Recorded: February 9, 2012
Click here for a conversation with Michael Bierut and Francis Kéré.
In this excerpt from his February 2012 Current Work lecture, architect Francis Kéré presents a Primary School and Teachers Housing in his native village of Gando in Burkina Faso.
Kéré is increasingly known for his philosophy of “self-building,” in which he works with communities to develop capacity to monitor climactic circumstances and use local materials. Kéré considers new ways architects can exchange knowledge with communities and propose new models for practice. In his own words, “only people who take part in the building process can maintain and spread the word about these architectural projects.”
Diébédo Francis Kéré, from Burkina Faso, studied architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he is now based. As an architect he defines himself as “a bridge between cultures, between the technically and economically developed countries of ‘the north’ and the less developed African countries (of the south)” His projects have focused on education as “the developing concept for his country.” While a student, he founded the association Schulbausteine für Gando e. V, for the funding of his first project, a Primary School in his native village. The building, completed in 2001, received the Aga Khan Award. The school’s construction is “the result of a vision, initially verbalized by the architect and realized by the community.”
This program is co-sponsored by The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design.