Rennes, City of Science
Intelligent life. This has been the slogan of Rennes for twenty years. Christopher Couzelin contributes in his own way. It is the essence of a scientific cultural centre.
” We explain, decrypt, popularise and we show how the world works. We give people the taste for knowledge and curiosity. “
Hosted by the Champs Libres, the Science space welcomes 200,000 visitors a year. Schools and families are especially welcome. Researchers also share their knowledge here. ” Rennes is a scientific city with three campuses, a dynamic digital ecosystem, well-attended conferences; do you know any other cities where the science festival lasts fifteen days ? “
The Science Festival
Each autumn, the science space organises a public event over two weeks to present advances in science and the work of researchers. It is Rennes Science Festival. The event is held in the city and in several towns of the metropolitan area. It proposes entertainment, lectures, lab visits, performances, screenings and, above all, entrance is free.
Brocéliande on the outskirts of Rennes
A native of St. Malo, Christopher Couzelin studied medicine and cell biology in Rennes. However, he does not live in the city. “I live in a small village near the Brocéliande forest. I take the TER in the morning and evening. It’s fast. In my countryside, I feel like I am on another planet. It looks like Scotland. Brocéliande Forest is not spectacular in itself but a little fantastic imaginary gives relief to the landscape. “
However, Christopher is always happy to see his city. “Rennes has all the advantages of a big city without the drawbacks.” Specifically? “There is a metro, several universities, a large library and more. But it is also a clean and safe city with a mix of many styles, ages and populations. I like this.” Still more?
“We were careful not to create ghettos of only rich, poor, young, immigrants, artists etc. Friendliness and openness are the spirit of Rennes! There is room to express oneself. However, people here are not big mouths. We are simple. And we work hard.”
Under the Planetarium sky
Pillar of the Science Space, Christopher Couzelin is responsible for exhibitions and digital innovations. Every day, he works alongside his colleagues of the Planetarium, housed in a strange giant and black pickle that sticks out of the roof of the Champs Libres.
Obviously, Christopher goes there regularly for his work. But that doesn’t mean there is no magic. “Sitting in the dark, a guide takes you for a fifty minute journey to the very edge of the universe. It is absolutely astounding! One feels so small faced with infinity. It is really an amazing opportunity to live on Earth! “.
At the Planetarium, there is no dozing before a film. The animation works in parallel with a game of questions and answers with the audience. The discourse develops with space missions. During the holidays, there are 3D sessions. “The image quality is dazzling. But the technology is not used to show off. It serves poetry and emotion. “
Designed for children and their parents, Merlin’s laboratory is an exploration space where young guests create scientific experiments themselves. Thirty experiments help them make the connection between science and everyday life. There is fun to be had playing with the laws of mechanics, electricity, the senses, the human body and there is an animated event (30 min) before the floor is open to all.
Located on the ground floor of the Champs Libres, Merlin’s laboratory is just one of the Science Space’s activities.
LabFab, technology DIY
Ce goût de la connaissance et de l’aventure collective, Christopher Couzelin le cultive au LabFab.. Le laboratoire de fabrication numérique, installé dans les murs de l’école des Beaux-arts de la rue Hoche, propose désormais un nouvel atelier lui aussi ouvert au public, dans la Maison des associations. Le lieu met à sa disposition des ordinateurs, des imprimantes 3D et des outils de découpe laser pour concevoir et réaliser des objets à partir de plans open source. Une communauté active de bidouilleurs, de programmeurs et d’artistes font vivre l’atelier.
Christopher y a vécu la naissance d’un robot humanoïde, Poppy. « Le LabFab épouse la mission de la science : partager la connaissance. Il apprend à faire ensemble. Il démystifie la technologie numérique ». Et puis il y a l’enthousiasme du “do it yourself” au service de la création. « C’est dans ce genre de lieux que se joue l’avenir de nos sociétés ».
MacGyver is also Jules Verne in his spare time. The history, journeys and beautiful objects constitute yet another of Christopher Couzelin’s passions. The auction house is naturally one of his favourite places in town. Every week, auctioneers put under the hammer exceptional furniture, jewellery, works of art, antique toys and much more. The auction brings the Place de Lices to life every Monday, and sometimes on Sundays. Taking a look costs nothing.
Christopher is one of the regulars. “I am in a curiosities showcase with the soul of a treasure hunter. The auction is a show. It’s a play where I can have just a small role! “. And sometimes he even buys something. There is definitely a preference for scientific instruments, art deco pieces as well as African and Oceanic art objects. “These objects fashioned by man represent a compendium of quality and craftsmanship. I am fascinated by these craftsmen who put all their energy to do the best they can.”
Le Palissandre, un parfum d’exotisme
Crafts? Exoticism? Christopher Couzelin’s destiny could only lead him to the Palissandre. Hidden behind the Place Sainte-Anne, in this tiny shop, run for thirty years now by Jean-Marie, time has stopped. He is always smiling. The singsong accent of Madagascar has never faded.
As a student, Christopher frequently came to the shop, specialising in jewellery and crafts from the Indian Ocean. He now goes back with his children. Other customers push open the door like the culmination of a pilgrimage. “This is an Aladdin’s cave. There is an almost mystical power. It is almost a spiritual place. Every single item tells a beautiful story. I love the humanity they express. ” These Peruvian dolls chase away grief. But what would science say, Christopher?