Maheder Gebremedhin: Traditional Ethiopian architecture and modern radio shows

Addis Ababa-born architect Maheder Gebremedhin looks at where architecture is and where it’s going in his city.

Maheder Gebremedhin is a practicing architect born and raised in Ethiopia’s sprawling capital city, Addis Ababa. Included in his extensive profile is architecture, engineering, interior design and project management. On top of that, he produces and hosts his own radio show called Kebet Eske Ketema (from the house to the city), which he uses as a public platform to discuss civil architecture.

In this video interview, Gebremedhin unpacks the dynamics of his city’s architecture, looking at it from its past, its present, and its future trajectory. When he considers the role of architecture today, he thinks of buildings that merge traditional architectural values with the current needs of the city dwellers.

Architecture is “civil art that works for the people,” says Gebremedhin.

For a structure to work in Addis Ababa, Gebremedhin notes that an architect should consider its aesthetics, material practicality, feasibility, and interaction with the existing urban fabric and the city’s residents.