Discover the urban design furniture

Discovering design furniture in the city

In Saint-Etienne, design is everywhere, even on the furniture in parks and public squares! The origin of these installations is called “Banc d’essai”, a real showroom of design furniture, renewed every two years for the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial.

Test bench: the essential design meeting

Test bench, it is the occasion to test, in real size, all types of urban objects imagined by designers of the region or elsewhere. Shelters, tables, deckchairs, garbage cans, ground markings, connected objects, sports equipment, giant playground, urban furniture for children… In the public spaces of the city, you can not miss the achievements selected for the artistic operation Stéphanoise.

Street furniture renewed every year

At each new Biennial, the Testbed project proposes to implement prototypes of design furniture in public space. And to unearth its new rare pearls, the city launches a call for projects to designers and manufacturers, a few months before the event.

💡 Since its launch in 2015, this project has allowed more than sixty manufacturers, publishers, architects, artists and designers from all over the world to test their creativity on the public space of Saint-Etienne.

Some objects, meeting an immediate functional need or carrying a strong design value, have even been purchased by the city of Saint-Etienne.

Context of the 2022 Testbed edition

A new biennial, a new theme! For the edition that will be inaugurated on June 1, 2022, Banc d’essai invites designers to imagine creative and recreational objects of exploration. This one will also be the occasion to experiment objects in the manufacturing district, to sustainably implant design and functional furniture, as part of the Cité du design 2025 project.

Book your activities at Explora

Discover the workshops for young and old at Explora!