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Have you noticed?

The THINK Bench – at Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Faculty of Engineering complex in Banghoek Road.

The 10-ton, 13-metre art piece was designed Louis Olivier and his team from the Workhorse Bronze Foundry in Johannesburg. Donated by GT Ferreira, an SU alumnus, it was designed to celebrate and encourage innovative and collaborative solutions.

Another perspective of the piece reveals life-sized human silhouettes in different thinking poses. It acts as a reflective reminder to students passing by that sometimes one needs to change one’s perspective to think differently.

Resin replica showcased in 2020

Sandri du Plessis, Engineering Student Council Chair, said the artwork will contribute immensely to a more transformative and diverse campus and community. “We are really trying to move towards a more diverse, more transformative student experience and I think the THINK Bench will really be a constant reminder of that (vision). We are planning on utilising this extensively and I hope that other faculties will use it too. We really want to try to get to a point where we are an integrated university community.”

Ferreira said he donated this bench to act as a visible prompt to inspire students to do what all students are supposed to do but don’t always do – and that is to sit and think instead of just absorbing information in class and regurgitating it in exams. “While this might sound trite the effort that is put into thinking is often underestimated. It was Henry Ford who coined the following phrase in 1928: ‘Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few people engage in it’.”

He added that students should use the bench to think how they can make the world and South Africa a better place.

“Think about important issues such as how can I help to promote racial harmony in the country, how can I assist in solving the problem of unemployment, how can I assist this university to become even better.”

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