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Presentation of the federation

The Federation of Recuperatheques is an association whose objectives are spreading the “Recuperatheque” model, accompanying and linking initiatives, and cultivating and promoting ecological innovations.

Spreading the “Recuperatheque” model in all European creation schools. This advocacy involves raising awareness by a didactic presentation that sets out to reveal the problems of reuse by different medias: Posters campaigns in schools, some articles in the press, social networks and our participation in some events in link with the artistic education or with the environment.

Accompanying the construction of new projects and the sustainability of each Recuperatheques year after year. The Federation provides different tools (websites, starting kit, mobile app) which facilitates the logistic setting-up of a Recuperatheque. In addition, the Federation proposes personalised accompaniments by different respondents for each area and some interventions (conferences, workshops, set up follow). Furthermore, each year, we organise an annual awareness campaign over the reuse, focused on a particular material, by highlighting its environmental impacts, its life cycle analysis and how to use it better.

Linking by building schools and students network with Recuperatheques’s worth, like that the students can meet them and relate about their own experiences. Each year we organise or “Annual gathering of Recuperatheques” in one “novice” school to help it: for example, by building adapted furniture for the Recuperatheque, by sharing successful experiences from previous projects, and by reflecting together on different challenges that the establishment may have. Moreover, this event creates a link with the school administration to help with the project anchorage.

Apart from these meetings, the contact permanent through the availability of an online platform for exchange and by sharing all information online.

Cultivating new knowledge on materials, new techniques and ways to create. By making the ecological transition an engine of creation and an object of research, the Recuperatheques are laboratories that create new forms of learning and constantly reinvent themselves. 

By linking students’ practices during RARes, new uses of reuse circulate among creators, inventiveness is stimulated, and awareness of the role of reuse in creation is raised. During the ROARs and RARes, our members rethink the art school and our society alongside researchers, teachers, artists, actors of the Social & Solidarity Economy.

Promoting ecological innovations and practices related to ecodesign: in addition to encouraging circularity reflexes in the use of materials, we wish to disseminate inventive and innovative sustainable practices within the creative world through the ROARs and RARes. 

During the RARes, the Federation makes the research and creation of our members visible through exhibitions, roundtable sessions and the publication of a magazine. We make sure to centralize in the same locality the guest creators and their partners, while challenging preconceived ideas about contemporary creation by reusing it and opening it to a wider public. The goal is to envisage new possibilities by combining local craftsmanship and techniques of reuse to create new ways of acting within the ecological transition.

Our team

Olivier Milis

Co-founder, Development Officer and Accompanist in schools

Passionate by the materials life cycle, in 2015 he co-founds the first Recuperatheque in Beaux-Art, Lyon. After his masters in “design d’espace” in ENSBA Lyon, Olivier realises a civic service in “la Réserve des arts” in Paris to learn more about the development potential in the re-use sector and in the creating sector.

In 2017, following the enthousiasm towards the “Recuperatheque” model, he co-founds the Federation of Recuperatheques. Now he gives all his time to the Federation and assists starting Recuperatheque as well as existing ones.

Furthermore, he follows with Margot Souren a project accelerator program in Coopcity, in Brussels.

Esther Coillet-Matillon

Responsible for artistic, cultural and educational development 

Graduated with a “DNESP Art” in 2016 form “ENSBA” in Lyon, Esther is an artist and a plastic art teacher. 

Her artistic work questions the artwork life cycle and its anchoring in its origin place by the materials and the gestures which constitute it. During all her studies, she makes collective projects. “Les APARTèS” in partnership with “Bde” from “EM LYON”, an exhibition cycle in apartment which she is the expository Commissioner of and “La Recuperatheque” that she co-found in 2015. She gets involved in different administrative bodies from her school and “ANdÉA”. The subject of her dissertation was the collective and the participative pedagogic in art school. She continues her research and gets involved with the Federation as coach for the Recuperatheques that are in transition or already in operation. Actually, Esther develops the “RARes”, Artistic Residences of the Recuperatheques.

Amandine Enjolras

Graphic designer

Independent graphic designer and illustrator, Amandine likes to enrich her creativity by engaging in different artistic and cultural projects. After her graphic design studies, she starts as a creator in 2017 with the name “Rose-Berry”. Environmentally conscious, she organises some zero-waste workshops at home in her district. After a first experience in the cultural voluntary sector for 9.7 where she was the graphic designer to communicate over the Rap events, today, she joins the Federation carried by envy to share, develop and enrich her practice and reconnect with the creation schools.

Emma De Meira


Activist for social; environmental currently a student at “ENSATT” in administration for the performing arts, Emma gets involved in the Federation adventure to explore more precisely the art and cultural place in the ecological and social struggle. She wants to share her skills and knowledge (current and future) in administration in order to bring the Federation to life and to build the foundation of a different society, combining inventiveness and growth.

