This is

Meet Our Tutors: John Coenen

John Coenen
Sat 2 Feb

The branch of knowledge & subject

During the course of my life, I have made a career switch several times (three times to be exact). But every time my job involved working with people and passion for the fashion industry where the aesthetics is important. As well as the drive to create and make. Let's say, the love for the craft.

My dream is that our students will contribute to a more sustainable fashion and textile industry in the future.

What inspires you?

People ... I can not work on something without knowing who I am making it for. People are always key. That was the case when I had worked as a couturier, but it is still the same for me as a coordinator of the Fabric Station. So, students and colleagues inspire me. And of course, anything that has been produced with attention to detail.

What is your USP as a tutor?

Like I have already told, I focus on people and not necessarily on the rules (even though a number of rules in my Station are very strict). How can I (and the team in our Station) advise and help you in the realisation of your idea in the most sustainable and clever way, with respect for the environment and machines?

What is your dream/goal as a tutor?

My goal is to inspire curiosity and a research-oriented attitude among the students. To help them make products in a way that they want, and not because they are supposed to; to help them learn to make their own choices during the creative process and designing while making.
My great dream is that our students will contribute to a more sustainable fashion and textile industry in the future.

Name one item from your bucket list?

For my work at the academy that is the Station Day. I want to organise a day for all students and staff of the academy when all of us will set off on a discovery journey through all the Stations of the academy; a day to become inspired and celebrate the making.  
And for the rest: living my life.  I have always done that. I am 65 now, I have worked a lot all these years, sometimes up to 80 hours a week and loved it. My bucket list will take shape after my retirement, then there are so many other fun things to do.

Name a true pioneer.

My great example is the Italian Roberto Capucci, what that man and his team have been able to create with fabrics is legendary. I saw his work for the first time in the early '90s, in an exhibition in Rome. It was breathtaking, so after half an hour I had to flee the museum and catch my breath outside. After a while in the open air, I have returned to the museum and have wandered around for hours, marvelling at the technical mastery of his designs.