With the support of Sèmè City Development Agency, Africa Design School by L’École de design opens its doors in 2019 in Cotonou (Benin) with a BDes digital design program. Africa Design School will be the first digital design School in West Africa.
L’École de design announces its expansion onto the African continent with the opening of a new school, Africa Design School by L’École de design, in Cotonou (Benin).
Why are you branching out on the African continent?
Backed by L’École de design Nantes Atlantique and supported by the Sèmè City open its doors in 2019, subject to authorization from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in Benin, with the mission of training African designers in Africa. Thanks to this project in Sèmè City, Benin seeks to train a new generation of talents and trigger the emergence of new models of growth based on innovation “Made in Africa”. The challenge is to address economic issues in Benin and, on a broader level, in Africa, in order to offer future opportunities to the continent’s youth. The creation of Africa Design School will help overcome the challenges faced by companies, the public service and startups on the African continent who are having to adapt to the new paradigms of creation, digital culture, sustainable cities and user experience.
Africa Design School by L’École de design
This new school is largely inspired by the principles which have made L’École de design Nantes Atlantique so successful over the past 30 years: creative project-based teaching, close relations with the business world and a professional approach, the Benin school will be directed by Stéphane Gouret, deputy director general of L’École de design Nantes Atlantique. Caroline Grellier, responsible for pedagogical coordination, has the task of putting together a team of teaching staff made up of design professionals working in West Africa with the common goal of preparing students for the job market or for entrepreneurship.
Africa Design School is based in Sèmè City, a City dedicated to innovation and learning. In September 2020, Africa Design School should move to a site known as La Ruche (The Hive) which is currently being refurbished.
“After having launched studios in Asia, South America and North America, we are very pleased to extend our activities to Benin. This arrival on African soil strengthens our position as pioneers in the field of design education in France and internationally. L’École de design backed this development project with the help of Sèmè City and lends its expertise and educational engineering to the new organization ” explains Christian Guellerin, General Director of L’École de design.
The first training program dedicated to digital design
The mission of Africa Design School is to promote design on the African continent and to train Africans in design professions. The first training program offered by Africa Design School will be a vocational Bachelor’s degree course dispensed in Cotonou and recognized by L’École de design. The students of Africa Design School will learn how to design innovative services related to information and communication technologies in the various fields of digital economy. This digital Bachelor’s training program is intended to extend its influence across all of West Africa.
“The young designers will be trained using the same teaching methods that have proved so successful in L’École de design: strategic design with an emphasis on innovation and project-led teaching based on strong industrial and institutional partnerships. The demand for UX and UI designers, interaction designers and service designers in West Africa is high in order to accommodate the development of digital technology in the region. Africa Design School provides a concrete solution by training specialists in these areas of activity.” adds Caroline Grellier, educational coordinator of Africa Design School.