For Anna Heringer, architecture is a tool to improve lives. This was the opening statement of her inspiring lecture.
The architect and honorary professor of the UNESCO chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures and Sustainable Development discussed the use of natural building materials. The production process is at least as important to Anna Heringer as the completed building. Consequently, the focus of her presentation was not only on her clay buildings in Asia, Africa and Europe but also on the people making it possible through their acceptance and input.
Anna Heringer describes her work as follows: “The vision behind and motivation for my work is to explore and use architecture as a medium to strengthen cultural and individual confidence, to support local economies and to foster the ecological balance. For me, sustainability is a synonym for beauty: a building that is harmonious in its design, structure, technique and use of materials, as well as with the location, the environment, the user, the socio-cultural context. This, for me, is what defines its sustainable and aesthetic value.”
Architect Anna Heringer won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for her degree thesis about the METI School built in Rudrapur in 2005. Together with Martin Rauch she developed the method of clay storming, which she has taught at various universities, including ETH Zurich, UP Madrid and TU Munich. She currently teaches at the University of Liechtenstein and at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In January 2017, she presented a TED talk about earthen architecture.
Anna Heringer has won numerous awards: the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, the AR Emerging Architecture Awards 2006 and 2008, the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard GSD and a RIBA International Fellowship. Her work has been widely exhibited in venues such as the MoMA New York, the V&A Museum in London and the Venice Biennale
Architecture is a Tool to improve Lives