a singular meaning here, with a geographical proximity based on knowledge and sharing (and whose relevance is reinforces by the prospect of Marseille Provence 2013). We are developing a model for the Living Lab inspired by innovations in the widest sense of the term, initially revolving around questions of usage and multi-touch interfaces in the public space.


The aim of iMAL (interactive Media Art Laboratory), an association created in 1999 in Brussels, is to stimulate the process of creative appropriation of new technologies. At the end of 2007 iMAL opened its new venue, a Centre for Digital and Cultural Technologies in the heart of Brussels. At the crossroads of artistic, scientific and industrial innovations, this 600m2 space is dedicated to new art forms, emerging cultural practices and industrial innovations which were born out of the convergence between information technologies, telecommunications, networks and media. IMAL is a unique alliance between a centre for contemporary art and a media lab that allows artists to research, experiment, share and exchange with and on new technologies. IMAL has become a European venue for encounters between art circles, scientists, industrialists and creative people, ideally situated in Brussels, an international and multicultural city, capital of Europe.