Christian Benimana wants to build a network of architects who can help Africa’s booming cities flourish in sustainable, equitable ways — balancing growth with values that are uniquely African.
From Nigeria to Burkina Faso and beyond, he shares examples of architecture bringing communities together. A pan-African movement of architects, designers and engineers on the continent and in diaspora are learning from and inspiring each other, and Benimana invites us to imagine future African cities as the most resilient, socially inclusive places on earth.
Why you should listen
Christian Benimana is co-founder of the African Design Centre, a field-based apprenticeship that is set to be the BAUHAUS of Africa with the mission to empower the leaders who will design a more equitable, just, and sustainable world.
Benimana is currently leading the implementation of the African Design Centre. He dreamed of becoming an architect, but there were no design schools in his home country of Rwanda, so he applied and was accepted to Tongji University in Shanghai, China. Not letting his inability to speak Mandarin stand in his way, he spent a year gaining fluency before pursuing his degree in architecture. Upon returning to Rwanda, he joined MASS Design Group as a Design Fellow in 2010 and today directs the firm’s Rwanda Programs and the ADC. He has taught at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology and chairs the Education Boards of the Rwandan Institute of Architects and the East African Institute of Architects. His goal is to develop the talent and potential of the next generation of African designers with socially-focused design principles. He announced the plans for the African Design Centre at the UN Solutions Summit in New York in 2015.
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