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Skills Academy: Morning session 6

A sensual material: What our senses tell us about wood

Saturday 14 June 2014, 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Auditorium, Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris 8e 
Open to the public (prior booking only): 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Skills Academy: Morning session 6

The appearance and texture of a specific type of wood tells us much about its origins and quality. Yet sight and touch aren’t the only senses appealed to by this remarkable, often surprising material. Wood invites handling – only then can we feel its heft, its rough or silky surface – but its smell is enticing, too: the scent of shavings on a workshop floor, the aroma of cedar wood, incense, or the woody notes of a fine fragrance. Not forgetting the taste of wood – the liquorice sticks beloved of children, or a pinch of cinnamon adding that essential, spicy note to a favourite recipe – and its sound: wood is the medium of choice for a host of musical instrument, and man-made spaces devoted to music, highlighting its resonant, amplifying properties. Wood invokes the five senses, at the heart of our shared natural and cultural heritage.  


9.30 a.m.
The taste and fragrance of wood
Olivier Roellinger, Michelin-starred chef and spice expert.
Jean-Claude Ellena, perfume-maker. 

10.30 a.m.
Break – Inner courtyard garden, Petit Palais

11 a.m.
Listening to wood 
Stéphane Vaiedelich, Director of the research and restoration lab at the Musée de la Musique - Cité de la Musique, Paris (with live musical accompaniment).

11.45 a.m.
Wood, tree, forest: an artist’s perspective
With an invited visual artist (tbc).

12.30 p.m. 
Concluding remarks
Catherine Tsekenis, Director, Fondation d’entreprise Hermès 
Patrick Jouin, guest designer and Skills Academy programme director

2014 sees the launch of the Skills Academy – a biennial programme from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, aimed at artisans, designers and engineers seeking to re-examine their professional practice and the transmission of core skills in the context of new developments and change in their field. The theme of the inaugural Skills Academy is ‘Xylomania! Exploring wood-working skills and expertise.’Throughout the Academy’s first semester, morning sessions open to the public examine a broad spectrum of topics in the world of wood and wood-working.

> Back to Morning session 5: Exploring constraints

> Read more about the Skills Academy

> Discover the morning session 6 on video

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Under the supervision of Patrick Jouin, Guest designer and Skills Academy educational director.