Rodney Henmi has devoted his architectural career to improving design quality in two often underserved building types: affordable housing and industrial architecture.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Henmi earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota in 1975, then spent several years with Roger Johnson and Associates in Minneapolis and Onuma and Wood Associates in Tokyo. In 1980, Henmi returned to St. Louis to join his father’s firm, Henmi and Associates, and began graduate studies at Washington University. He earned a Master of Architecture and Urban Design degree in 1983, then joined the faculty as affiliate associate professor — teaching design, introduction to architecture and architectural graphics — while continuing to work in private practice.
In 1994 Henmi moved to the San Francisco Bay area and joined Michael Willis Architects, where his projects included more than 1,700 units of affordable housing; several water and wastewater treatment plants; and a major job-training center. In 2000, he became a principal of the firm and director of design. In 2009, he joined HKIT Architects in Oakland as director of design.
A longtime advocate for minority architects, Henmi was advisor to the WUSTL chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects-Students (NOMAS) and is currently president of the San Francisco NOMA chapter. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, his many honors include more than a dozen design awards.
A widely exhibited draftsman, Henmi also has written extensively on the relationship between drawing and design. He is co-author, with Iain Fraser, of the book Envisioning Architecture: An Analysis of Drawing (1993).