Marion Legrand


Former student of the ESAD of Saint Etienne and former interior architect. Now a teacher of Applied Arts for professional schools. Marion has always tried to conciliate her interest with the important need for ecology in life with her passion for art. The Federation is an opportunity to both conciliate and reconnect with the art schools, which are an inexhaustible source of inspiration and wealth. Her experience as a student in a fine arts school, as an interior architect and as a teacher could leverage the Federation.

Margot Souren

Responsible for the European development 

Graduated in “arts plastiques, visuels et de l’espace” in 2019 in « ESA Saint-Luc » Brussels. Margot Souren wrote the first thesis on Recuperatheques that was nominated for a Hera Thesis Award in 2020. For her final project, she creates a Recuperatheque in her school and got the “Zero Waste Student Challenge” price. Today she works for an independent company in the field of interior design from reused materials and furniture. She gets involved in the Federation with one goal: extend the model to Europe.  

Samuel Mecklenburg

Responsible for partnerships and Photographer

A promoter of numerous student projects within his school, student representative in “ANdEA” for several years, and elected to “CNESERAC”, he helped for creation of the first Recuperatheque in “Beaux-Art” in Lyon. After to get his “DNA Art” in 2018, Samuel has a Master’s degree in Space Design from ENSBA Lyon and is working to re-found the ‘Maison de l’écologie’, an experimental third site in Lyon of which he is president. In 2018 he gets involved in the Federation of Recuperatheques  where he takes care of the partnerships. His work, halfway between Arts and Design, deals with issues and the risk of systemic collapse.

Coaching offers

The Federation has as mission to accompany the Recuperatheques during the starting and continuation to ensure the sustainability of the project. That’s why we have different coaching offers detailed below. 


The launch of a Recuperatheque is an ambitious project. This requires a significant investment in time and energy. This can discourage students if they’re the only ones in the making of the project. The Federation could note that a follow up when the project is starting, could help to shape the project in an effective and realistic framework, all that in a short delay (5 months). 

We propose and recommend the schools to introduce the Recuperatheque’s creation in their pedagogic project. For example, the Fourmilière at ULB in Brussels was realized in 4 months thanks to the help of a professionnal of re-use

To help for an efficient and rapid launch of new Recuperatheques, the Federation therefore offers tailor-made support for each school.

It includes 45 training hours over 5 months. A coach from the Recuperatheques’s Federation will make the process easier (introduce the model, local currency and organise the time and the tasks).

The trainer will serve as a link between the project, the teachers and the administration.

It will contribute to implementing and to setting up an effective link between students and the school. 

The tailor-made support would finish by a workshop week where the students and the accompanying person will finalize the operation of the Recuperatheque and will furnish the local together with reusable materials.


For the Recuperatheques in operation, the Federation proposes an annual following up. The experience proves that in the school context if a student initiative can be rapidly developed, the sustainability is not ensured, especially if the student team is changing.

 If the “Recuperatheque” model provides different ways to remedy this kind of problems, (for example by creating a link with the local currency or by implementing a procedure for early renewal of the team), this kind of student project can face difficulties. 

This can therefore create different problems like a loss of understanding of the model, an unsuitable location, lack of volunteers to take over, exhaustion of the participants or efficiency problems. The annual follow up aims to prevent these difficulties, to ensure close follow up, on the spot, by e-mail or by phone. The Federation proposes 3 visits during the year at the important moments for a Recuperatheque.


For schools in which are interested in the “Recuperatheque” model and which would like to know more, the Federation proposes their services to organise conferences about the challenges linked to the creation of a Recuperatheque.

For the Recuperatheques in operation which want to go further in their reflections about the reuse, we propose different thematic workshops about the circular economy, collective intelligence, reuse or eco-design.

For all requests for additional information and requests for adapted quotes:


Each year, around October/November the Federation of Recuperatheques organises an “Officials and Annual Gathering of Recuperatheques” (ROAR). This meeting takes place in a school with a “beginner’s” project to give it momentum.

The goals: 

  • Exchange in a friendly atmosphere, create links, enrich yourself, and create a network with all the projects by meeting students who share the same values (sustainable development and his broadcasting, the experimentation and the innovation, the solidarity).
  • Sharing our experience, to enrich each other.
  • Define the Recuperatheques’s requirement to create new tools.
  • Evolve one’s Recuperatheque thanks to a new theme explored each year during the meeting.
Animation Rencontres des Récupérathèques

End of October 2018, the Art and Design school from Saint-Etienne, the Pré-Fabrique and the FABuleuse Cantine welcomed the first Officials and Annual Recuperatheques’s Rendezvous. More than 30 students from 7 schools from France and Belgium were reunited.

The goal of this first meeting is to collectively sketch out what the Federation of Recuperatheques could look like.

