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CREDO: 2009 Session Feedback

CREDO: 2009 Session Feedback

A brief summary of the expectations and outcomes of the 2009 session of the international design workshop CREDO by the teaching team who supervised this worldwide creative encounter...

“Out of the box,” broadening one’s scope of skills

The third session of the program Cooperation in Research and Education for Design Options (C.R.E.D.O.) (1) has just come to an end after eight hardworking days spent within the regional cultural center of the Abbey of Fontevraud. ( This international workshop is open to students enrolled in Master’s Degrees in member schools of the Cumulus network and to their teachers. 34 designers from 9 schools located in 7 European countries overstepped the boundaries of their specific working methods and learned to handle projects within multi-cultural teams.

Indeed the main objective of this lab-workshop is to bring together designers or young postgraduate designers-to-be so that they can share ideas and discuss their working methods, tools and way to handle a project. (2)

Projects as a playground for experiments These interactions between participants from different backgrounds are given concrete expression through the achievement of an assignment chosen by the teaching team. The completion of this assignment calls upon skills in communication and transmission while spurring the designers to resort to committed modes and points of view in a common aim : coming up with concepts of products/devices/systems in a very short time.

Prospective design user scenarios Since three years, this all-encompassing workshop has been centered upon a single theme : the “ideal city”3. This year the participants were asked to reflect upon “the herb garden of ideal city”, where healing plants are grown for the good of the community. The theme echoes the prestigious site - a type of ideal city 4 - where the workshop takes place.

The aim of having participants produce prospective design reflections (up to15 years max) is to give shape to concepts thanks to scenarios, models, videos or performances. This year the participants also made sure they addressed their design process in their final presentation.

This international multicultural workshop is monitored by two teachers from L’École de design - Nathalie Ciprian and Laurent Neyssensas - and is not to be seen as a means to further the design methods taught within our institution stricto sensu, it has rather been thought up as a playground where different types of expertise can interact and merge.

The results of the workshop were displayed during a one-day exhibition and will be shown again at the abbey during the Journées du patrimoine, a nationwide event meant to promote the French historic and cultural heritage that will be held on September 19 and 20, 2009.

The CREDO program is sponsored by the Pays de la Loire Regional Authorities as part of the research section of the Design’In Pays de la Loire program. Please visit the official website :

Nathalie Ciprian
Studies Coordinator - 4th Year Curriculum
Laurent Neyssensas
Design Trends Monitoring Coordinator
Interaction Design Teacher

References :
1_ For further information about the teaching experience evoked here : “Building up a Sustainable Design CREDO - A possible framework for an experimental “project-grounded” design community”. Article written by N. Ciprian and F. Degouzon. Proceedings of the Symposium Schwäbisch Gmund Cumulus, p.52-55, ed. University of Art and Design of Helsinki, 2007.
3_ Topics of the previous sessions : “Life Scenarios for an Ideal City” (2007), “The Lights of the Ideal City” (2008), “The Herb Garden of the ideal City” (2009)
4_The Abbey of Fontevraud, Fontevraud, France.