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museum of decorative Arts and Design

musée des Arts décoratifs

et du Design de Bordeaux

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39 rue Bouffard,

33000 Bordeaux

The museum is closed but the activity continues. Follow the museum's team during the works.

▲ The madd-bordeaux starts its metamorphosis in 2023▲

During its closure, from 2023 to 2025, the museum offers a rich program in the city and online

More informations

exhibition design

Playground - Le design des sneakers

from 20.06.2020
to 07.03.2021

Basketball shoe, tennis shoe, trainer or sneaker, regardless of the name, they have influenced the way we live, and the way we dress, since the early 20th century. Worn by millions of people the world over, sneakers have, in just a few decades, become a mass-market product that transcends gender, age, and social and cultural background. But how did a simple sports shoe make the leap from the pitch to become a genuine fashion accessory or even a piece of art ? With over 600 pairs, films, archive documents, photos and personal accounts, the exhibition will present all the facets of this iconic object, from its success with New York breakdancers to the cutting-edge technological research that goes on with that.

Through a selection of around fifty emblematic iconic models from 1900 to the modern day, the visitors discover the key markers of what constitutes the history of the sneaker. Worn by sports stars, demonstrating breakthrough technological innovation, promoted by famous rappers or skaters, or produced by major fashion designers, stylists or iconic artists – each of the selected models has a story to tell. They reflect a moment in time, an era or a social phenomenon.

Then the exhibition allows visitors to discover the story behind this rise. Long the preserve of the sporting arena, sneakers gradually expanded beyond this field to play a major role in urban culture and fashion. The transfer from sport to street is closely linked to emerging counter-cultures in the United States and Europe in the 1970s. Symbols of rebellion against conformity, tools of distinction for hip-hop and break-dancing icons, or of social and cultural affirmation for certain minorities, sneakers could soon be found on everyone’s feet. But the archetypal democratic sneaker becomes in the 1980s the object of all desire. Prices flame and Sports Illustrated magazine headlined “your sneakers or your life” in the 1990s. Films, photos and testimonies trace this dazzling success.

The second part of the exhibition will look back at the key innovations that have shaped the history of the sneaker industry since its inception. Visitors will discover the research carried out by major brands’ dedicated departments that, for many years, have been engaged in a race to bring new technologies to market. This trend today addresses the imperatives of ethical fashion and sustainability and inspires the imagination of students at leading fashion schools.

Key figures in the world of sneakers will take centre stage, including collectors (so-called “sneakerheads”) and designers who have contributed to the biggest successes – names like Jacques Chassaing, designer at adidas since 1981 and the brains behind the Forum basketball shoe, among others, and Tinker Hatfield, the designer of the Nike Air Max 1 and the ultra-famous Nike MAG from the film Back to the Future Part II.

With the participation of major brands archives and reference institutions, more than 60 lenders and more than 600 pairs and documents presented, Playground is the first exhibition of this scale in Europe to present this cultural phenomenon.

The catalogue of the exhibition

Published in French and in English (madd-bordeaux and Norma Editions), the exhibition catalog brings together articles and interviews from specialists in sneakers, fashion, dance and sustainable development: Patrick Bolze et Félix Willenbrik (BASF), Jacques Chassaing, Jason Coles, Arnaud Dedieu, Pierre Demoux, Arthur Fosse, Thomas Huot-Marchand, Annabelle Laurent, Samuel Mantelet, Bill McInnis, Peter Moore, Patricia Reymond, Constance Rubini, Alexandre Samson, Oliver Stratford, Alexander Taylor, Etienne Tornier et Marie-Christine Vernay.

256 pages - 39 € - On sale at the museum and on the Norma Editions website

This catalogue is published with the support of Château Lafite Rothschild

Graphic design by Anna Toussaint

Online opening on Instagram : Friday 19 June at 7pm

Free entry until August 31: To make your visit pleasant, the madd-bordeaux team has implemented various precautionary measures.

Guided tour in english on demand +33 5 56 10 14 05

Information: Opening hours, prices, guided tour




In accordance with sanitary specifications, many offline and online events correlated to the exhibition are being programmed such as concerts, DJ sets, meetings, entertainment, workshops for children, and sports meetings with the JSA Bordeaux Métropole Basket, on a basketball court in the museum's main courtyard.


► Exhibition booklet (French / English)

Given free of charge to each visitor or downloadable on our website.

Un terrain de basket dans la cour d'honneur du musée
©©Alastair Philip Wiper

B.A.BA sneakers tour - In French

Saturday and Sunday at 11 am - Without reservation within the limit of the number of places available.

