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France / Paris

Skills Academy 2: Morning session 5

Constructions in clay: earth architecture

Saturday 23 May 2015, 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Théâtre de la Bastille
76, rue de la Roquette, Paris 11th
Open to the public (advance bookings only) : 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Skills Academy 2: Morning session 5
© Undo Redo

This morning session explores the role of clay in architecture, at the crossroads of vernacular expertise and technical innovation. In widespread use for millennia, brick still features in the work of certain contemporary architects as a medium of choice (in preference to concrete) for ambitious building projects. Earth-based architecture spotlights ancestral, artisan techniques as a factor for development, sparking new research into its potentially widespread impact.  

9 a.m. An architect’s journey.
Mario Botta, architect.

10.15 a.m.

10.45 a.m. ‘A modern alternative: rediscovering vernacular expertise in earth architecture.’
Moderator: Thierry Joffroy, architect and director of the International Centre for Earth Architecture (CRAterre).
Anna Heringer, architect.
Thomas Granier, co-founder and president of the not-for-profit association La Voûte Nubienne (The Nubian Vault).

‘Grounded!’ is the second Skills Academy from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, exploring the past, present and future of ceramics and clay. The Foundation’s biennial programme is open to artisans, designers and engineers seeking to explore innovative approaches to their material of choice. Participants are invited to contribute their professional practice and skills to a shared exploration of new ways forward. Monthly morning sessions for the first semester of 2015 offer an in-depth exploration of clay and ceramics from a historical, aesthetic, economic and technical perspective, coupled with an examination of the sustainability and future of this most fundamental of materials.

>> Back to Morning session 5 : Ceramic techniques: innovation, research and development.

>> Forward to Morning session 6 : Earth in future…

>> More about Skills Academy 2

>> Discover the morning session 5 on video

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Théâtre de la Bastille
76, rue de la Roquette, Paris 11th
Open to the public (advance bookings only) :


Under the supervision of Guillaume Bardet, guest designer and Skills Academy 2 educational director.