ENSCI - Les Ateliers

Founded in 1982, Les Ateliers-Paris Design Institute (École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle) is the only French national Institute exclusively devoted to industrial design. A public commercial and industrial establishment supervised by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Industry, it broadened its activities to include two other degree programmes in 1985 and 1993: first the Atelier National d’Art Textile (ANAT), then a specialist Master’s degree in “Design and contemporary technology”, the denomination of which has recently been modified. Today the School covers not only the fields of industrial and product design but also multiple contemporary design applications: digital, spatial, communication, service design… For over 25 years Les Ateliers has trained designers with highly varied profiles who have gone on to work in design studios, businesses or as freelancers, many of them contributing to France’s renown abroad.

In the heart of Paris, close to Bastille, Les Ateliers occupies a site full of history: the former workshops of the decorator Jansen, who employed up to 500 art craftsmen from 1922 to 1979. The building was acquired to house Les Ateliers by the Ministry of Culture, which then carried out the restoration. The school has kept the spirit of these workshops while opening up to contemporary technologies.
The teaching is based as much on wood, metal, plastic and textile workshop practice as on digital, image and sound techniques. In certain circumstances the workshops are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to enable students to carry out their projects in optimum conditions.

Learning, experimenting, creating: Les Ateliers has opted for ambitious, multidisciplinary, theoretical and practical courses in correlation with project studios run by professional designers. The teaching is based on the principle of individualised programmes for each student. In addition to regular teachers, the school calls on outside personalities for lectures or workshops. All students undertake an obligatory professional internship for one semester, in France or abroad, and many of them also go abroad on a university exchange programme.

Les Ateliers is now at the heart of a teaching and research cluster, Paris Design Lab®, that associates it with colleges or universities in the Île de France region teaching the arts, literature, engineering, architecture, economics and management, and social and human sciences. Les Ateliers also forms partnerships with businesses, research laboratories and institutions, where the student learns to respond to real life professional issues defined by the partner.

The establishment has two Masters level degrees, awarded by ministerial decree:

  • an industrial designer degree, certified Level 1 on the national register of professional certifications;
  • a textile designer degree.

Les Ateliers also proposes:

  • a specialist Masters degree, “Design and contemporary technology”, accredited by the Conférence des Grandes Écoles
  • A new specialist Masters degree will be created in 2009.

Every year Les Ateliers trains 250 students of all nationalities. To date it has graduated 548 industrial designers, trained over 200 textile designers, with 43 graduating since the creation of a degree in textile design in 2002, and awarded 142 specialist Masters degrees.