Given the context: introduction by a mediator at the entrance of the exhibition followed by a free visit

The small and big history of sneaker design, through sport, industry, technology and innovation, Hip-Hop and fashion... and the social issues of today and tomorrow.

Free of charge until August 31

From the 1st of September: exhibition rate + 1 €/pers.


Visits for groups (11 to 20 visitors) could only be done on reservation by e-mail:

Given the context: introduction by a mediator at the entrance of the exhibition followed by a free visit

For French and English-speaking visitors:

► B.A.BA sneakers tour – (French or English)

Monday, Thursday, Friday between 11:30 am and 4 pm

Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 2pm

Duration 1h - By reservation only

The small and big history of sneaker design, through sport, industry, technology and innovation, all urban cultures, music, fashion... and the social issues of today and tomorrow.

Until 31 August: free of charge

From the 1st of September: exhibition rate /pers + 50€ / 65€ per group

For Social Centers and Recreational Centers for children and young people this summer:

► Sprint tour of the exhibition + basketball court reservation

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 11:30 am and 4 pm

Duration 1h30 - By reservation only

Free of charge all the year long


► Preview visit of the exhibition

Friday 19 June 2020, free of charge by reservation only.

In presence of the designer Mathieu Lehanneur, exhibition scenographer.

► Game Booklet for kids to discover the exhibition in a fun way

Given the context, we invite you to bring your own material (markers, scissors and tubes of glue) and to download the game booklet below:

« Le design des Air Jordan »
©Alastair Philip Wiper

Games and manipulations in the rooms

Especially for the young audience, but the whole family will certainly enjoy it: memory, quizz, lacing and colouring.

Given the context, we invite you to download the workshops and games online.

« Sneakers Papertoys » workshop to customize you favourite sneaker

Choose your favourite sneakers among three designs and follow the instructions to create a 3D shoe. It is your turn to design the most original one !

To star the workshop, download the instruction and your favourite sneakers: Nike Air MaxPuma Clyde or Adidas Superstar.

These papertoys are a collaboration with Erwan Chansou, graphic designer at FootLocker Europe.

“Memory Match games” workshop to learn more about sneakers:

Before becoming an everyday life outfit, the sneakers were mostly worn for sports activities. The athletes have different needs according their practice. With their diverse shapes and material, the sneakers reflect the close relationship between design and sport performance.

With these memory match games, children will associate pairs and understand the specificities of four different sports: tennis, skate, basketball and running.

Running Memory Match games

Basketball Memory Match games

Skate Memory Match games

Tennis Memory Match games

«Draw yourself in sneakers » workshop to let your imagination run free

With this workshop, children will discover two topics of the exhibition: sports and ecology. Drawing and colouring are on the program. With iconic pair at their feet, they will be free to draw them-selves in many situations.

To start the workshop, download the pdf here.

Play it like Jordan! A basketball court has been set up in the museum's main courtyard.

Accessible to all within its availability. Free loan of balloon (please bring your ID at the reception).

► maddbirthday - Every Wednesday and Saturday at 3.30 pm - By reservation only

Visit the exhibition, play basketball or make papertoys and share a birthday cake made by the museum's restaurant.

Reduced rate for members of the madd Junior Team (10€ per year) Reservation and information



► Basketball initiation: a basketball court in the courtyard

3x3 basketball court: 3x3 is a variant of basketball in which teams have three players each instead of five. Since 2011, the International Basketball Federation has held annual competitions and, in 2020, it becomes an Olympic sport. The madd-bordeaux is organising a whole series of events with the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Basketball League and the French Federation of Basketball.

Free event open to everyone

In order to enforce precautionary behaviours

11 July : 10am - 6pm Women's 3x3 tournament organised by Ballistik

14 July : 10am - 6pm Men's tournament organised by Ballzone

15 August :10am - 6pm Women's tournament - Regional Final 

16 August :10am - 6pm Men's tournament - Regional Final 


► Exhibition tour + teachers' meeting: June 24 and September 30 at 4pm

By reservation only:

► "Un designer au lycée" program

A project throughout New-Aquitaine that offers high school students the opportunity to meet famous designers and become familiar with design.

More information:

► Pedagogical file


Much more in september

In September 2020, a lot of events online and offline will be planned: meetings and conferences (Thursdays of the madd), a study day dedicated to eco-responsibility, customization workshops, activities for kids, Dj sets, hip-hop shows, etc...


