As part of my job role, I occasionally go on work trips abroad to help set-up design exhibitions. On this occasion I went to Saint Etienne for a couple of days as part of the Biennale Internationale, the exhibition was at Musée de la Mine, an old coal mine which closed in the seventies and has been preserved as Museum. Although I spent most of my time up ladders and positioning lights, I did get a brief chance to explore the town. It was quite a bizarre place; the whole town is built around an old weapons factory – now the main site of the Biennale – and the mine, all at the foot of a man-made mountain of excavated rubble. The museum itself was insane, it literally feels like the miners just up’d and left, all their uniforms were left hanging from the ceiling on chains, and the whole place felt a bit eerie. Saint Etienne being an hour’s drive from Lyon, I was hoping to sample some French cuisine, but all we could manage to find was Italian after Italian, and so all we pretty much ate was pizza, other than when went to the main site canteen – where the food was spot on.