Skills Academy 2025: Paper

Skills Academy poster, Paper
Skills Academy: Paper, 2025 © Fondation d'entreprise Hermès
After a sixth edition focusing on stone, the seventh instalment of the Skills Academy, a programme by the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès dedicated to innovation in craft, will explore paper. In doing so, the Academy turns its attention to an age-old material that has become indispensable and ubiquitous in our daily lives, but which also raises major ecological issues.

Every two years since 2014, the Skills Academy has invited professionals to come together to explore a universal material across a range of practices and through a series of encounters that combine innovation, experimentation and eco-responsibility.

For this seventh edition, the Foundation proposes to take an up-close look at paper, whose invention in China several centuries before the start of our current era marked a major historical turning point. Combining lightness and strength, functionality and aesthetics, communication and creativity, paper continues to play a role throughout our daily lives. Its multiplicity of formats attests to the equally diverse range of skills and cultural traditions that have come to be associated with it. At once a challenge and a solution, paper is at the heart of key issues such as recycling, resource management and environmental policy. These are just some of the questions that will be addressed by participants of the Skills Academy, which will be overseen by guest designer Constance Guisset, whose work is characterised by a search for balance between ergonomics, delicateness and imagination.

Craftspeople, designers and engineers are invited to apply to participate in this exploration of the many facets of paper, which will take place over the course of 2025. In the first semester, the twenty or so chosen Academy participants will attend five mornings of public talks, lectures and roundtable discussions, where the many technical, historical, symbolic and poetic aspects of paper will be discussed. Following on from these, the Academy’s weekend sessions will allow the group to study in situ the different modes of production, crafts and uses of paper. Finally, in the second semester, the Academy participants will come together for an intensive workshop organised by Constance Guisset: over the course of two weeks, they will be invited to draw upon the group’s collective intelligence to mobilise all of the knowledge and skills acquired over the course of this edition of the Academy.

The seventh edition of the Skills Academy by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès will focus on paper.
This ancestral material has become indispensable and ubiquitous in our daily lives, but also raises major ecological issues that will be explored over the course of this edition of the Skills Academy.
The programme of talks and workshops of this edition of the Academy will be overseen by guest designer Constance Guisset.


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