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History

Two centuries of history, a unique educational model, and an international outlook that encompasses more than 130 partnerships with the best universities, top cultural institutions, and the most innovative businesses around the world... These factors place the School within a select group of major art and design institutions.
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A distinguished position in the history of creation and design in France

The École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs was founded in 1766 and occupies a distinguished place in the history of creation, decorative arts, and design in France.

It was officially opened in 1767 by letter patent of King Louis XV. Its goal was to develop arts-related professions and thereby to increase the quality of industrial products. In 1823, it became the École royale de dessin et de mathématiques en faveur des arts mécaniques (the Royal school of drawing and mathematics to promote mechanical arts). Over time, its original goal became more precise and its ambitions better established.

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After several name changes, the School became the École nationale des arts décoratifs in 1877 and the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in 1925.
Starting in the 1930s, it incorporated new fields, especially the graphic arts. In 1932, the graphic artist Cassandre created a course on advertising posters, open to the general public.
Under the impetus of director Léon Moussinac, postwar instruction focused on interior architecture.

In 1962, his successor, Jacques Adnet, called on Roger Tallon to create a program in what was still known as "industrial aesthetics" at the time, thereby establishing what became France's first industrial design curriculum. In 1966, Jean Widmer brought about a similar revolution in graphic arts, which was to become visual communication.

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw other big changes. Under the direction of Michel Tourlière, some disciplines took on new importance, while other new ones emerged: fashion design, textiles, photography, stage design, video, furniture, and computer graphics.

Richard Peduzzi was director from 1990 to 2002. During that period, the School reinforced its professional approach and anticipated the computer revolution by being one of the very first art schools to include multimedia in its curriculum. From 2002 to 2008, the School was directed by Patrick Raynaud.

Since 2009, Geneviève Gallot has been the director of the School. It now includes 10 departments of specialization and with its broad international outlook enjoys many partnerships with major foreign art and design schools, top cultural institutions, and some of the most innovative businesses.
Educational reforms have been instituted in order to bring the School in line with the European harmonization of higher education curriculums (the Bologna Process). In 2010, the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs diploma was recognized as Master's level.

In 2011, the School became a member of the research university Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL).

In 2012, the School created a research and creation-based PhD program in art, SACRe, in partnership with the ENS, the CNSMDP, the CNSAD, and the École des Beaux Arts. That same year, the École des Arts Déco became a member of the Conférence des Grands Écoles.

Former students of the School include famous figures such as Charles Garnier, Hector Guimard, and Henri Matisse, as well as major creators in the contemporary art scene: Philippe Apeloig, Ronan Bouroullec, Mohamed Bourouissa, Jean-Paul Goude, Annette Messager, Anri Sala, Jérôme Savary, Jacques Tardi, Xavier Veilhan, Zao Wou Ki, Yiking Yin, and others.

In the heart of Paris, a major public institution of higher education, under the authority of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication

The School has been located in state-owned buildings on the Rue d'Ulm, in Paris, since 1928. Its facilities were recently modernized by the architect Luc Arsène-Henry, the designer Philippe Starck, and the landscape architect Pascal Cribier. That renovation work, completed in 2004, has strengthened both the School's architectural image and its strong association with its historic location on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, in the heart of Paris.
The École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs is a major public institution of higher education, under the authority of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Its purpose is "the artistic, scientific, and technical training of creators capable of designing and developing any production in the various disciplines of the decorative arts, as well as the development and carrying out of research in these disciplines."
The School is heir to a long tradition. Over the ages and generations, it has always shown itself to be a pioneer, through its ongoing contribution to the history of contemporary creation. As a center of innovation and research, it currently trains the most talented artists and designers in 10 fields of creation.

Innovation and research to meet the challenges of the 21st century

The École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs is developing an ambitious research program in the form of EnsadLab, its research laboratory.

EnsadLab is a specific center for reflection and research on established or emerging fields of creation and innovation, in relation with the social, economic, technological, political, industrial, and cultural contexts of the contemporary world.

Since 2011, the School has been a member of the research and higher-education university formed by "Paris Sciences et Lettres – Quartier Latin," which brings together 20 higher-education and research institutions (including the Collège de France, the ENS, the ESPCI, the Observatoire de Paris, the Institut Curie, and others).

The School became a member of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles in 2012.