My Favorite ThingArchitect Diébédo Francis Kéré explains the significance of his carved stool.

My Favorite ThingArchitect Diébédo Francis Kéré explains the significance of his carved stool.

  • Photograph Daniel Farò

This small wooden stool, carved from one piece of wood and decorated with intricate carvings, holds the quintessence of my childhood. Known as a gho in the Bissa language, which literally translates to “sitting wood,” it represents comfort and a sense of being held close and cared for. This is because whenever I saw my mother sitting on it, I knew she was either about to start preparing a meal or some other activity that was connected to family life. These stools would get carried from one corner to the next to allow people to perch next to a stove to stir a stew, or next to some bowls to shell peas or to gather together and talk. 

When I see these stools today or trace my finger along their carvings, I am transported back to Gando and, more importantly, to those memories that anch...

ISSUE 52

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