Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, as well as the arts. The City of Paris is the center and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion ($808 billion) in 2017.
École des Ponts ParisTech, created in 1747 under the name École Royale des Ponts et Chaussées, is a higher education establishment that trains engineers to a high level of scientific, technical and general competency. Apart from civil engineering and spatial planning, historically the source of its prestige, the School develops high-quality programs and research associated with the energy transition. The D.School Paris is a department dedicated to teach user centric design approaches to students and companies.
In the course of a full-time academic year, three multidisciplinary teams of four students each, located at d.school and in an institution belonging to the international network headed by Stanford University (including HPI Potsdam in Germany and Aalto University’s Design Factory in Finland), innovate from a real-world brief, with high strategic stakes, brought by an industrial partner and entailing the reinvention of a product/service in a potential growth market.
Over the past years a wide range of design challenges from various companies has been tackled successfully by students from the D.School Paris. In collaboration with students from the HPI our students have reinvented the bathroom experience for the elderly with the project result being available in stores all over France. With our faithful partner Valeo, the whole team has been hired after the project to develop a dedicated innovation lab, the Carlab. Again, with Valeo, we invented a car dashboard for the autonomous vehicle.Finally, with Thales, our students have invented the Firefighter’s helmet of the future which lead to the creation of a startup which won many awards.