Talking Practice: Anna Heringer

Photo of METI school by Anna Heringer

 in Rudrapur, Dinajpur district, Bangladesh

In this episode, Anna Heringer, founder and principal of Anna Heringer Architects, and honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development reflects on her days as a scout during her youth and discusses her commitment to rural development and mud/bamboo as raw materials, outlining both the practical and poetic aspects of building mud architecture. Stating the importance of manual work and intuitive learning, she highlights the benefits of working with local communities in Bangladesh in projects such as the METI School, and the challenges of refining and elevating mud architecture through public outreach. By embracing the vulnerability of mud as a material, Heringer asserts her belief in the necessity of local and culturally-sensitive projects in the face of architecture that is increasingly flattened by the forces of globalization.

Heringer presents an inside glimpse into the kinds of techniques and strategies that are necessary to implement her philosophical values within the profession, as well as managing doubt in the face of adversity. For more information about Anna’s humanitarian outlook and work with mud architecture, check out her Fall 2018 options studio and lecture at the GSD.

Anna Heringer

Anna Heringer is the founder and principal of Anna Heringer architects, based in Laufen, Germany, and is the recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture.  As UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development, Anna is known internationally for her mud and bamboo projects and humanitarian architecture, with projects in Asia, Europe, and Africa. Anna is currently the Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and teaches an options studio on a day care center for Rohingya children in Bangladesh.

About the Show

Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice.  Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today.

About the Host

Grace LaGrace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect’s agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites.

Show Credits

Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Jihyun Ro. The show is recorded at Harvard University’s Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade.


For all inquiries, please email [email protected].