Centre international d’art verrier
Company name: CIAV
Company size: NGO/NPO
Company web site:
Nr. of Employees: <20

Case summary:
The CIAV story is the one of a local community that mobilized itself to recreate a tradition of Innovation. While the glass industry has been losing jobs and closing down factories, a small village got its name back on the map of glass Design. Design is at the core of the project and the key factor for success. The CIAV has used top designers to build a solidDesign Culture and attitude that drives all its actions and projects. It has been approached by Design schools to organize glass workshops, and it supports carefully selected young designers. Through this extensive experience, the CIAV developed Process Innovation that can be adopted by industry. Its mission is also to ensure that existing skills do not vanish. The CIAV has recreated a Market for Christmas glass baubles that disappeared in 1964.

Until recently, the name of Meisenthal was familiar to art nouveau collectors and afficionados, as Emile Gallé had a significant part of his glass work manufactured in the small village of that name. But since the creation of the CIAV (Centre International d’Art Verrier –International Centre for Glass Art) in 1992, Meisenthal is rebuilding its fame and reputation.

An ordinary tale…
Seven villages in the neighbourhood of Bitche, in Lorraine, are home to 8500 inhabitants. For centuries, the main activity has been glass and crystal ware. But in the last 50 years, about 3000 jobs were lost. In 1969, Meisenthal’s glass factory closed down, as the conclusion of a continuous loss of market share.
In 1981, a small museum was set up in one of the buildings and started to collect glass pieces that showed the skills developed by Meisenthal’s glass masters…

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