About Atelier LUMA

Atelier LUMA is the research design lab of LUMA Arles. It has been based in the Parc des Ateliers in Arles since 2017, and is deeply connected to its geographic and cultural environment. The Arles bioregion is home to rich natural resources and many kinds of know-how, which we investigate, valorize and engage.

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If you would like to contact Atelier LUMA, please send an email to the following address:

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“Atelier LUMA’s mission is to apply a multidisciplinary design approach to the environmental, economic, and social challenges of different territories.”

Maja Hoffmann

Atelier LUMA was founded in 2016. It brings together a team of designers, engineers, scientists, and experts from the fields of culture, craftsmanship, humanities, and social sciences and innovation, who explore the potential of non-extractivist, and often discredited, local materials, such as invasive plants, agricultural coproducts, algae, and industrial waste. 

Housed since 2023 in Le Magasin Électrique, Atelier LUMA operates as a collaborative platform, working with local actors and partners, including farmers, craftspeople, and manufacturers to create sustainable and local solutions. Over the years, Atelier LUMA has expanded its research scope and reach from the Arles bioregion to the international level by taking part in European projects and accompanying other institutions in their research.

A series of implementations of Atelier LUMA’s work can be seen in the Parc des Ateliers. 

For The Tower, Atelier LUMA developed wall cladding panels made of salt naturally crystallized in the salt flats. The sanitary facilities are adorned with bioplastic tiles charged with algae-based dyes and invasive and dye plants, the result of research into local production of bio-sourced and biodegradable plastics. Finally, the walls of the Drum Café are covered with a coating based on sunflower pith, a residual raw material from the sunflower oil industry. 

In The Tower, salt is used in the walls, both in crystallized wall panels and, in combination with concrete, in cladding with evocative black-and-white textures that spans ceilings and corridors.

Le Réfectoire furnishings are the result of Atelier LUMA’s collaboration with designer Martino Gamper and his studio, as well as many local craftspeople and manufacturers. From chairs to wall plaster, from lamps to bench upholstery, the teams have developed, prototyped, and produced a complete range of equipment that puts into practice the research carried out over several years on rice straw, Arles merino wool, invasive and dye plants.

In 2023, Atelier LUMA completed the renovation of Le Magasin Électrique, the building that centralizes its activities, at the end of a three-year pilot and experimental project. 

Conducted in collaboration with BC architects & studies, and Assemble, the renovation project was an opportunity to implement the Lot 8 project, a large-scale applied research for a bioregional architecture, guided by principles of locality of the resources used and sustainability of equipment.

Atelier LUMA is committed to sharing the knowledge gathered through its activities and with its collaborators, by co-producing and participating in exhibitions, workshops, talks and other public events. The team also regularly publishes specific works, such as the book Bioregional Design Practices and the publication Algae Review.

Atelier LUMA publications


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