Questions of Practice: Francis Kéré on Architecture and Community Collaboration

Architect Francis Kéré has said that “architecture is about people,” and that it should inspire and serve the needs of a community. In conjunction with the Center-funded Creative Africa exhibition series at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, we asked Kéré how he invites community input in his projects. “Working with the community is demanding…to take time to discuss; to listen to people,” Kéré says. “But at the end, a project is a product of collaboration.”

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Francis Kéré on architecture and community collaboration. Filmed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on September 26, 2016.

Supported by a Center Advancement grant, The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community was on view May 14 – September 25, 2016 as part of the Creative Africa exhibition series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Learn more here.>>

Born in Burkina Faso and based in Berlin, architect Francis Kéré integrates traditional knowledge and craft skills into innovative and sustainable buildings worldwide. In 1998, he established the Kéré Foundation and constructed The Primary School in his home village—a project that received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004. With his firm Kéré Architecture, he has produced international projects including the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Switzerland, the Center for Earth Architecture in Mali, and the National Park of Mali, and he participated in the Venice Architecture Biennale (2010). Kéré is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects, and has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio.

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