Berlin-based architect and designer of the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, Francis Kéré was in conversation with Stefano Boeri (Stefano Boeri Architetti), Mohsen Mostafavi (Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Design), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries) and Saskia Sassen (Professor, Columbia University).
Francis Kéré, the award-winning architect from Gando, Burkina Faso, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2017, responding to the brief with a bold, innovative structure that brings his characteristic sense of light and life to the lawns of Kensington Gardens.
Full Professor of Urban Planning at Politecnico in Milan, Stefano Boeri has been a guest professor at various universities, including Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Strelka Institute in Moscow, Berlage Institute in the Netherlands and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He has been recently appointed Director of a post-doctoral research program at Tongji University in Shanghai, where he is developing an international research platform called Future City Lab. Boeri was director of the international magazines Domus (2004-2007) and Abitare (2007-2011) and he has published many books. In 1999, as architect and town planner, Boeri founded Boeri Studio, then Stefano Boeri Architetti. In 2013 Boeri founded, together with Yibo Xu, Stefano Boeri Architetti China, located in Shanghai.
Mohsen Mostafavi is Dean and the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. An architect and educator, his work focuses on modes and processes of urbanisation and on the interface between technology and aesthetics. Mostafavi is the author, co-author and editor of many books, including Ecological Urbanism (co-edited 2010 and recently translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish), Architecture is Life (2013), Nicholas Hawksmoor: The London Churches (2015), Portman’s America & Other Speculations (2017), and Ethics of the Urban: The City and the Spaces of the Political (2017).
Saskia Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University (www.saskiasassen.com). Her latest book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014), now out in 18 languages. She is the recipient of diverse awards, including multiple doctor honoris causa, Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences and made a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of Netherland.