Margaret Iragui Lejeune

Margaret Iragui LejeuneMargaret Iragui Lejeune, Interior Designer and Professor at the Camondo School of Interior & Product Design, was one of five French cultural professionals who took part in the first part of the 2014 Courants Exchange, “Fostering Creativity and Innovation,” December 8-12, 2014, in New York City. To explore the full program from this program, click here. For more than ten years, the French-American Foundation, in partnership with the French Ministry of Culture, has organized study tours for cultural professionals to examine priorities and trends in their field of expertise in the other country. The 2014 study tour started a two-year initiative focusing on the role that arts and education play in fostering creativity and innovation, exploring the growing importance of the creative industries in both countries, how the arts are changing in the digital age, and how, in the age of globalization, the education systems, including arts education, of both countries are subsequently evolving. Following the five-day study tour, Lejeune joined the French-American Foundation to share her insights on the program.

Born in 1964, Margaret Iragui Lejeune grew up in the Loire valley and briefly enrolled in Biology studies before moving to Paris and committing to Art studies. A graduate of the Camondo School of Interior and Product Design in 1992, she has been teaching there since, an occupation paralleled by a professional practice as an interior designer. She has worked with passion on museum programs as well as on retail programs and private houses design. As a program and international development cooordinator at the Camondo School of Design, Margaret Iragui-Lejeune is highly aware of the challenges of innovation from a patrimonial perspective. Of English descent, she started a family in France with her American husband enjoying thus the expierence of raising binational children.


Tell us a little bit about your professional background.

You mentioned that your family did not necessarily encourage you to pursue studies in the arts. One of the overarching themes you explored this week in the “Fostering Creativity and Innovation” program was the role of arts education in influencing industry and creating creative and innovative approaches to business, science, technology, and more widely. What would you say is the importance of arts education in influencing not only the arts but education and various professional fields more generally? Are there differences between France and the United States here?

What was the main benefit or beneficial observation for you from this week?

Were there any particular visits that had a particular potential to impact your work and the perspectives you share with your students?

For you, what was the benefit of the “Fostering Creativity and Innovation” program?