A Streetcar Named Design 2019



UNESCO City of Design Saint-Etienne have launched an exciting global competition open to students studying at design universities from all 31 UNESCO Cities of Design which includes us! They are asking for proposals designing the exterior of one of the Saint-Etienne trams, which will be put into service during the 11th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne (launching in March 2019).


The city’s tramway is an integral part of their identity which is responsible for transporting 80,000 passengers per day! The prize of €5,000 will be presented to the winning student during the Biennale 2019 who will be given press/media coverage whilst there. This is a fantastic opportunity for current students @ Abertay University or University of Dundee. The proposals must be sent to Eric Laisne, Communication Director of the STAS ( eric.laisne@reseau-stas.fr ) before the 31 January 2019 and make sure to read the details below from this link. Good luck!



The Société de Transport de l’Agglomération Stéphanoise, or STAS, runs the public transport system on behalf of district authority, Saint-Étienne Métropole. With 72 regular lines including 3 tram lines, the STAS transports over 46 million passengers every year across an area covering more than 720 sq. km.

Saint-Étienne is one of the very few cities in France to have always kept its trams since they were first introduced. The tram network has operated without interruption since its creation in 1881 and is an integral part of Saint-Étienne’s heritage.

Thus, Saint-Étienne’s trams are part of the district’s identity as well as very much a part of what’s happening there now. This is why the STAS is a partner of the Métropole and helps it to publicise its major events. On several occasions it has used the trams as a medium of communication covering them in the colours of landmark events (all over wrap advertising). See illustrations.


The CAF trams:

In 2017, a number of new trams came into service in Saint-Étienne, larger and notable for their special design.
Built by CAF, these 16 “new generation” trams offer today’s passengers maximum comfort: ergonomic seats, warm materials, air conditioning, high- performance video protection system, audible and visual passenger information and WiFi.
Noted for their dimensions and their design inspired by the UNESCO Design City label, they are sure to make an impression on several generations of travellers.


The Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial:

Next March will see the opening of the 11th edition of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne. It is expected to welcome 230,000 visitors keen to discover the thousand and one facets of design. Professionals, the general public and students from all walks of life will come together across the Saint- Étienne Métropole district and its multiple exhibition sites. Covered by 1,800 local, national and international media outlets, this event makes Saint-Étienne the place to be next spring for all those interested in Design. As one of the Biennale’s historic partners, the STAS wishes to take advantage of the event to launch the competition for students at the design schools in the UNESCO Creative network’s Design Cities and generate media coverage for the work produced by the best of them.



This competition is intended for students or groups of students in the 4th or 5th year of design courses at design schools in the Design Cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities network in the 2018/2019 academic year.




The Cité du Design and ESADSE (Saint-Étienne Higher School of Art and Design) organise events throughout the year – exhibitions, meetings between designers and businesses, conferences, open days – and every two years the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne.

The 11th Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial will run from 21 March to 22 April 2019.

Launched in 1998 by the staff of ESADSE, this event is unique in the way it reaches extremely diverse and constantly growing audiences (140,000 visitors in 2013, 208,000 in 2015, 230,000 in 2017): professionals (designers and businesses), the general public, schools and higher education, journalists, etc.

The 11th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne will be taking place on several sites across the Metropolitan district.

The title of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2019 will be:

Designing common ground
The Biennale’s visual identity will be linked to this theme.
For information, the visual identity of the Biennale 2019 has been created, following a consultation process, by the Trafik graphic design agency.

The competition:

The competition concerns the design of an all over wrap for one of the CAF trams, which will be put into service on the occasion of the 11th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne (in March 2019).

The theme:

The competition theme the students will be expected to work on is the baseline of the 11th edition of the Biennale: “Designing common ground”.

Therefore, although “11th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne” must be included in the wrap, the “common ground” theme will be the notion central to all the work produced. This is a theme that is dear to the STAS, which every year carries over 46 million passengers with as many different identities. This means that the notions of “collective”, “coming together” and/or “mixing” must be apparent in the main visual.
As “common ground” will be the central theme of all the work produced, it may be a graphic object, but it may also have a playful dimension if necessary, potentially even a human element. The Biennale trademark must be included in the visual (file in link).

