École Duperré, Paris (FR)
The École Duperré was founded in 1864 to train young girls in sewing and the arts. One hundred fifty years later, the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré (Duperré Academy of Applied Arts), as it is now known, is one of the most renowned schools for fashion and textiles as well as interior and graphic design. Its campus, in down- town Paris, welcomes 500 students across those disciplines. In recent years, the school has upgraded its equipment, eager to emphasize its art-school curriculum. USM was chosen for its purity, lightness and modularity. The fashion workshop was the first to be furnished with USM; the computer room was next the following year, then the sewing workshop, the principal’s office, and so on – each according to very particular specifications. Just as fabrics cannot be organized like spools of thread, computer screens cannot be used as sewing machines. “USM’s attentiveness, its understanding of our needs and the relevance of its proposals were all crucial to the success of each workshop,” says Ms. Touil-Dubois, the school’s facility manager. She adds that the storage units are regularly used as exhibition displays for student presentations. The neutrality of the furniture, then, is an additional asset, as it does not upstage the projects on view. This is also why white was preferred over any other color. Using USM, the school creates a harmonious aesthetic in keeping with the Duperré image – an image that never rivals the creativity of its students but rather fosters and highlights it.