Anna Heringer: “Architecture is a tool to improve lives”

Last week all Transsolarians (and friends of Transsolar) joined together virtually for the biannual two-day “Project Days.” The planning team put together an exciting program including group overviews which allow us to see who is working on what KlimaEngineering feature and what we have learned. Each time, the variety of questions we receive is impressive as well as the enthusiasm of our staff facing these issues again and again and coming up with even better solutions.

As is tradition, we invited a guest speaker who broadens our horizon and inspires us. This time the team chose Anna Heringer. We consider her an exceptional phenomenon among contemporary architects. She stated in an interview currently done by the Louisiana Channel, “Of course I am an architect, but I am also a development worker, an activist… there is this creative itch in me, whenever I see a need somewhere and a potential… something comes out… it could be a building, a shirt…I am always trying to use creativity as a tool to improve lives.”

Anna presented “Architecture is a tool to improve lives”. Her practice revolves around this statement, showing us a holistic sustainable approach. Believing that it is possible to live in balance with nature she starts projects searching for the local resources and potentials. She advocates for the use of local natural building materials and local “energy sources” which for her particularly means human labor: the participation of locals, their craftship and know-how. As a result, her projects empower entire communities socially and economically, creating truly humane spaces for work, living and study.

At Transsolar we also aim to make use of local resources to create a human-centered, comfortable space, which we believe leads to local identity of the building or project. To holistically reach this goal, we need architects like Anna Heringer to join forces with. With her vision, Anna was ahead of her time; not only the topic of natural local materials has finally become a serious issue, but also the social aspect of sustainability is being discussed more widely. The question is: How can architecture contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion? All these ideas have been on Anna’s agenda since the beginning of her career.

After the presentation and discussion, the Project Day team organized a raffle of vouchers of three beautiful items from Dipdii Textiles, a project of Anna and her team in Bangladesh. She was happy to share about the program’s origin and intention. The winners promised to show off the textiles next time we can meet again.

Collaboration with Studio Anna Heringer > Educational Campus, Tatale, Ghana