We live in an age in which architecture seems to be hostage to building industry codes, legislative protocols and, above all, by the objectives of the financial system. Across the globe we see a growth of construction without any social or ecological concerns, which can have very serious consequences. In this scenario, what role should be demanded from architecture?
In the opinion of the architect Francis Kéré (1965, Burkina Faso) designing a building is a social act. His work is now internationally recognized, as the first African architect to be invited to design the annual pavilion of the Serpentine Gallery. Kéré has tested new approaches to architecture, in particular in his home village of Gando. Experimenting with local manpower and traditional building materials and techniques, in combination with modern engineering solutions, his projects mobilize the communities for whom, and by whom, the buildings are made. In a conversation with the architect and researcher Paulo Moreira, whose work has focused on the architect’s proactive role in underprivileged parts of the world, Francis Kéré will talk about the impact of his works on communities – since his buildings develop skills, embrace new uses and attract further constructions in the surrounding area. His architecture emanates an energy that has an effective impact on the local context and also achieves resonance on a global scale. Sustainable and socially conscious – this is a radically, simple, and yet innovative approach to architecture.