Herbert Prins went to school in Bloemfontein, and later trained as an architect at the University of the Witwatersrand. At the start of Prins’ career, he gained excellent experience both in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Between 1970 and 1990, he was a senior lecturer at Wits, and he acted as head of the school at various times during this period. In later years, Prins served as a member of the faculty board. Like all dedicated lecturers in schools of architecture across the world, Prins also had a profoundly positive influence on generations of architects.
Herbert Prins has been actively involved in a number of committees that benefit architects, including the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), the National Monuments Council (NMC), and the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency (Gauteng). He has held positions including that of president of the Transvaal Institute of Architects (TIA, in 1978 and 1979), president in chief of the Institute of South African Architects (ISAA, in 1982 and 1983), chairman of the Rosebank Action Group (RAG), acting chairman of the Egoli Heritage Foundation and vice chairman of the Johannesburg Heritage Trust.
His interest in heritage has seen him get involved in many projects, including consulting on the ongoing developments at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein and the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto. He was awarded the gold medal of distinction from SAIA, and the gold medal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (now Heritage South Africa).