Building as Education

architect Diébédo Francis Kéré
interviewed by Tomislav pavelić and Mia Roth Čerina

The path of Diébédo Francis Kéré is unique in contemporary architectural space. As a son of the Gando village headman in Burkina Faso, he was the only child of his generation that had access to education. Leaving the school at the age of seven, by late adolescence he started living in Berlin, where he enrolled into the Technical university and graduated in architecture. During the studies, he raised money to build a school in Gando, which was his ma project. For this realisation he was awarded the Aga Khan Award. In the jury citation, although the architectural values of the project are also highlighted, the social impact of Kere’s work is brought to the fore because he includes the whole local community in the building process and because he sees the sense of his, from the African point of view priviledged, position in the selfless transfer of European experiences and knowledge into the African context. Today, he marries the influences of his formative backgrounds in projects he does all over the world, and through direct participation, he shares his specific methodology of education with the students in Berlin, Harvard, Mendrisio and Munich. In 2017, he was the author of the 17th temporary Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens in London.