In this TED Talk, co-founder of MASS Design Group, Michael Murphy, presents the question “what more can architecture do?” as the springboard philosophy behind the practice. Following a trajectory of MASS’s projects, Murphy reflects upon their practice’s progress in seeing architecture as an opportunity to invest in the future of communities.
For more than 3 decades now, the annual TED Conference and its many affiliated events have served as an important platform for, as their tagline puts it, "ideas worth spreading," and has inspired countless people through its fast paced thought-provoking presentations. Founded in 1984 by architect and graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman, there have been many architecture presentations throughout the conferences—but there are even more inspirational talks which aren't necessarily about architecture. Here we've compiled 21 of the best TED Talks in recent years which, while not strictly about architecture, will certainly appeal to the architectural mindset. Covering a variety of topics such as creativity, art, productivity, technological advancements, and the science of cities and the natural environment, these videos will inspire you to become a better architect.
Which non-architectural TED talks have inspired you? Don't forget to share further recommendations in the comments below!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released a 360° video of the recently renovated Met Breuer, the former home of the Whitney Museum designed by Marcel Breuer in 1966 that now houses sections of the Met’s modern and contemporary collections. The video takes you through several areas of the building including the entry, the lobby and the sunken garden courtyard. Orbit around the video to check out the unique apertures of the landmark facade and the finely detailed interiors, featuring the building’s iconic ceiling.
Set to a soundtrack suitable for the most climactic moment of an episode of Game of Thrones, this drone footage from filmmaking duo BigFly takes viewers inside the St. Louis Church in Paimboeuf, France. As it carefully navigates around the church’s arches and pendentives, the drone captures the space in a distinctly golden light, giving viewers up-close looks at the bold colors and flamboyant ornamentation for which the neo-Byzantine style is recognized.
Redsquare Productions has produced a short film on architect Shigeru Ban’s design for the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) in Aspen, Colorado. The film explores the museum’s architectural design and built environment through the utilization of time-lapse and motion sequences, highlighting Ban’s vision for the space.
Frei Otto: Spanning the Future, a documentary focusing on the life and work of 2015 Pritzker Prize winner, Frei Otto, has finished production and will be screened at various venues during the course of 2016. The film features one of the last interviews Otto gave before his death, in addition to commentary from renowned architects and engineers, including Zaha Hadid and Jürgen Hennicke, on the importance of his work. In the film, Otto discusses the influences on his work and his approaches on form finding and the development of tensile structures.
The latest video in French architect and filmmaker Vincent Hecht’s Japanese Collection series features the Gifu Media Cosmos by Toyo Ito. The library/gallery features an undulating wooden ceiling and multiple large, suspended translucent funnels that define areas for different activities. A series of intermittent openings in the roof allows natural light into the space.
Over the past 20 years, many of the most renowned European cultural institutions - including ARTE France, Les Films d’Ici, the Louvre, the Ministry of Culture and Communication Department of Architecture and Heritage, Centre Pompidou, City of Architecture and Heritage, Musée d'Orsay and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe - have come together to produce more than 50 architecture documentaries devoted to the most significant achievements of architecture, its beginnings, and the latest creations of the great architects of today. Now, these videos are accessible to the public via the YouTube Channel ACB (Art and Culture Bureau).
Each documentary is approximately 26 minutes long, and focuses on the genesis and impact of a single building that has played a role in the evolution of architecture. Narration is in English, and many of the videos of newer buildings feature interviews with the architects themselves. Check out some of the videos below, or find the entire list here.
Grace Farms by SANAA perfectly illustrates the firm’s sinuous, elegant style, combining their understanding of glass and structure to create spaces so fluid that they’re hard to believe from just a photo. A new time lapse by Work Zone Cam shows the construction of this project in HD, capturing a period between September 2013 and October 2015. Work Zone Cam worked with Project Manager, Paratus Group, to document Grace Farms’ construction, including its central piece “The River”: a ribbon-like roof that blends seamlessly with the landscape. Watch the entire construction of the project in just 180 seconds after the break.
