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In Building the Future, a Blueprint from the Past                  

As part of its ‘Turning Point’ series, the New York Times turned to Burkinabe-German architect Diébédo Francis Kéré to ask his thoughts about the future of architecture in Africa. With one of the world’s fastest growing populations, the continent has a tremendous need for housing. To build it, however, he suggests that we should look to the past to devise new techniques for meeting this rapid demand in an environmentally sustainable way. In the right context, there is a place for modernism. But there is also a need for architecture that, environmentally, works in Africa. Sudano-Sahelian architecture, from West Africa, uses the heat-absorbing quality of clay to its advantage, with thick walls that are curved on the outside to reduce sun exposure, and very small windows.