Henning Rasmuss is a Founding Director and International Projects Director at Paragon Group - Architects. He has personally worked in 23 countries in Africa. We chat about how cities will change, impacts on Covid-19 on architecture and the built environment, continued urbanization, positive vibes, the new 'normal' and do we actually need sport?
Ask how you can partner with Future Cities Africa
His worst nightmares of Covid-19
The end of rapid Urbanisation?
Beliefs that have been confirmed by Covid-19
Cities will change
Impacts on Covid-19 on architecture
Encouragement for architects and the built environment
About Henning and Paragon Group
Henning was born in Johannesburg. Influenced by the building boom in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, and fascinated by the energy of large building sites, Henning chose to study architecture – graduating Cum Laude from Wits University in 1994.
After early works completed in Berlin, Johannesburg, and Hong Kong, he co-founded Paragon Architects in 1997 with Anthony Orelowitz. He is a founding director of all companies in the Paragon Group. Since 2012, he has been responsible for all the Group’s International Projects, and for Business Development in Africa. This has led to project engagements in 18 countries on the continent, and completed projects in 11 countries.
Henning’s most notable achievements include Winner of the Takiron Japan Architect International Ideas Competition 1998; Finalist for the Daimler Chrysler Awards for South African Art in 2008; and work as design architect for the world’s largest cable-supported glass roof on the Cape Town Stadium for the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010.
He has contributed as curator towards, among others, exhibitions on South African architecture at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2000; at the São Paulo Biennale of Architecture in 2003, 2005 and 2007 through sharpCITY; at the AEDES Gallery in Berlin in 2006; and at the Architekturzentrum Wien (AZW) in 2006.
Henning has contributed numerous articles to South African and international design and architecture publications; and co-wrote and co-published the books ‘Contemporary South African Architecture in a Landscape of Transition’ (2006), and ‘Cape Town Stadium: Between the Lines’ (2010). He lectures by invitation; has served as external examiner for various universities; and has served as Jury Member for the Corobrik Architecture Student of the Year Award in 2011, 2012, 2013, and for the Kenya Association of Architects Award of Merit in 2014.
Paragon Group comprises three divisions: Paragon Architects, Paragon Interface, and Paragon Architects South Africa.
We understand architecture as a craft. Our work is driven by a true passion for the process of architecture. We embrace technology and all it offers as the enabling connector between architecture and other design disciplines. We invest in technology and in the people who want to master it.
Acknowledged as an innovator and thought leader in commercial architecture in South Africa, Paragon Architects has learned from Angola since 2002, Brazil since 2003, Uganda since 2005, Rwanda since 2007, Kenya since 2010, and Namibia, Botswana, eSwatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, DRC, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia and Morocco since 2012.
Paragon Interface is an internationally active space planning and interior architecture business based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We deliver a complete range of corporate workspace designs and implementation services for ambitious and innovative clients. The company has been part of the Paragon Group since 2002, when it was acquired as a going concern from its original owners.
Our completed work includes workplace solutions for major Financial Services clients, such as Barclays Bank, Barclays Capital, ABSA Bank Limited, ABSA Capital, Stanlib, Standard Chartered, Alexander Forbes, Credit Suisse, and ongoing work for major legal practices such as Norton Rose. We have ongoing work from some of South Africa’s top developers and property funds and have implemented projects for Total Coal and General Electric. The company has also been part of multi-disciplinary teams undertaking portfolio-wide multi-year space rationalization and consolidation strategies for financial sector clients.
PARAGON ARCHITECTS SOUTH AFRICA
Paragon Architects South Africa (Pty) Ltd is a dynamic and innovative local South African business unit of the Paragon Group of design businesses. The company is a full-service architectural practice offering a complete range of design, documentation, and contract management services across a range of project types. Our work ranges from corporate head offices to retail centers, and from leisure projects to industrial projects as well as Local and National Government projects. Some of our most complex and challenging projects have been building refurbishment projects throughout the inner city of Johannesburg and surrounds.
Paragon Architects South Africa (Pty) Ltd has a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment rating of LEVEL 2 under the Construction Industry Transformation Charter. The company is 51% black South African-owned by Thulani Sibande, who was appointed to this position in November 2012.
Prof. Nabil El Kadhi is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Khawarizmi International College and Vice President of the Future Cities Council. We explore the schema for future education, UAE education system and what Africa can learn from it, challenges that must be overcome, the difference between smart education and digital education, homeschool vs school/ university, readiness of the classic university for the future, definition of a smart city and a smart citizen, cities in 2040 and advice for students stuck in the old education system.Play Now
Garsen Naidu is GM at Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa. We explore the various impacts of the pandemic, how technology can be used as an enabler to inclusive economic recovery, Smart Cities, IoT in Africa, main lessons taken from 2020, and how cities might change over the next 5 years.Play Now
Nicky Verd is author of the hit book: Disrupt Yourself Or Be Disrupted. She’s a digital strategy consultant, an Africa enthusiast and Africa's digital transformation maverick. We discuss key takeaways from her book, the 4IR, the future of work and education, inclusive cities, overcoming the digital divide, personal disruption and staying relevant in an era of constant change.Play Now
Vino Govender is Executive for Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Innovation at Dark Fibre Africa. We explore the typical architecture and technological layers of a ‘Smart City’, his definition of a ‘Smart City’ in the African context, what will help us become smarter cities, improving Public-Private sector collaboration, how the Internet of Things will impact Africa over the next 5 years, the one thing he would change with his magic wand and what he hopes to see happen over the next 5 years.Play Now
Craig Kesson is Executive Director for Corporate Services at the City of Cape Town. We explore the thinking behind the City’s Infrastructure Strategy, its scope and key elements, impacts of and lessons from the pandemic, a uniformed standard to Sector Plans, enabling innovation in alternative service delivery, reaching historically under-serviced areas, and more.Play Now