From Local to Global

From Architectural Record’s 2019 Innovation Conference
Presented by Francis Kéré, Principal and Founder, Kéré Architecture

Learning Objectives:

  1. Facilitate discussions on how combining common or readily available materials with modern technology can create innovative solutions that resolve design issues.
  2. Describe how solutions and strategies that are taken for granted in more developed areas can be to areas that are underdeveloped and achieve great results for those communities.


This test is no longer available for credit

Kéré is known for bringing a strong sense of place, materials, and labor techniques to the elegantly simple buildings he has designed in his native Burkina Faso. While his architecture has evolved—with a range of materials and structural complexity in projects like the Serpentine Pavilion in London, and Xylem, at Tippet Rise, Montana—he will demonstrate how the ideas with which he launched his international practice remain embedded in his work.

The Berlin-based architect Francis Kéré received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 for the first building he designed—a school in his hometown of Gando, Burkina Faso. Kéré’s communal approach to design and his commitment to sustainable materials and construction methods can be seen in other completed projects in Burkina Faso as well, such as the National Assembly in Ouagadougou, the Lycée Schorge Secondary School in Koudougou, and the Léo Surgical Clinic & Health Centre in Léo. Kéré was also the architect for the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion in London and for Xylem, a pavilion for the Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana, which opened in 2019. In addition to teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio in Switzerland Kéré has participated in exhibitions in the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the Museo ICO in Madrid, the Architekturmuseum in Munich, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Originally published in December 2019