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Diébédo Francis Kéré  

Award-Winning Architect at Kéré Architecture

Born in the village of Gando in Burkina Faso, he was the first child in the village to be sent to school. Since qualifying as an architect at the Technical University of Berlin he has been designed award-winning projects in Burkina Faso, Mali, Yemen and China, including the construction of a number of school buildings in the village of his birth. He is a tenured professor at Harvard University and founder of the Association Schulbausteine für Gando.

After finishing his education, he became a carpenter and received a scholarship from the Carl Duisberg Society to do an apprenticeship in Germany as a supervisor in development aid. After completing the apprenticeship, he went on to study architecture at the Technical University of Berlin, graduating in 2004.

During his studies he felt it was his duty to contribute to his family and to the community which had supported him, and to give the next generation the opportunity to follow in his footsteps. In 1998, with the help of his friends, Kéré set up the association Schulbausteine für Gando, which loosely translates as "Building Blocks for Gando", to fund the construction of a primary school for his village. His objective was to combine the knowledge he had gained in Europe, with traditional building methods from Burkina Faso. He completed his studies and built the first school in Gando as his diploma project in 2004, while also opening his own architectural office Kéré Architecture.

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