As part of the International Lecture Series presented by the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, Henning Rasmuss was invited to present on 6 September 2018 in Johannesburg. Those of you who know Henning know that we can go on a bit, but his almost two-hour talk took some listening. As far as Henning could tell, no-one walked out of the talk because of hunger.
The lecture was a precious opportunity for a sweeping overview of Henning’s architectural career to date, starting in his formative childhood years in boomtown Johannesburg, his student years at Wits University and in Berlin, his early works at Stauch Vorster Architects and in Hong Kong, and aspects of the work of Paragon group and the various companies that have made up his current working home over the years.
It was a good time to reflect, to thank mentors and teachers and business partners, and to make it clear that architecture is a large and complex and collaborative project. Henning personally hates the self-aggrandising posturing of architects as ‘sole authors’ of projects. His talk was much more about anecdotal story-telling and about hard lessons learnt, and about his share of his own life force that makes Paragon so unique and vibrant. As he said in his opening statement : ‘I am what I am through other people’.