We meet Johnny Walter, Director of the Académie des Métiers d’Art
- Friday April 30th, 2021
- Posted by: Jean Jacque CELESTE
- Category: news
The Académie des Métiers d’Art offers a panoply of programmes relating to jewellery and watchmaking. Come and discover this wonderful universe through our interview with its Director, Mr Johnny Walter.
‘Skills’ and ‘know-how’ – two words describing the approach at the Académie des Métiers d’Art…
Yes, at the AMA we strive to develop the potential of each of our students. The creation of objects using high-level skills requires two key abilities: the ability to analyse a project and the ability to ask yourself the right questions so as to act as needed. All of our programmes aim to provide learners with the skills needed to quickly find a job after graduation.
You are specialised in jewellery and watchmaking. And you have a special master’s programme focusing on innovation, luxury and sustainable production. What exactly is sustainable production?
The idea is to change our impact on ecosystems by offering viable and sustainable alternatives to current modes of production. We understand that change is not going to take place overnight: the idea behind this Master’s is to help our students develop a new vision by offering them a fresh perspective. The course focuses on concrete situations and encourages students to ask themselves questions about the environment, society and production techniques. In short, the programme provides methods and tools to help students think, create and sell their products differently, sustainably and in a positive way, without affecting – or with a reasoned and measured impact on – ecosystems.
In 2017 you created a project incubator. Can you tell us more?
Our incubator, which initially benefited from a European grant, hosts people with business projects. Candidates apply and we study their projects to decide on admission. The L.A.B was created at the request of students of ours who wished to launch brands but couldn’t find an appropriate place to experiment: when you launch a project, it’s essential to have time to think things over and exchange with others in a safe space
What kind of students enrol at your institution? How has teaching been organised during the COVID-19 pandemic?
80% of our learners are undertaking a career change. Our apprenticeship centre also hosts young people aged from 16 to 29. 20% of our students have just finished their high school baccalaureate. Our higher-education programmes attract more and more students. As for the pandemic, we’ve continued workshop activities part-time outside of imposed closures.
Could you share your latest news?
We became an apprenticeship centre (CFA) in July 2020. We have also been granted Qualiopi certification. And we have moved to Pantin [an area north-east of Paris] – a lively, artistic neighbourhood that I would encourage you to visit!
Do you have any upcoming plans?
We currently have a sponsorship contract with Les Néréides Paris. We have also launched, as part of our technical courses, a creative challenge focusing on eco-design.
And we have launched a creative competition. FEDE member institutions are welcome to take part:http://www.lacademiedesmetiersdart.com/wp/lacademie/concours-de-design/
You’ve been a FEDE member for some years. What are your expectations and do you have any joint projects at the moment?
We would like to develop international relations with institutions specialised in artistic professions – Europe has many wonderful traditions! We also plan to create a specialised FEDE degree.