Each project presented their particularities and we were able to work together over what the best operation for a Recuperatheque and the Federation would be. We were also honoured to attend a conference from Baptiste Menu, about the “symbiotic design” in the workshop of his collective Open sources. Different sponsors from Lien, “la monnaie locale de Saint-Étienne”, came. We were able to learn a little more about the specificities of a local currency. During the weekend, throughout the event, we enjoyed excellent meals made from unsold items prepared and cooked by La FABuleuse Cantine.

We had chosen ESAD Saint-Etienne as the first venue for this meeting because an enthusiastic team of students wanted to set up a Recuperatheque rapidly. Today it’s done, the Aubenne is born and continues to evolve and grow!

End of October 2019, the Beaux-Arts National school from Lyon and the “La Maison de l’écologie” welcomed the second Officials and Annual Recuperatheques’s Rendezvous which gathered more than 50 students from 13 art schools from France and Belgium.

The goal for this second meeting was creating a favourable environment to unite and create link. The program has responded to the expectations thanks to the diversity and formal and unformal moments. This made it possible to generate real wealth in the exchange and sharing of knowledge.

The knowledge transfer was another goal which was shaped by speaking times dedicated to the sharing of experiences and by some workshops specifically about collective intelligence. We also had different conferences about social and solidarity economy in the reuse and creation sector. A more scientific content  was also brought through a conference about resource depletion. Some artists came to present their work. 

The presentation of each Recuperatheques or the testimony from schools allowed us to evaluate and target the needs of the Recuperatheque to think about new tools to accompany them in the best possible way.

For this second edition, we would like to thanks:

  • The donors who financed a good portion of the food for the students.
  • Student volunteers who cooked, prepared each meal and housed the students.
  • The ENSBA Lyon for their hospitality and the meal offered
  • “la Maison de l’écologie” for the loan of the premises.
  • The « Brasserie du Pilat » as sponsor.
  • Speakers : Guillaume Poignon from “Les Atelier Emmaüs”, Caroline Gomas from “Recup & Gamelles”, Stéphane Pagano, Florestan Groult, Claire Daudin, Cédric Esturillo, Charlotte Denamur.
  • Joanne Boachon form « Mineka » for the generous sharing at her conference. 
  • The cultural Ministry for his financial support
  • And to our volunteer who covered the event, Settar Ozdemir as photographer and Anna Giron as community manager and thanks to Samuel Mecklenburg and Martin Alaya for the spontaneous pictures

Save the date

The third meeting will take place from October 21 to October 24, 2021 at La Cambre in Brussels.



The Artistic Residences of the Recuperatheques

15 students – 5 workshop days – 1 technique – 1 reuse material – 1 artisan – 1 artist – 1 opening – 1 speaking turn – 1 exhibition – 1 review

“Culture as a social vector, launch the dialogue between citizens, territorial actors and future creators.”

La culture comme vecteur social, ouvrant le dialogue entre les citoyens, les acteurs territoriaux, et les créateurs en devenir.


  • Link the artist and reuse 
  • Learn eco-design techniques
  • Show that creation is accessible to all, whatever the financial means from the students.
  • Spread sustainable practices in the creation world.
  • Raise awareness amongst wider public to the material revaluation stake through reuse.
  • Bring closer the creation world with the social link stake and short circuit on the territory.
  • Reduce the social breaking in art school and in the art world generally

With the RARes, the Federation goes further alongside the actors of the future and young creation to implement its five aspects :

          SPREAD, by showcasing the Federation by the program of exhibitions, speaking turns and edition of magazines.
          ACCOMPANY, by offering participating student the possibility to acquire new knowledges in eco-design that they could transmit to others.
        LINK, by reuniting students from different Recuperatheques, who will then be able to exchange about their practices at school, in the Recuperatheque or for themselves.
          CULTIVATE, by pedagogy about reuse within creation, by stimulating the inventiveness and raising awareness of the role of reuse in creation and vice versa. This project of residences will also be an experience of knowledge sharing with the inhabitants of the territory and the users of the place of reception.
          PROMOTE, by opening itself to an outside audience, the students can show their work to a larger audience. Develop the creation by reuse by gathering creators and partners, by demonstrating that reuse and creation are a same social vector enriching the territory.

For Accessibility reasons, the Federation offer the lodging and the dinners during the week. The RARes takes place around spring. The call for projects would be broadcast before. To participate, the candidate would have to sand a motivation letter, a portfolio and a pre-project (individual or collectif) as specified.


An additional mission of the Federation is to simplify the life of its member Recuperatheques. In order to do so, we provide them with various tools.

Here some examples:

  • “La Valise”: a collaborative and limited edition, offered to all the starter Recuperatheques. “La Valise” proposes different guidebooks and tools to facilitate their launch.
  • We propose A member space on our site allowing the sharing of information and to discuss between the different Recuperatheques.
  • Storage furniture layouts suitable for a Recuperatheque
  • A web App to facilitate the inventory in order to establish an automatic online catalogue