The CCI was established in 1969 as part of the UCAD (Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs), with François Mathey of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Yolande Amic, and François Barré playing key roles in its realization. It was integrated into the nascent Centre Georges Pompidou in 1973 with the aim of further developing a cultural brief that embraced the organization of exhibitions, the issuing of publications, and the development of a design documentation centre. Its design remit encompassed a broad sweep of design disciplines including graphics, the latter evidenced by the work of Swiss designer Jean Widmer, designer of the CCI's founding logo and several posters promoting the organization's activities. Early CCI initiatives included publication of Le design parlera‐t‐il français? and the mounting of its first exhibition, Qu'est‐ce que le design? in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1969. Its Design français exhibition in 1971 also sought to nurture French design, focusing on the work of younger practitioners. Since then the CCI has curated more than 150 design exhibitions such as the 1975 travelling exhibition Du Bauhaus à l'industrie, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, objets quotidiennes (see Wagenfeld, Wilhelm). The Centre Georges Pompidou, incorporating the Public Information Library (BPI), the National Modern Art Museum (MNAM), and CCI opened in 1977, endowing the latter with an increased profile and public presence. In the wider world of design museums and collections the CCI posed some fundamental challenges, suggesting that the significance of design might be better understood through design documentation rather than collecting icons of cultural cachet. Many of those associated with the CCI and its quarterly publication Traverses rejected contemporary leanings towards the Modernist aesthetic and its emphasis on form. For example, the 1980 L'Objet industriel: empreinte ou reflet de la société? exhibition addressed design from three main standpoints—conception, distribution, and consumption—with a complex series of analyses of detailed related concerns. These included such considerations as who buys the product, what is the precise nature of that which is being bought, and what are the reasons for its purchase, the limitations of its use, and the duration of its lifespan. However, following a decree in 1992, the CCI lost its autonomy and was merged with the MNAM, with the aim of creating one of the world's leading collections of arts, architecture, and design. In the same year a Manifeste exhibition programme was mounted at the Pompidou Centre, including the design‐based Manifeste 2, which put on public exhibition the CCI's new permanent design collection, a concept that had been given concrete form in 1991. However, this exhibition also revealed something of a change in outlook from the original questioning and probing of the CCI in its earlier years, comprising (with an added French emphasis) many of the more mainstream icons of 20th‐century design found in design collections elsewhere in the world. Reinforcing this French inflection, in the winter of 1993–4 the CCI organized a retrospective exhibition of one of the most significant French designers of the second half of the 20th century, Roger Tallon. The Pompidou Centre's structure of four departments, one of which combined the MNAM and the CCI, was given a further fresh inflection in 1998 with a commitment to providing enhanced support for creative practice as well as collection development. In 1997 the Pompidou Centre had closed for renovation, reopening in 2000. By the early 21st century the MNAM‐CCI held 1,500 design objects (including drawings and models as well as manufactured products) alongside the work of 4,200 artists and 36,000 examples of the visual arts (including photography and film).
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.