In Conversation with Diébédo Francis Kéré

In Conversation with Diébédo Francis Kéré

Posted in Design

Architectural works and designs are likely perceived as cultural symbols and are often used as a marker of a civilization. Looking at the housing situation in West Africa, architect Francis Kéré thinks that Africans should stop imitating the Western way of building and rather adapt it to their own needs. He talks about building with local materials, working with his community, and using primitive tools to make complex structures. He believes that Africans should use their creativity to develop architecture that cope better with the local environment.

Diébédo Francis Kéré was born in the village of Gando, Burkina Faso and studied architecture in Berlin, Germany. In 1998, he created the Kéré Foundation with the help of his friends to fund the construction of a primary school in his village. The first school was completed in 2001, built with mud bricks instead of concrete, which is expensive and not well suited to the local climate. Over the years, the school was gradually extended with other buildings including a library, teachers’ housing, and a secondary school. The architect says the built environment in Africa should adapt to nature, while maintaining the cultural richness of the people.

Francis Kéré talks about his dream to make things better in his home country of Burkina Faso and tells how he has been introducing traditional building techniques that allow for natural ventilation to the communities in West Africa. By giving the community a framework within which to work, he encouraged the people of Burkina Faso to build houses that breathe. In addition to his work in Burkina Faso, Kéré has given talks, presented architectural installations, and provided conceptual designs for projects in countries all over the world.


Posted in Design  |  October 10, 2020