According to its current statutes, “The aim of Grand-‐Hornu Images is to promote, restore and manage the historic site of Grand-‐Hornu, as a heritage site in the Province of Hainaut. This management involves the creation of a centre for the long-‐term development of culture, tourism and the local economy.
At the time it was founded in 1984, the object of Grand-‐Hornu Images included many other areas, such as cinematographic, audio-‐visual, IT and stage production, urban planning, cutting-‐edge techniques and musical arts. The missions assigned to the association in order to breathe new life into the former mining site were far too broad at the time. They emanated from the vision of an initial think-‐tank formed in the early 1980s by Claude Ollinger, Jean-‐François Escarmelle, Laurent Busine, Claude Durieux and Françoise Foulon.
Since its establishment, Grand-‐Hornu Images has organised nearly 80 exhibitions and cultural events, including at the outset, such wide-‐ranging exhibitions as for example “The Morgue” by Andres Serrano, Jules Verne, “La Terre vue du ciel” by Yann Arthus Bertrand and “La main de l’homme” by the photographer Sebastiao Salgado. Performances and concerts were also held at Grand-‐Hornu in partnership with the Manège Maubeuge as part of “Inattendus”, often working with its team.
Over the years, under the direction of Françoise Foulon, the programming of Grand-‐Hornu Images soon became oriented towards design, a cultural domain that was then at its height, both in the media and in institutional terms. Following the closure of the Design Centre in Brussels in 1985, the only organisation in Belgium dedicated to contemporary design was the Design Museum in Ghent. The programming at Grand-‐Hornu Images therefore filled a gap in the Belgian landscape. Furthermore, when in the 1990s the French Community of Belgium developed the project to establish its contemporary art museum (the MAC’s) at the Grand-‐Hornu site, the programming of Grand-‐Hornu Images definitively abandoned the disciplines of photography and digital images, to confirm its commitment to design and the applied arts.
On 1st December 2014, Grand-‐Hornu Images will therefore become the CID – Centre for Innovation and Design at Grand-‐Hornu. The principle of innovation lies in the total change of standards and habitual ways of thinking and acting. Through its choices, the CID wants to ask citizens to go beyond their resistance facing what is not familiar, even unknown, and cross what Raymond Loewy, industrial designer, calls the “shock threshold”. This approach is nothing more than a call to open up to the Other.
In concrete terms, the CID has the ambition to promote contemporary design through exhibitions and activities of mediation, that emphasize innovation, experimental research, the emergence of new themes in the area of design, architecture and graphic design. Expressing the diversity of these creative domains, the CID raises public awareness of the culture of design and architecture. It questions, studies and explains this culture while having a dialogue with the designers, with the researchers but also with the citizens.