The concept of innovation has changed a lot over the years. There is an abundance of literature, particularly since the post-war period, trying to define this notion.
At the dawn of the 4th industrial revolution, in a world undergoing constant technological, environmental and societal change, the term "innovation", because it refers to the values of progress and novelty, is used intensively, even overused, and is declined under a series of terms: open innovation, participative innovation, social innovation, frugal innovation, inclusive innovation, radical innovation, disruptive innovation, etc.
Taking the different variations of the concept of innovation as a narrative arc, this exhibition brings together two 'reservoirs' of technical, industrial, human and societal advances specific to the Grand-Hornu: on the one hand, its design collection (XX-XXIth centuries) and, on the other, its Léon Plaetens archive collection (XVIII-XXth centuries).
Since its creation in 2014, the CID has set itself the task of promoting responsible, non-standard - even militant - and open innovations in the fields of design and architecture to the general public. This forward-looking and discursive vision is reflected both in the programming of the CID's exhibitions and in the acquisitions that follow. In fact, the CID's design collection is oriented, following the general evolution of the phenomena that work in the world of creation, towards objects that value the creative process itself and the new instruments invented in this movement.
The Léon Plaetens historical archive, which includes more than a thousand precious iconographic and textual documents, reflects the many technical and social innovations that were developed in Grand-Hornu, mainly under the influence of its founder, Henri De Gorge.