For more information on the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2019 see: https://www.biennale-design.com/saint-etienne/2019/fr/ 3/ TECHNICAL SPECIFICITIES

Based on the document enclosed, the entrant will propose an original creation corresponding to the competition theme. Each proposal must respect the dimensions, surface areas and specific technical details of the tram. The entrant may accompany their entry any supplementary items they deem relevant (samples, views in situation, roughs, etc.).

All the proposals will be considered and judged by a Panel which will choose one to wrap the tram.
The STAS, accompanied by a specialised service provider, will then assist the winning entrant with the production of the visual to be used on the tram.

The visual will be installed under the supervision of the STAS, which reserves the right to make changes to it, in particular on safety grounds (total visibility of certain windows, keeping openings or trapdoors free, etc.).


All creative proposals:

  • Must be owned by you.
  • Must be original (within the legal meaning).
  • Must be duly protected.
  • Must not reproduce or imitate any commercial brand or trademark.
  • Must not create a risk of disputes relating to any rights, distinctive signs or earlier creations belonging to third parties.
  • Must not infringe any intellectual property rights or constitute unfair competition or passing off.
  • Must not be used or exploited by the designer or any third party that has the right to use it without their agreement.


We remind you that you and you alone are responsible for the originality of your creative proposals.

We also remind you that it is your own responsibility to protect your creative work.



Deadline for entries: 31 January 2019, midnight Judging: week of 4 February 2019

The entry form and the logo “11e Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne” can be downloaded from:


Entries should be posted to:
Concours 2019 “Un tramway nommé design, 11ème édition de la Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne”, Eric LAISNE
Deadline for submission of entries: 31 January 2019

Entry packages must include the following items:

  • –  The entrant or entrants’ contact details: surname, first name, e-mail address, telephone number.
  • –  A conceptual note containing a comprehensive presentation of the project, drawings and/or photos, dimensions, materials and any explanations

necessary to the clear understanding and appreciation of the project.
– A A4 card summarising the project: this card will be given to the judges before the meeting so that they can prepare for it. It must contain all the

essential items (texts and visuals) enabling an appreciation of the project.
– ACDor USB stick containing all the items making up the project, and in particular

1. A pdf file of the A4 summary card,
2. HD files of the different visuals for the project,
3. A summary visual of the project in HD or PDF format that is sufficiently explicit to be able to be used alone on the website where the public can vote, if necessary.

The visuals must therefore be copyright free.

It must also be stated whether mock-ups or prototypes are available; these may be asked for during the final selection phase.
A designer may enter more than one project. They may also enter in groups or individually as long as each project is entered only once.
Given the number of entries, please note that the entry packs cannot be re

turned to the entrants and that incomplete entries will not be put to the judges. The entries/projects that do not win the competition will not be disseminated outside the judging panel.



– Graphic proposal linked to the theme The projects will be assessed on:

  • The innovative and forward-looking character of the project proposed,
  • Originality, creativity and relevance to the 11th edition of the Biennale,
  • Staging and story-telling.



The panel of judges will meet in Week 6 of 2019 (from 4/02 to 8/02) The judges will choose one winner. The prize is 5,000 euros.

The panel of judges will be made up of:

  • 1 person representing the STAS
  • 1 person representing the Cité du Design/Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne
  • 1 person representing ESADSE
  • 1 professional designer
  • 1 person representing a company partnering the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2019



The prize will be presented to the winner during the Biennale 2019.
The winning student selected by the panel of judges will receive a cheque for 5,000 euros. The winning entrant will be given coverage from the media/press covering the Biennale.

The winning visual will be unveiled on the occasion of the Biennale and installed on one tram for an indeterminate length of time (an agreement will be signed assigning the rights).

The winner will authorise the Cité du Design and the STAS to publish a description of their project in the information and communication tools relating to the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2019 as well as in all the materials illustrating the project.

This provision concerns all institutional materials and those intended for the general public: press packs and press releases, website, videos.