We’ve all heard the story of the cocktail napkin sketch that inspired a masterwork. Architecture is all about communicating ideas visually, and there is no better way to quickly express an idea than through sketching. But for many students just starting on the path of architecture, the skills to actually create such sketches don't come naturally, and mentors who will take the time to explain such basics can be hard to find.
Geared towards young and aspiring architecture students, a new youtube channel, Themodmin, provides short, free tutorials on how to get the most out of your sketches in their series Architecture Daily Sketches. Covering topics from lineweight to perspective to adding people to your drawings, the videos follow a simple format that is easy to follow. Watch a few of the videos below and head over to their youtube page here for more tutorials.
“As a designer, we create architectural spaces which are de facto instruments—they contain sound, they manipulate it, they can even create sound—so we’re tasked with a very powerful tool for affecting human cognition.”
In an effort to spark new ideas for "zero value landscapes," Amanda Williams has been painting abandoned houses in Chicago's South Side with a "palette of culturally coded, monochromatic colors" to "explore how academic and theoretical definitions of color map across veiled language used in American media/popular culture to describe racially charged city spaces... Think a female Gordon Matta-Clark parading around as a Black Josef Albers," says the artist.
Surpassing the limitations of static imagery, filmmaker Daniele Marucci creates videos that bridge the filmic and architectonic for a richer and more immersive understanding of buildings and their environments. Marucci works with photographer Enrico Cano to share intimate portraits of buildings that slow down our experience by drawing attention to their subtleties. In such practice, we are given the freedom to survey the architecture but also to let our mind wander, to daydream. Often working in remote locations, the frenetic speed of the city is forgotten when a new intensity takes hold.
In a new segment of the Archiculture extras series, Arbuckle Industries interviews Pratt professors and architects Marc Schaut and Dan Bucsescu, who discuss the extent to which technology has transformed the teaching of architecture, and the necessities of a holistic architecture education. Watch the interview above, and delve into more Archiculture interviews here.
The online lecture, similar to the podcast, is an easy, often entertaining way of absorbing knowledge and the opinions of thinkers and practitioners from around the world. We've gathered together some of our favourite sources for watching architectural lectures online. Ranging from Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel's famous American Architecture Now interviews with Frank Gehry in 1980 and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown in 1984, to Sir Peter Cook speaking at Frankfurt's Staedelschule in 2012, these open-source films provide invaluable insights into architects and architects throughout recent history.
Check out our favourite sources after the break.
Back in 2012, we found "Empire State of Pen," an amazing video of London-based artist and animator Patrick Vale’s drawing of Manhattan from the perspective of the Empire State Building. Now, Vale has taken a different perspective of the city, this time traveling a bit farther uptown to the Rockefeller Center area. Vale’s new drawing looks south, with the Empire State Building in the center, and the Freedom Tower in the background. To the east you can see the Chrysler Building, and to the west lies the Bank of America Tower in the Times Square area.
Vale started the drawing in December of 2014, when he spent an afternoon in -15 degree weather sketching and taking pictures, which he then took back to his studio to create the piece. The whole process took over a month to complete. Watch Vale's drawing come to life in the time-lapse video above, and view images of his illustration after the break.
Witness the urban life of five stunning metropolises through the lens of Rob Whitworth with these "Vimeo Staff Pick" hyperlapse videos. From the unexplored urban life of the North Korean capital Pyongyang to the towering skyline of Dubai, each video explores an incredible sequence of daily living in cities across the planet. See more, including video from Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, after the break.
ArchDaily has teamed up with Building Pictures, Filipa Figueira and Tiago Vieira to feature weekly episodes of their video series “Arquitectura à Moda do Porto,” which highlights Porto’s most significant buildings over the last two decades.
The series launched in 2013 and is composed of 10 episodes, each focusing on a different theme: light, stairs, balconies, nature, textures, doors, windows, skylights, pavements and structures.
Last week we featured the series’ sixth episode about Porto’s doors, and now we present Episode 7 – Windows. Read the producers’ description of the latest episode after the break.