Fifty percent of landfill waste in New Zealand is construction and demolition waste. The demand for homes in the coming years and decades is rapidly outstripping any possible supply we could provide with our current construction methods. PhD student Ged Finch discusses the problems with the home building industry and practices in New Zealand and proposes an alternative to what he terms the "disposable model" of building. Today's homes are not built to last, and can make us sick in the time they are here. Finch's research focuses instead on a completely reimagined, zero waste model for construction. Utilizing today's digital fabrication technologies, we can create a set of building parts that are optimized and reusable from naturally durable materials. But the technical solution is only one part, states Finch. The real key is human ambition.
Ted Talk: The Latest Architecture and News
Ma Yansong has come to represent a new generation of Chinese architects shaping a forward-looking architecture. Founder of the firm MAD Architects, Yansong was the first Chinese architect to receive a RIBA fellowship. Today, Ma continues to explore contemporary architecture that's grounded in traditional Eastern values of nature, bridging design between the East and West. His latest TED Talk explores his new projects and surreal designs.
Artist and designer Es Devlin recently joined TED2019 to explore her iconic stage sculptures and upcoming work for Expo 2020 Dubai. Creating works for Beyoncé, Adele, Kanye West, U2 and more, Devlin is known for creating large-scale performative sculptures and environments that fuse music, language and light. Her TED Talk highlights a visual journey of Devlin's work to illustrate her incredible creative process.
"Isn't it fascinating how this simple act of drawing a line on a map can transform the way we see and experience the world?" asks Ronald Rael in his December 2018 TED Talk. "And those lines on a map can create scars in the landscape and scars in our memories."
“If there is any power in design, that’s the power of synthesis.”
In this TED Talk Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, the founder of ELEMENTAL, speaks about some of the design challenges he has faced in Chile and his innovative approaches to solving them. Emphasizing the need for simplicity in design, Aravena talks about three of his projects: the Quinta Monroy social housing project, through which he developed the “half-finished home” typology for governments to provide quality homes at incredibly low-prices; his “inside-out” design for the Pontifical Catholic University’s Innovation Center UC – Anacelto Angelini, which reduced energy costs by two-thirds; and lastly his masterplan for rebuilding a resilient coastline in Constitución Chile after the city was hit by the 2010 earthquake.
Aravena also emphasized the importance of community participation in his projects, saying: “We won’t ever solve the problem unless we use people’s own capacity to build.” Watch Aravena’s full talk above and take a peek at some of his key projects below.
Are you feeling short on inspiration today? For a jump-start, try watching one of these twenty TED Talks – a follow-up to last year's post "The 10 Most Inspirational TED Talks for Architects." Wherever your interests lie, the passionate people featured in these videos - from WikiHouse founder Alastair Parvin to famed photographer Iwan Baan and architectural great Moshe Safdie - will get your creative juices flowing. See them all, after the break.
Amanda Burden, former animal behaviorist turned New York’s chief city planner, has discovered what makes cities desirable: great public spaces. During her time with the Bloomberg administration, Burden oversaw the fruition of the city’s most transformative public projects, including New York’s beloved High Line. In the video above, she reveals the many unexpected challenges of planning (and maintaining) parks people love, and why it is so important for cities to have great public spaces.
What does the workplace of the future look like? Shawn Gehle, of Gensler, explains in this TEDx Talk that with over 10 billion square feet of existing office space in North America, we may not even need to envision new buildings. Rather, by "hacking" existing buildings, architects can transform them into something completely new. For more on Gensler's "hacker" philosophy, read our article here.
In this TED Talk, Xavier Vilalta of Vilalta Architects walks through the design of two projects: a multistory shopping mall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and a multi-family apartment complex in Tunisia. Each is a prime example of how harnessing nature and referencing local traditions can allow architecture to naturally grow from its surroundings and become an integral component of the city.
Iwan Baan’s curiosity for the built environment has led him to be one of the world’s most preeminent photographers whose skills are in constant demand by architectural elites worldwide. Constantly on the move, Baan has found himself documenting fascinating testaments to human ingenuity. From the informal vertical community of Torre David in Caracas to the floating Niagara slum of Makoko, Baan’s encounters with thriving communities in some of the most unexpected places has led him to believe that there is “no such thing as normal” and humans can truly adapt to anything.