* Design pour une innovation créative

Nantes Shanghai Pune São Paulo Montréal

Our approach to design education

At L’École de design, our job is to teach design and to train professionals in innovation through the academic route, work-study programs or in the context of continuing education. In September 2018, the establishment had almost 1500 students following training programs all of which are recognized by the French state: BTS (equivalent to an HND), DNMADE, vocational degree or Master’s degree in design (certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education). These programs are structured around comprehensive and multi-disciplinary teaching: general, artistic, technical, methodological and professional.

Our four Design Labs allow us to develop expertise centered on specialized socio-economic topics, combining training, experimental research and innovation support. The design-led research activity carried out within these Design Labs thus guarantees the level of expertise required by academic authorities for a Master’s-level qualification. This research fuels an in-depth reflection on changes in our society and our professions, at all stages of training and in all fields of application.

Two important features characterize our training programs and single them out: their international reach and professional skills acquisition.

International reach, at the heart of our teaching for 20 years

As part of our 5 year design course, students must carry out a semester abroad at the beginning of the 1st year in MDes. They can choose between a study trip in one of our 110 international partner schools, or a design internship (in an agency or company). They can also choose to spend two years in one of our studios in Pune in India, Shanghai in China or São Paulo in Brazil for the International Design Strategy MDes program. For students who join our school in the 3rd year of BDes, the International Class offers them a one-year program taught entirely in English. Students are thus immersed in an international environment with over 30 different nationalities each year. Finally, the school offers MDes programs taught entirely in English, accessible in particular to its international students.


The acquisition of professional skills is one of the strengths of our academic approach. Our responsibility is not just to train “creatives”, but to train “professionals in creation and innovation” who will be able to quickly and easily integrate the workplace after finishing their studies. L’École de design’s success can be measured first and foremost by the employment outcomes for young graduates, a level which has been exceptionally high for the past few years. To this end, our teaching programs aim to optimize the school/business relationship, by incorporating many professional partnership projects in the curriculums, in order to maximize our young graduates’ employability and to guarantee them a multitude of career opportunities. With this objective in mind, two compulsory internships complete the professionalization of our students following the academic route.

A dedicated service deals with partnerships with companies and helps tailor the design briefs proposed by companies (real case studies) into teaching content (case studies adapted to the evolving nature of acquiring knowledge and know-how), in conjunction with teaching staff.

Professionalization also calls for apprenticeships

Created in 2006, the Design and innovation CFA is currently the only apprenticeship-based training center in France that lets you follow a whole range of design courses including a Master’s degree for free while at the same time getting paid. Over 200 apprentices are trained in this way in our CFA (Vocational Training Center). It focuses particularly on developing joint-contracting teaching programs with several regional higher education and vocational establishments (Ecole Supérieure du bois, Nantes IUT, CIFAM). It implements educational exchange programs with L’École de design’s international partners, takes part in international events and organizes study periods for its apprentices.

Teaching programs that also serve businesses

The school helps companies and institutions incorporate design into their organizations. It therefore offers a wide range of continuing education programs, listed in the prospectus or tailor-made: Design Thinking, creativity, design project methodology at executive or strategic level.