Since 2000, ÉSA Pyrénées has been developing its own research unit, the Observatoire, recognized by the French ministry of Culture and Communication. The unit is currently working on 5 programs, exploring fields of Art, Art and Ceramics and Graphic Design and Multimedia:

- Sky to Sky
- Images de l’imaginaire (Images of the Imaginary)
- Écrire [dans] l’espace, Écriture et design graphique en situation (Writing [in] Space, Situational Writing and Graphic Design)
- Nouvelles temporalités (New Temporalities)
- Design graphique & multimédia, usages et usagers à l’ère numérique (Graphic Design and Multimedia, uses and users in the digital age)

Artists, graphic designers, theorists of art and design but also physicists, astronomers, philosophers, etc. are working as one bringing together teaching methods, production and dissemination of various forms and knowledge. In partnership with other academic bodies (University of Pau, Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, EHESS in Paris etc.), the Observatoire regularly organizes public events (exhibitions, study days, publications, conferences, etc.).

Since 2012, ÉSA Pyrénées has published “Echappées”, which reviews each year the topics of the school’s artistic research.