African Design Centre

Christian Benimana

Director, African Design Centre

I want to see a shift in the perception of what Africa can achieve. We need to offer a chance for Africans to learn how design can improve people’s lives.

Christian Benimana 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, Christian joined MASS Design Group as a Global Health Corps 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.

Christian’s 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.