In his TedxTalk, Australian-born, Tasmanian-raised architect Ross Langdon begins by reading from the book The Rabbits, a children's tale which depicts Australia's colonizers as an invasive, destructive species: rabbits. "I realized I didn't want to be a rabbit any more," Langdon explains. "So I thought it might be better to be like a chameleon, able to adapt and change and blend with our environment, rather than conquer it."
It was this impetus that drove Langdon, who had worked for John McAslan and David Adjaye in London, and even started his own London-based firm, Regional Associates, to Uganda, where he was completing an HIV Center; unfortunately, Landon and his partner, Elif Yavuz, were among the victims killed in the siege of the Westgate Shopping Centre this weekend. According to the Architect's Journal, the "couple had relocated to be closer to Nairobi’s hospitals because Yavuz – who worked as a vaccines researcher in Tanzania for the Clinton Foundation – was expecting her baby within two weeks."
To remember Langdon's life and work, we've included the video of his TedxTalk, which closes with the inspiring philosophy behind "chameleon" architecture. In Langdon's words: "We believe that to create architecture that is born of the place, in both developing and developed worlds, that we need to source materials locally, we need to use construction methods that are available locally, wherever possible, to recycle, to upcycle, and to be resourceful, and, most importantly, be present in order to discover beauty in unexpected places."