ENSAD, Higher School of Visual Arts and Design
Ecole nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, Paris
Founded in 1766
Head of institution
Director Marc Partouche
31 rue d'Ulm, FR-75240 Paris, France
Phone +33 1 4234 9700
Fax +33 1 4234 9785
Cumulus Contact person
responsable des relations internationales Frederique Bruelle
31 rue d'Ulm, FR-75240 Paris
Phone +33 1 42349 813, Fax +33 1 4234 9878
Contact person for inquiries on study programs
Frederique Bruelle; +33 1 4234 9813; fax: +33 1 4234 9878 frederique.bruelle[at]ensad.fr
Other contact persons
The National School of Decorative Art's mission arts training scientific and technical ability of designers to design, promote and develop any achievement in various disciplines of decorative arts, conduct and the enhancement of research in these disciplines.
The international nature of the learning experience is key to building a professional future. It is also an opportunity for to test their capacity for innovation and creation in a different cultural context. The École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs therefore facilitates foreign study for its students through the Erasmus programme within Europe and through partnerships with establishments outside Europe. The School works with a network of 87 academic institutions that covers every continent.
The École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs is member of “Paris Sciences et Lettres” (PSL Research University). As such, and in close collaboration with the École Normale Supérieure, the School is developing the new SACRe doctoral program (Sciences, Arts, Creation, Research), the goal of which is to bring together artists, designers, and scientists.
The School’s commitment to innovation was strengthened in 2012 with the creation – in partnership with the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation – of the “Innovation & Expertise” program, the goal of which is to develop innovation and research in art and design as well as multidisciplinary approaches.
EnSAD is also a member of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles.
Another distinctive feature of the EnsAD course is the inclusion of partnerships in the educational process.
Over fifty various partnerships were initiated by the School:
-------- with higher education institutions in France and abroad, including: Sciences Po, École des Mines, École normale supérieure, École nationale supérieure des beaux arts, Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (France); the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design (UK); Aalto University (Helsinki), National institute of design, Ahmedabad (India); etc.
-------- with cultural institutions: Palais de Tokyo, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Centquatre, Centre Pompidou, Musée du quai Branly, Gaîté Lyrique, etc.
-------- with private companies: Haviland, Maison Martin Margiela, AOS Studley et Vitra, Tarkett, International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF)
Thanks to these partnerships, EnsAD students have access to a wide range of specific projects (internships, workshops, exhibitions, events, research projects).
A two-hundred-year history, a unique educational model, and an exceptional openness to the world through 140 partnerships with leading international universities, cultural institutions, and innovative companies, place the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs among the world’s major schools of art and design.
The École des Arts Déco, founded in 1766, the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD) is an institution of higher education under the authority of the French Ministry for Culture and Communication. It offers a wealth of intellectual, creative, and artistic opportunities in a multidisciplinary context of partnership and innovation. With an enrolment of 720 students, French and foreign, the school offers a five-year degree program with a specialization in one of ten departments. The EnsAD degree is recognized as a master’s level qualification.
Faculties and departments
The curriculum of Ensad takes place over five years.
10 departments: Interior Architecture, Art, Animation, Multimedia/Graphic Design, Product Design, Textile and Texture Design, Fashion Design, Printed Images, Photography/Video, Stage Design.
Master level programs
Under the authority of the French government, the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs grants a Master’s level degree (5 years). It is awarded to students who successfully defend a thesis and complete a ‘‘Grand projet’’.
The course is divided into two sections (3 years + 2 years), with the first three years dedicated to acquiring essential techniques and concepts and introducing the project phase, while the final two years provide an introduction to research. The 1st year is a foundation year common to all students at the School. In the 2nd year, students choose their specialist department subject. The 4th year includes a mandatory professional internship, a thesis, and possibly a period of foreign study. The 5th year is dedicated to the ‘‘Grand projet’’ (diploma project).
As part of the course, students also receive general artistic and theoretical instruction (drawing, painting, sculpture, art history, aesthetics, law, new technologies, foreign languages, etc.).
Research activity and main areas
EnsadLab, the School’s Research Laboratory is a specific entity within the School engaged in thinking and research on existing or emerging fields of design and innovation that deal with the social, economic, technological, political, industrial, and cultural issues of today’s world. EnsadLab currently consists of seven doctoral-level research programs covering fields in both design and art such as graphic design and typography; service, product, and spatial design; interactive installations; virtual spaces; new materials; mobility; etc. These programs are directed by research professors, faculty members, and active professionals with the highest level of expertise. The programs include about 50 student researchers, French and foreign, selected by the School and, in some cases, already enrolled in doctoral programs.
EnsadLab is also contributing to the creation of the SACRe (Science, Art, Creation, Research) doctoral program, the goal of which is to encourage close ties between the arts and the sciences.
EnsadLab participates in two “Labex” (Laboratoires d’excellence): “Cultural industries and artistic creation” (IC-CA) in collaboration with Université Paris 3, Université Paris 5, and Université Paris 13; and “Art and Human Mediations” (Arts-H2H) in collaboration with Université Paris 8. It also participates in one European program and two programs supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR), “Mapping environmental debates on adaptation” (MEDEA) and “Collaborative Situated Media” (COSIMA).
Subject areas for exchange students
the ten departement of training
first semester: October until end of January
second semester: February end of June
- Bachelor: n/a
- Master: 140
- Doctorate: n/a
- 45 incoming
- 40 outgoing
- 600 other (continuing education, post-experience courses, other)
- 80 Professors
- 100 Lecturers
- 78 Other permanent teachers
- n/a Part-time teachers