Christian Benimana resized

I am a founding and the current Director of the African Design Centre, the field-based apprenticeship that is set to be the BAUHAUS of Africa. At the time I finished high school with a dream to become an architect, there were no schools of architecture in my country, so I had to move to Shanghai, and learn Chinese in one year before I could start my degree program.

Following my return to Rwanda, I joined a MASS Design Group a not-for-profit firm whose mission is to research, build and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and dignity. This has completely changed my understanding of what architecture can accomplish and inspired the idea of a program that will complement the current shortfall of architecture and design education on the continent and elsewhere to address these future issues globally, let alone on the continent where the scarcity of resources and imminent need for appropriate solutions is clearly apparent.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) of Tongji University in Shanghai, China (2008). I was a 2011 Global Health Corps fellow with MASS and Partners in Health projects, a 2013 aspen ideas festival: Spotlight fellow and I have been involved with design/build projects, development initiatives, operational and administrative leadership at MASS since 2010.

I have taught at the architecture school of the former Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), and am currently the chairman of the Education Board of the East African Institute of Architects. I was a designer on the Rwinkwavu NICU/OR MASS project, and project manager for the construction administration of the MASS Maternity Waiting Village project in Malawi. In addition, I have worked on the Liberia Health Infrastructure Standards and Guidelines for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and a master plan for the Albert Schweitzer hospital in Lambarene, Gabon.

Prior to joining MASS, I worked with LongiLat Architecture and Research in Shanghai assisting with the Porsche Center in Shanghai and the Netherlands Pavilion in the 2010 International Expo.