Francis Kéré, Hon. FAIA

Award-winning architect

Francis Kéré’s work focuses on using local materials and techniques in a modern way to redefine and redesign the environment. Discover his brand of community architecture and how he uses it as a platform for local expression and empowerment, and as a catalyst for social, economic, and ecological progress during our Day 1 keynote, Anticipate Need: Design That Cares.


Diébédo Francis Kéré is a German-trained architect from the small West African town of Gando, Burkina Faso. His first building, a primary school in Gando, was completed in 2001 and received the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture. In 2005, he founded Kéré Architecture to reinvest in his Burkina Faso community and beyond.

Francis has taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and the Swiss Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, and his work has earned numerous awards including the Curry Stone Design Prize, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, the BSI Swiss Architectural Award, and the Marcus Prize.

Gando Primary School, ©Erik Jan Ouwerkerk
Léo Surgical Center

Radically simple

Francis has designed award-winning projects in Burkina Faso, Mali, Sudan, and Mozambique, including the construction of a number of school buildings the village of his birth. Get to know Francis through Radically Simple, the most comprehensive exhibit of his work to date, at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, through February 26. The exhibit chronicles his life and work through installations and film.

“I believe it is important to engage people in the process of building so they have an investment in what is developed.”

Keynote details

Francis shares the keynote stage with Alejandro Aravena, Elizabeth Diller, and Michael Murphy on Day 1 of the AIA Conference on Architecture. Don’t miss their powerful, short-form talks happening Thursday, April 27. The event begins at 8:30am.

See Francis:
Thursday, 8:30am, Hall C
Anticipate Need: Design That Cares

All speakers