Founded in 2016, Manufacto, the Skills Factory aims to promote artisan skills amongst schoolchildren of all ages (primary school, middle school and secondary school). Overseen by a team of specialists including a craftsperson, participating children each create an object over the course of twelve sessions, which all take place in the classroom during school hours, with the exception of a workshop visit.
In 2018, Manufacto continues to grow in scale. Thirty-four groups across twenty-eight schools participate this time, with a number of educational establishments in Lyon joining those in Paris, Créteil and Nice from previous years’ editions. Close partnerships with the programme’s various partners, which include Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, the École Camondo (Paris) and the Villa Noailles (Hyères), as well as the district school bodies, also continue to develop. As in previous years, participants discover the unique gestures related to leather craft, leather upholstery and carpentry, according to the object they produce.
Caroline Ziegler and Pierre Brichet, founders of Studio BrichetZiegler and teachers at the École Camondo, have designed ten objects for the programme’s participants to execute, responding to specific criteria: a lamp in leather, an animal-shaped wallet, a pencil case, a document wallet, a speaker for a mobile phone, a stool, a toolbox, a footrest, an ottoman pouffe, and a ghetto-blaster cushion. A log book is given to each student so that they can take notes on the materials, tools and technical gestures they learn. While the ultimate goal is the production of a finished object, each step of the process offers an opportunity for exciting encounters and discoveries as well as for the pleasure of creation. At the end of the cycle, each participating child leaves with their own hand-crafted object.