Third workshop on micro-architectures in rural towns

Share on

Launched in 2018 as part of the call for Initial Education projects of the WCI programme, this workshop introduces students from the Ensa Nantes school of architecture and the École de Design Nantes Atlantique (Nantes Atlantique School of Design) to a professional reality rarely addressed in course programmes: collaborative work between architects and interior designers.


This workshop leads the students to pool their skills around micro-architectural projects designed to revitalize the centres of rural towns. This third cycle of the module resulted in the installation of street furniture and full-scale, small urban structures in the public spaces of the town of Argenton-les-Vallées (Argentonnay, Deux-Sèvres department).

An educational project rooted in regional issues

This workshop places the students in a situation of active discussion with the actors of a rural community today questioning the functioning of its public spaces. It engages them in an in-depth reflection to build a full-scale prototype. After getting to know the place and its occupants (elected officials, various associations, local residents), the prototypes represent the concrete expression of intentions. At the same time, the project gives the town tools for reflection and decision support for the development of its centre according to different themes (tourism, heritage, relationship with the Loire River, culture).


An original interdisciplinary approach

This original pedagogical project between students in architecture (short project of the new Master’s level educational programme) and design (Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design) allows for working on the theme of spatial design in an interdisciplinary way. The aim is to bring the two groups of students together around an essential common object of study: matter, or how to understand and use materials in the design and layout of spaces. Thus, the concrete dimension of the project, involving discussions with local actors and the creation of prototypes with feedback from users, allows the students to compare and enrich their working methods and expertise.


Six prototypes developed for the third workshop (2019-2020)

The first workshop took place around the issue of revitalization of the town centre of La Pommeray (Mauges-sur-Loire, Maine-et-Loire department).

The second and third workshops took place in the town of Argenton-les-Vallées (Argentonnay, Deux-Sèvres department). Some 45 students participated in the 2019-2020 workshop. They designed, manufactured and installed six prototypes, which are currently being used and tested by the town’s inhabitants.

  • 28-29 November 2019: work on site, observation and design.
  • 20-24 January 2020: workshop, construction of systems, furniture, micro-architectures, and installation on site.

Module Micro-architectures centre-bourgs 2020 - Le Courrier de l'Ouest - 29/01/20



Sylvain Gasté, ensa Nantes –
Lydie Morand, L’École de design Nantes Atlantique –