South African architect Carin Smuts receives Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
On 7 October 2015 Ambassador of France to South Africa, HE Elisabeth Barbier, bestowed upon South African architect Carin Smuts the award of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (award of Knight in the Orders of Arts and Letters) at the Alliance Française in Cape Town.
About Carin Smuts:
A graduate of the University of Cape Town, she formally co-established CS Studio Architects in Cape Town in 1989 after initiating projects since 1982. CS Studio Architects has consistently worked with underprivileged communities and championed projects involving integrated development planning and low-cost housing and has completed over 100 projects in rural and urban contexts.
She became known in France in 2008 when she won the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. Annually, this award honors five living architects who have made significant moves towards sustainability.
During the French-South African Seasons in 2012/2013, La Cité de l’Architecture dedicated an exhibition to Smuts’ work.
She has lectured all over France including: Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Nice.
In her speech, Ambassador Barbier said: “Your work stands out from the classic vision of architecture. Through your projects you defend very powerful ideas: for you, the goal of architecture goes beyond the functional need, is an instrument of transformation, a lever of development and empowerment”.
About the Order of Arts and Letters:
The Order of Arts and Letters is a French decoration of honour established in 1957 and given by the French Ministry of Culture. The award is given to recognise significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields, in France and abroad.
There are three levels: knight, officer and commander.
South Africans who have been awarded the order: Johnny Clegg (1991), William Kentridge (2013), Ramadan Suleman (2014) and Naomi Morgan (2015).