Every two years since 2014, the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès has invited professionals from a range of backgrounds to participate in the Skills Academy. Through this programme, the Foundation seeks to draw on collective intelligence to explore innovative approaches to particular materials.
For this sixth edition, dedicated to stone, the Academy invites architects to take part in the programme for the first time, alongside craftspeople, engineers and designers. Over the course of eleven months, this new cohort will be invited to engage with the fundamental arts of the built environment. The aim is to investigate the historical, symbolic, aesthetic, physical, economic and social dimensions of stone, in architecture as well as in urban planning, and in the domestic environment. The pedagogical direction of the Academy will be overseen by Franco-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh, an internationally recognised figure who brings a deep ecological commitment to all of her projects.
During the first half of 2023, the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès will host a series of monthly conferences, open to the public, each of which will be led by experts on stone. Guest speakers, from historians, curators and academics to craftspeople, architects and industry experts, will be invited to share their knowledge over the course of five thematic morning sessions.
These morning sessions will be complemented by masterclasses, reserved for Skills Academy participants only, that will take the form of visits to construction sites and building projects, specialised businesses, workshops, studios, research centres and laboratories. Finally, in the second semester, the group will come together for a workshop organised by Lina Ghotmeh: the highlight of the programme, this concluding event aims to activate the collective intelligence of the participants, harnessing their diverse expertise and the knowledge acquired over the course of the Academy.