Constance Rubini

Assisted by Étienne Tornier


Mathieu Lehanneur

Assisted by Arthur Fosse

Graphic design

Anna Toussaint


In order to provide the expertise and knowledge of specialists and collectors in this field, an artistic committee has been constituted, under the coordination of Constance Rubini.

- Jacques Chassaing, footwear designer at Adidas since 1981. He is the designer of several iconic models such as the Forum basketball shoe and the Running ZX.

- Pierre Demoux, author of L'Odyssée de la Basket (Éditions La tengo, 2019) and journalist at LesÉchos since 2009.

-  Thibaut de Longeville, sneakers specialist, author of the documentaries Sneakers, le culte des baskets and Air Force 1 : Le Documentaire presented in the exhibition. Founder of the 360creative, audiovisual production company and graphic design agency based in Paris.

- Samuel Mantelet, expert in sneaker culture, consultant in marketing and communication and co founder of the association Sneakers EMPIRE .

- Teddy Sanches, designer and artistic director. Winner of the Audi Talents 2019, director of a film produced for the exhibition on the connections between Hip Hop culture and sneakers.

- Alexander Taylor, industrial designer and consultant for Adidas since 2008. He has developed the Primeknit technology and has been involved in the brand's collaboration with the environmental organization Parley for the Oceans.

Stan Smith, Adidas, 1978
Signed by Stan Smith
Musée National du Sport, Nice – madd-bordeaux
©Alastair Philip Wiper

The museum wants to warmly thank

Château Haut-Bailly,

mécène d’honneur

The lenders of the exhibition

Adidas - Alexandre Blum - American Library in Paris - Archives Balenciaga, Paris - Archives Givenchy - Archives Mugler - Arnaud Dedieu - Arnaud Daroux - ASICS France - Aurélie Julien Collectible - Barbara Motylinska & Zuzanna Gronowicz - Bellamy, Peter - Bally Schuhmuseum, Schönewerd - BASF SE, Allemagne - Bibliothèque Mériadeck, Bordeaux - CAMPER - Centre de documentation Mode – Musée des Arts décoratifs, de la faïence et de la mode, Marseille - Centre national des arts plastiques - Chloé - Christophe Guberan - Citadium Bordeaux - CND Centre national de la danse - Collection LOUIS VUITTON - Collection Patrimoine CHANEL, Paris  - Converse archives - Corail - ECOALF - Ector - Emmanuel Chamant - Faguo - Helmut Fischer - Jean-Louis Froment - Gauthier - Geordie Govaere  - Helen Kirkum - HERMES - Igwe - Jen Keane - Jules Mas - Julien Chaintreau - Karim El Hmouzi - Le Coq Sportif - Le Musée Olympique, Lausanne - Léo Turcat - Martha Cooper - Martin Sallières - Morgan Remy - Musée national du Sport, Nice - Musée de la Fédération Française de Tennis - New Balance - Nicolas Malinowsky - Northampton Museum and Art Gallery - ON - Pierre Dartiguelongue - Pierre Hardy - Pierre-Henri Foulon - Prada - Puma - Reebok - Richie Roxas - Rick Owens - Samuel Mantelet - Samuel Pearce - Sébastien Abes - Shani Bru - Recouture - Sneakers Museum, Marseille - Studio Marc Newson Ltd, Londres - Tex Lacroix - Thaïs Hourbette - Thibaut de Longeville - Thomas Decktwo Dartigues - Tiago Escada Ramos - VEJA - Vibram

The partners of the exhibition


Bordeaux Métropole

Etablissement Public d’Aménagement Bordeaux-Euratlantique

Institut national de l'audiovisuel (INA)

InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hôtel

Hôtel Cardinal

Le réseau TBM

Marty Sports

SNCF Gares & Connexions



The partner of the catalogue

Château Lafite Rothschild

The associative and cultural partners

Fédération Française de Basket-Ball

La FIMEB (Fédération inter-associative des musiques Electroniques)

Formation professionnelle Rêvolution


JSA Bordeaux

Lâche-moi les baskets

Ligue Nouvelle-Aquitaine de Basket-Ball

Sneakers Empire

The media partners

Junkpage magazine

Le Site de la Sneaker

For their fidelity, the museum would also like to thank

Château Nairac

Farrow & Ball

Les Crus Bourgeois du Médoc

La société de négoce DIVA

Station Ausone

The Friends and the Circle of the madd

Theseus Spikes, Puma, 2008
Signed by Usain Bolt, gold medal at Beijing Olympic Games (100m), 2008
PUMA archive – madd-bordeaux
©Alastair Philip Wiper