EV015.22 | 10 Top TED Talks for Architects to Watch


1. DANIEL LIBESKIND | 17 words of architectural inspiration
In this talk, the provocative architect gives us a tour of his world of the design process and his ambition to create a space that has never existed. He strongly believes that architecture is based on wonder, that it has a story to tell against all improbabilities and reach the human soul, change our experiences. Through optimism, expressionism, complexity, and democracy, we can break our habits and create new ideas.

2. FRANK GEHRY | My days as a young rebel
This is a legendary talk from 1990 when most of Frank Gehry‘s famous buildings were just an idea on his mind or non-existing at all. The controversial architect makes a presentation of his early work, trying to explain that it is the context that makes his designs understandable, and that’s why out of it, they look very weird. He identifies the origin of his ichthyological inspirations and presents his experiments with chain links and paper furniture.

3. LIZ DILLER | A new museum wing…in a giant bubble

Liz Diller of  Diller Scofidio + Renfro presents their challenging project of the expansion of Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. “To truly make a good public space, you need to erase distinctions between architecture, urbanism, and landscape”, she says. With silicon-coated glass, they create a contemporary deployable structure, taking the shape of its container. This is “The bubble”.

4. XAVIER VILALTA | Architecture at home in its community

The Catalan architect Xavier Vilalta presents two of his projects in the emerging countries of Ethiopia and Tunisia and the challenges he faced during the design process. The first one is a multistory shopping mall in the city of Addis Ababa and the second a masterplan of 2000 apartments and facilities in Tunis. They are great examples of how architecture can change the local communities and economies through affordable solutions that enhance the relationship between the people and the environment.

5. ALEJANDRO ARAVENA | My architectural philosophy? Bring the community into the process

The recent winner of the Pritzker PrizeAlejandro Aravena believes that the core of a good design is in finding the right questions, not “answering well the wrong ones”. Using a blackboard and chalk he explains how participatory design can be the solution for poverty in the cities, sustainability in working places, and facing the forces of nature. With the power of synthesis, bricks, wood, and cement become the power of life itself.

6. MARWA AL SABOUNI | How Syria’s architecture laid the foundation for brutal war

In this very interesting talk, we watch a young Syrian architect, who has lived the horror of the ongoing war in her hometown Homs and also lost her architecture studio, explaining how architecture was one of the main causes of the conflict in Syria. She focuses on how the modernization of the built environment, urban zoning, and misguided inhumane architecture led to the loss of the character of the community and the sense of belonging. “How do we rebuilt after the war is over in order to avoid the same mistakes?”

7. MICHAEL GREEN | Why we should build wooden skyscrapers

Michael Green has noticed that people act differently in the presence of wood in buildings. Along with the overpopulation and climate change he wants to find a solution in the housing using wood, a material already grown by the sun. He answers a lot of peoples’ concerns on this experiment and suggests that with mass timber panels of wood we can reach up to 30 story tall buildings.

8. JASON deCAIRES TAYLOR | An underwater art museum, teeming with life

The sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor started a project of creating underwater sculpture parks with more than 500 works in different places, in an effort to increase sensitivity towards the sea and the oceans. He uses materials and designs that help and encourage life and creates places for preservation, observation, and education, just like a museum.

9. THEASTER GATES | How to revive a neighborhood: with imagination, beauty, and art

The potter and social activist Theaster Gates in this talk teach us how to make something out of nothing. He presents his abandoned neighborhood, Grand Crossing in Chicago with failing housing markets and how he transformed its buildings into gathering sites for the community. He challenges us to rethink the reshaping of cities with the collaboration of all the scientific fields involved.

10. TONY FADELL | The first secret of design is…noticing

In this funny lecture, the designer Tony Fadell gives us tips on how to get over habituation of everyday things and start noticing the problems around us and try to fix them. His advice is to look broader and think younger, wake up every morning, and ask ourselves: “How can I experience the world better?”