STÉPHANE LAURENT, A FRENCHMAN WHO DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS “BASICALLY AN ART HISTORIAN AND PAINTER BUT WITH AN OVERALL EDUCATION IN ART, DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE”, BRINGS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE TO UJ, WHERE HE BELIEVES HIS VALUES AND KNOWLEDGE WILL MAKE A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE.
Prof Stéphane Laurent. From tourist to new FADA Executive Dean.
I will encourage students to use to their advantage.” 4IR Laurent believes technology has a distinct role in design, art, and fabrication and sees development opportunities. “For example, our industrial design department used to work with the car industry. We plan to do so again, as we will develop transportation designs that are also connected objects, which means we are entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR),” he says. 4IR is also about linking the world to African countries, another of UJ’s strategic objectives. “I want to develop internationalisation to the maximum. Full programme exchanges, student exchanges, and research conferences must become part of our activities. Transformation Transformation, including the decolonisation of knowledge at South African universities, is high on Laurent’s agenda.
hold for an architect or artist?
The starting point is to appoint or promote designated persons to senior academic ranks. “It is a big challenge; we have to grow
“This type of communication is essential, and our current
students would be very interested in learning about the opportu-nities you might offer them after graduating.” More about Prof Laurent • In Connecticut, USA, he worked at Trinity College in Hartford as executive director. • He was Dean of the College of Art and Design in the Middle East at the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. • He was a visiting professor at several universities and research centres around the world, including the CASVA/National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (2005), the Japan Foundation/ University of Tokyo (2007), the Centre for Chinese Studies/ Republic of China (2008), the University of Campinas in Brazil (2009) and the University of Liverpool in mainland China (2020).
our teams.” Fundraising
Fundraising is relatively inactive at FADA. Funding is, in fact, decreasing and needs to be turned around. “I have already asked for and received the contact details of the companies the department heads work with. We are looking for alumni and projects within the departments or partnerships to start the fundraising process.” Finally, Laurent wants FADA alumni to stay in touch with the Faculty. “I trust FADA brought out the best in your life and your career. We have a lot to exchange, and not only in terms of fundraising. I hope to see internships for our students or share your career experiences and what you gained from studying at FADA with our students on campus. How is work after graduation? Why did you choose your field? What does the future
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