On 13 August the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) THINK Bench was officially unveiled on the lawn outside Humanities.
KAYLA THOMAS AND KELLY KONG
On 13 August the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) THINK Bench was officially unveiled on the lawn outside Humanities. According to the UP website the 13 metre and ten-ton concrete bench was designed by artist Louis Olivier as a space for students to “celebrate and encourage innovative and collaborative thinking” and can seat up to twenty students.
From one angle, the bench reads “think” and from another it is made up of various figures in thoughtful poses. This intriguing design serves to remind students that sometimes a different perspective is necessary for the production of new and innovative ideas and solutions. Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kupe, who spoke at the unveiling, expressed his hope that the bench will inspire students to “apply their knowledge and skills in unique and creative ways that have a positive impact on society” and the university.
The bench comes after a request by the SRC to RMB for a bench with potential as a “safe space for students to think fearlessly and […] share solutions”. It is part of a commissioned series by RMB that is part of an initiative to encourage and inspire innovative and unique thoughts and approaches to problems in the hope of spreading “fearless thinking around the country”. Artist Louis Olivier described the project as “demonstrate[ing] the true essence of collaboration as it involved various sectors and skills. From inception the artists and artisans were encouraged to think innovatively, and had to come up with creative solutions to complex technical challenges. The many stumbling blocks brought to the fore a team of true solutionists.” It is this essence of collaboration and thought provocation that accompanies the THINK bench on UP’s main campus.
The unveiling was also attended by Laurie Dippenaar, co-founder of RMB, SRC president David Kabwa, and the artist, Louis Olivier. The unveiling further featured a performance by the Mzansi Youth Choir
Photo: Sam Mukwamu