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Fondation d’entreprise Hermès: Skills Academy

Jul 9, 2020

Taking place from January to November 2021, the programme for the fifth edition of Hermès’ Skills Academy is dedicated to exploring skills and innovation centred around glass and crystal.

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The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès launched its call for applications for the fifth edition of the Skills Academy, its major programme dedicated to exploring skills and innovation centred on a specific raw material. The next Academy will take place from January to November 2021, with a focus on glass and crystal.

Since 2014, the biennial Skills Academy has invited craftspeople, designers and engineers to come together to explore innovation and skills in the artisan sector. Initially conceived over a nine-month period (for the first three Academies), the programme now extends over eleven months, from January to November. For each Academy, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès organises a programme centred on expert skills and know-how in a context of innovation, research and development. It enables participants to enrich their knowledge through lectures and masterclasses led by experts in the field, and to share and enhance their skills at the closing workshop, conceived as an experimental laboratory of new practice. The Academy combines skills transmission and knowledge-sharing with exploratory, blue-skies thinking.

The Skills Academy reflects the Foundation’s vocation to partner artisans, artists, designers and the solidarity sector, as they forge new skills to shape and transform our world, now and into the future. By consolidating the Academy’s presence as one of its major programmes, the Foundation is reasserting its commitment to promote fertile exchange between the worlds of design and artisanship, with an enhanced focus on shared intelligence for experimentation, and sustainability issues.

The programme for the fifth Skills Academy, on glass and crystal, has been devised by designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance and Patrick Jouin (“Wood”, 2014) as programme director. The theme ‘transparency’ is a core value in today’s world, and the defining property of the materials at the heart of at the fifth Skills Academy: glass and crystal, together with their related arts and expertise. In 2021, talks, lectures and panel discussions addressing the fundamentals of the industry will combine acknowledged experts and contributions from professional practitioners and enthusiasts alike: artists, designers, collectors, experts and amateur aficionados. In selecting this cross-disciplinary theme for the Academy, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès offers professional artisans, designers and engineers an opportunity to explore the many facets of glass and crystal, from a historical, symbolic, aesthetic, chemical, physical, economic and social standpoint, in the company of leading specialists, with the emphasis on innovation and experimentation.

The Skills Academy is aimed at professionals seeking to enhance their training and skills. The fifth edition, on glass and crystal, is aimed at artisans involved in working these materials in their hot or cold states (blowers, cutters, engravers, stained-glass specialists, glass mosaicists, etc.), generalist or specialist designers, and specialist engineers active in this or related sectors (the chemical industry, production and mechanical engineering, optics, etc.).

©Tadzio: Fondation d’entreprise Hermès
Portrait Noe Duchaufour Lawrance, ©Richard Wright

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