Caribbean architect appointed as new Director of the GSA

The University of Johannesburg (UJ)’s Graduate School of Architecture (GSA) appointed architect and educator Professor Mark Raymond (Trinidad and Tobago/UK) as the new Director of Africa’s largest dedicated postgraduate architectural school.

Says Prof Raymond: “The GSA is emerging as one of the most exciting architectural schools in the world and I am delighted at the opportunity of working with such an exceptional community of students, architects, teachers and researchers. The project of the GSA with the School’s Unit System Africa is an extraordinary pedagogic initiative. I am looking forward to working with the GSA community and through collaboration with students, researchers, practitioners, schools and institutions to the pursuit of truly transformative design education and research.”

Prof Raymond is a graduate of London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) and RMIT’s practice-based PhD programme. He is currently the Plym Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois (Spring 2021). He has extensive international experience in both practice and architectural education.

After graduating from the AA he worked in Europe for practices including Conran, Norman Foster, Ulrike Brandi and DEGW before returning to Port of Spain, Trinidad.

His practice has embraced a wide range of architectural and urban design/planning commissions throughout the Caribbean. Raymond has combined his practice with writing, teaching, lecturing and design research. He is committed to the effective engagement of design pedagogy, through practice and research, with processes of transformation and social justice.

“We are delighted at Prof Raymond’s appointment and we look forward to the impact he will have on the GSA. His extensive international experience as an educator, researcher and practitioner – with an impressive portfolio of built work – together with his deep knowledge of a wide range of contemporary architectural issues are all invaluable assets for the GSA. His appointment comes at a critical moment as the School seeks to re-imagine itself within the dynamic landscape of architectural education in Southern Africa,” says Dr Finzi Saidi, Head of the Department of Architecture, UJ.

Graduate School of Architecture

Since its inception in 2015, UJ’s Graduate School of Architecture has had a significant impact on architectural education and culture in South Africa and further afield. The School’s Unit System Africa represents a daring venture in the architectural landscape of South Africa and has rapidly established itself as a nexus of innovative education and research through the remarkable work of the School’s students and staff. The GSA is currently embarking on expanded engagement with both schools of architecture and practitioners throughout Africa and the diaspora through innovative research strategies built around transformational research, theory and practice.

University of Johannesburg

Vibrant, multicultural and dynamic, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) shares the pace and energy of cosmopolitan Johannesburg, the city whose name it carries. Proudly South African, the university is alive down to its African roots, and well-prepared for its role in actualising the potential that higher education holds for the continent’s development. UJ has transformed into a diverse, inclusive, transformational and collegial institution, with a student population of over 50 000, of which more than 3 000 are international students from 80 countries.

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