LA MANUFACTURE a labour of love

by Lidewij Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano


This exhibition, curated by world-re-nowned trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano, explores the way a new generation of designers is experimenting with materials and manufacturing processes.
Fully resonating with the public health crisis we are living through, it starts from the premise that if we do not take active steps to slow down consump-tion and reinvent our production practices, our planet will not stand a chance. The world is finally becoming future-thinking and reshaping the cultural landscape and changing its values along with it—as borne out by design.
We are developing new solutions for sharing between designer and artisan, designer and the underprivileged, designer and amateur, designer and designer. A new dawn brings hope for an alternative way to manufacture success, recognition and profit. Here the capital is human.
A labour of love.

Designers are buying or setting up proper factories, developing co-wor-king spaces and sharing machinery, working in open-source ways and re-cycling materials piling up on our land and in our seas. The joy of manufactu-ring is palpable. These hubs of design, exchange and manufacturing are be-coming successful cottage industries. The designer is at once artist, artisan and administrator, driven by a passion for every stage and aspect of his or her enterprise. This approach coinci-des with a significant emerging trend in philosophy—New Materialism—that states that all materials are alive and release energy.
The manufacture of reclaimed, re-cycled and invented materials sup-ports this theory.



Inspired by the structure of a factory, the exhibition La manufacture: a labour of love is designed as a stroll through the heart of an industrial factory where forms and raw materials follow one another: the glass, wood, pulp, clay, stone, metals, textiles and salvaged materials are the subject of specific sections within which 70 international designers reinterpret the concept of materiality. Objects of design punctuate this journey, accompanied by video documentaries, testifying to the different processes of production used or sometimes invented by the designers of this new generation.
Visitors to the exhibit will be welcomed by a lineup of factory worker’s lockers designed by Studio Job for Lensvelt, as well as hanging brooms made by Social Label. Constructed by people with special needs from discarded parts from a bike factory, these sustainable brooms are a powerful metaphor for wiping the past clean for a fresh start.



Onsite during weekends, two pop-up workshops will bring the Gare Saint Sauveur to life. An atelier by About A Worker will celebrate workers’ uniforms and illustrates how employees can be incorporated in the creative process. In collaboration with local residents, blue work aprons will be sewn for the exhibition guides and volunteers. Also on display is a working installation by Daniel Harris, founder of the London Cloth Company, the first weaving mill to open in the city in over 100 years. He collects discarded textile-making machinery, restoring them to weave new tweed textiles.
Designed by Joost van Bleiswijk, the scenography of the exhibition incorporates only materials from the construction industry, especially bricks from the North, and will be fully recycled after the event closes.


  • 12 themes punctuate the exhibition
    Weaving Wonder / Creating Community Accumulating Remnants / Forging Alloy / Excavating Fragments / Throwing Earth / Pulping Shape /Carving Stone /Blowing Magic / Working Wood / Gathering Fibre / Growing Design


La Manufacture : a labour of love
From Wednesday 9 th September 2020
to Sunday 8th November 2020

Gare Saint Sauveur

17 Boulevard Jean-Baptiste Lebas,
59800 Lille

Opening times:
From Wednesday to Sunday : 12h > 19h

Lille Grand Palais station
or Mairie de Lille station
An original production by Lille Metropole 2020, World Design Capital
Hosted as part of the Autumn at Saint Sauveur with lille3000

Curated by:
Lidewij Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano



World Design Capital

The European Metropolis of Lille suc-ceeded Turin, Seoul, Helsinki, Cape Town, Taipei and Mexico City as World Design Capital in 2020. Since 2008, the title of World Design Capital© is awarded every two years by the World Design Organization (WDO), it reco-gnizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultu-ral, and environmental development.

The World Design Capital is back to business after a few weeks off the radar following the unprecedented and unex-pected public health crisis, which forced us to push back our long-planned acti-vities. During this unusual period, POC project leaders, desi¬gners, exhibition curators, Maison POC organisers, busi-nesses, associations and communities involved with the World Design Capital have not stopped planning, designing and imagining their comeback.

And now we are more ready than we thought possible! New Ways of the World, Sens Fiction, la manufacture : a labour of Love, and Designer(s) du Design, the main exhibitions in our programme were already shaping a new world and highlighting the need for urgent action even before the pan-demic. Now they should be seen and experienced more widely than ever. But this new order demands an alternative approach. Our Maison POCs and exhibitions are the laboratories for this new world. The curators are rethinking them along these lines. We want to see more exchanging of best practices, debate, learning, and merging of fo-rums dedicated to the imagination and the construction of ‘halycon days’. We can expect new ways of doing things since face-to-face gatherings will be challenging and perhaps still subject to lockdown measures. Design is a means to resilience, renewable energy, the common good. To plan for sustainability in a post-COVID world, we need to look to many disciplines, all of which have something to offer: from philosophy and economics to history, ecology and technology. As this necessarily inter-disciplinary research is pursued, design has specific strengths that can benefit us all: empathy for human¬kind and for the planet—with which it is inextricably linked; creativity—we need to think way outside the box; the pursuit of cross-fertilisation—our major exhibitions are a testament to this; the experimental method; the willingness to do something and come up with concrete solutions, above and beyond orders from on high and core values, at the same time as imagining future behaviours.



social label