Centre Pompidou Metz, Ecoletopie, Metz, 2022

Centre Pompidou-Metz, France

05.02 - 29.08.22



05.02 - 29.08.22
For the exhibition L'Art d'apprendre, une école des créateurs,
the Centre Pompidou Metz invited smarin to design a classroom in partnership with the French Ministry of Education.

A pedagogical experiment created by the designers of smarin studio.
Écoletopie is a space for the transmission of knowledge, an environment to be collectively transformed, and
a methodical proposal of practices for the development of fundamental skills such as:

    autotelic activity

    communication beyond verbal language

    the exercise of physical and emotional sensitivity

    somatic awareness

    collective intelligence

The system with which the classroom is equipped is accompanied by a series of practical conversations and several workshops led by the smarin team.
Smarin’s proposal constitutes not only a physical territory, it opens the doors to shared cognitive spaces, uses and behaviours that can be redefined together.
"Whether studious or undisciplined, conformist to institutions or truant, the training of individuals, for both adults and children, always involves a project of social transformation.
Irreducible to a science or a method, the act of teaching and learning becomes for some artists an art form in itself, which can nourish one’s sensitivity and imagination, and is as much a form of awareness as a power to act.”

Hélène Meisel, exhibition curator


Geometric life: a system of construction
To set this collective space in motion, it is necessary to coordinate as a group

Écoletopie is largely composed of smarin’s interactive installation "geometric life".
It is a poly-typological and reversible construction-system of furniture: it is light, durable and prioritises comfort.

Without nails or screws, this furnishing solution produces highly structural elements such as wall partitions, desks or sofas: an ensemble of pure material blocks, of fully researched sizes and material densities, these items are handmade in a sustainable production process.

Together, the whole forms a nomenclature of a hypothetical utopian habitat, in which geometry achieves flexibility.

deconstruct and build freely
self-construct a layout based on the needs defined by the class:
who makes the decision? who tidies up? who decides the plan?

The object as a medium for social experimentation:
The object makes the world

The object participates in the production of the surrounding environment
the materials enter into a choreography: from the forest to the cleat, from the field to the reel
People also follow: work, businesses, money
The object makes the world


La sChaise: the bouncing seat
Transformation through praxis

Sedentary lifestyles create hyper-prolonged sitting situations that are toxic over time

The smarin studio re-examines two fundamental actions with the aim of transforming habits:

- sitting, with an ergonomic bouncing chair, the Schaise
- breathing, with a light that switches on and off at the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation, the Kairos

The objects and devices installed in the "transported classroom" incite an exploration of the biomechanical possibilities of the body, postures and gestures that are more appropriate to human physiology.

The objectives of this proposal are to cultivate a bodily awareness and to develop new gestures which will, in turn, be adopted and enriched by expressive invention.


the Game: sensitive and free experimentation
Autotelic activity

Ecoletopie contains a game which should be played regularly, as a space free for the sensual exploration of forms, materials and colours.
It is an open-ended activity aimed at developing our physical and mental sensitivity.

Entering the "flow" is a way of reaching a neurological state that is void of motivational conflicts, that allows a person to reorder their mental state so as to practice a form of psychic negentropy.
The game consists of cards and a thousand pieces of unique materials, shapes and colours. It is practiced in silence, to assemble freely and incites a time of concentration.
It allows one to deepen notions of measure, density, fragility, scale, balance, and signs.
Aesthetic interactions make it possible to explore other methods of transmitting information that goes beyond the use of verbal language.

the Polyvalence meeting from ADAGP with Stéphanie Marin about Ecoletopie to go further

écoletopie will continue the start of the school year for 2023

at the Saint Charles school in Monaco

september 23 - february 24