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Our central conviction that a mix of cultures, approaches, skills and backgrounds is needed gives birth to the basic principles that structure all of our workshops:

Blending diversities

We always embrace the challenge of bringing together participants from a range of different backgrounds, ages, cultures and disciplines.

Freedom of proposal

This is the deal with the local authorities: the teams participating in Les Ateliers workshops have complete freedom of proposal. As participants are always involved on a voluntary basis, there is no contractor/client relationship, and teams are encouraged to voice their individual convictions.

Obligation to produce

Freedom of proposal is directly linked to a strong requirement for an end product. Therefore each workshop produces a significant amount of analysis and many ideas, which are always illustrated and justified.

A contributing jury

The teams are motivated by the prospect of presenting their proposals to a high-profile international jury. This jury has no role to judge or to rank the teams – a workshop is not a competition. The jury’s role is rather to be a contributor to the collective process of the workshop, by identifying within the overall output, the elements of analysis and ideas which are the most relevant, useful and can be implemented by the local authorities and their partners.

The role of the artists

Les Ateliers are convinced that artists make a significant contribution to how cities evolve, are created and built. We therefore collaborate with artists throughout each workshop, enabling them to contribute to the engaging processes which involve posing questions and making proposals.

Coproduction / exchange forum

During the whole process of a workshop from the beginning until the end, we always work in collaboration with local professionals, local authorities and their partners. During the workshop, exchange forums are held which enable the sharing of knowledge and ideas, allowing the teams to present their ideas, strategies and proposals.

Warmth and fun!

Les Ateliers is an intense working experience. Participants are involved between two to four weeks on a challenging topic and with people from many different backgrounds. However, it is also a very powerful experience, reaching beyond borders, and in a warm, friendly and hard-working environment.

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