116th street and Broadway
New York City, New York

NEW YORK (January 15) — The Goethe-Institut New York, a branch of the Federal Republic of Germanyʼs international cultural institution, is pleased to announce the season premiere of its hit series, “What is Green Architecture?” -- recommended by The New York Post, Time Out New York, The Architect’s Newspaper, Flavorpill, Unbeige, Apartment Therapy, Gothamist and more -- which spotlights next-wave pioneers in the field in conversation with curator and host Andres Lepik. “What is Green Architecture?” brings architects and engineers to New York in order to give audiences the exclusive privilege to travel the globe via projects of the future, from Harvard’s transformative Allston Science Complex to the first carbon-neutral city, currently taking shape in the United Arab Emirates.

On Tuesday, February 3rd, at 6:30pm, in Avery Hall (114, lower level) at The Graduate School of Architecture, Columbia University (on the main campus, located between 116th and 120th Streets and Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues), Berlin-based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré (www.kere-architecture.com) will deliver a lecture - “Step by Step: Building Schools in Africa,” addressing his current award-winning project in his native Gando Village, Burkina Faso. The lecture will be followed by a discussion with Andres Lepik. Admission is free, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Diébédo Francis Kéré asserts that his fondest desire as an architect is to build projects in his own village, Gando, located in the West African country of Burkina Faso, “which is one of the ten poorest countries in the world and has an illiteracy level of over 80%.” To achieve sustainability, he notes that “the projects are based on the principles of designing for climatic comfort with low-cost construction, making the most of local materials and the potential of the local community, and adapting technology from the industrialized world in a simple way.”

Diébédo Francis Kéré is a young architect from Burkina Faso who studied in Germany. While in school, he founded Schulbausteine für Gando to create green buildings and support the Burkinabe people in their development. Since 1999, he has spoken internationally about his work. His projects can be found from Burkina Faso to India, and include a primary school in his home village, Gando, which won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004). Besides his occupation as a self-employed planner, Francis Kéré has been a lecturer at the Technische Universität Berlin, Habitat Unit, since 2004, focusing on the topics of housing and urban development, strategies of climatically advantageous building, sustainable utilization of materials, integration of local labor force, and local construction techniques. He does not limit his efforts to architecture. With the help of his association, he tries to provide the people of his homeland with innovative development projects and with future prospects in adult education, health care, and economic support for women bearing the greatest share of burdens in his home country. His motto is “Help to self-help,” and he asserts that only those who participate in the development process will be able to appreciate, continue, and safeguard the resulting change.

“What is Green Architecture?” series curator and moderator Dr. Andres Lepik studied Art History and German Literature at universities in Augsburg and Munich, earning his Ph.D. in Rome. He has curated noted architecture exhibitions, including solo shows highlighting the work of Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas and Oswald Mathias Ungers at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and the German venue for The Museum of Modern Artʼs Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: Die Berliner Jahre 1907-1938 at Altes Museum. He is currently Curator in the Architecture & Design Department of The Museum of Modern Art, where he recently worked on the Young Architects Program at P.S.1 and curated Dreamland: Architectural Experiments since the 1970s.

This event is presented in collaboration with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (www.arch.columbia.edu).

The Goethe-Institut New York is a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany's global cultural institute, established to promote the study of German language and culture abroad, encourage international cultural exchange, and provide information on Germany's culture, society, and politics. The Goethe-Institut worldwide is committed to the discussion and popularization of sustainable ecology and green values. Ludlow 38, created in collaboration between the Goethe-Institut New York and Kunstverein München, is a new art space on the Lower East Side. For details on upcoming events and to join the mailing list, please visit: www.goethe.de/newyork.


Added by LACerand on January 15, 2009

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