15 Inspiring TED Talks by Architects| Must Watch

Presenting a list of most popular TED Talks delivered by architects themselves which are timeless, informative, inspiring, thought provoking. They pick up topics related to architecture, design, the way we live and are relevant to everyone, not just architects alone. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) picks 15 of these most viewed and recommended TED Talks  (not in any order) for you. Tell us which ones we should add on to this list:

1. How Architecture can connect us - Thom Mayne

Architect Thom Mayne has never been one to take the easy option, and this whistle-stop tour of the buildings he's created makes you glad for it. These are big ideas cast in material form.

2. The genius behind some of the world's most famous buildings - Renzo Piano

Legendary architect Renzo Piano -- the mind behind such indelible buildings as The Shard in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the new Whitney Museum of Art in New York City -- takes us on a stunning tour through his life's work. With the aid of gorgeous imagery, Piano makes an eloquent case for architecture as the answer to our dreams, aspirations and desire for beauty. "Universal beauty is one of the few things that can change the world," he says. "This beauty will save the world. One person at a time, but it will do it."

3. A master Architect asks, Now what? - Frank Gehry

In a wildly entertaining discussion with Richard Saul Wurman, architect Frank Gehry gives TEDsters his take on the power of failure, his recent buildings, and the all-important "Then what?" factor. Also watch - My days as a young rebel by Frank Gehry

4. 17 Words of Architectural Inspiration - Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind builds on very big ideas. Here, he shares 17 words that underlie his vision for architecture -- raw, risky, emotional, radical -- and that offer inspiration for any bold creative pursuit.

5. Design at the intersection of Technology and Biology - Neri Oxman

Designer and architect Neri Oxman is leading the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies can interact with the biological world. Working at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, her lab is pioneering a new age of symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, our products and even our buildings.

6. Why great architecture should tell a story - Ole Shreen

For architect Ole Scheeren, the people who live and work inside a building are as much a part of that building as concrete, steel and glass. He asks: Can architecture be about collaboration and storytelling instead of the isolation and hierarchy of a typical skyscraper? Visit five of Scheeren's buildings -- from a twisted tower in China to a floating cinema in the ocean in Thailand -- and learn the stories behind them.

7. 3 warp speed architecture talks - Bjarke Ingels

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature -- they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy -- and creating stunning views.

8. My architectural philosophy? Bring the community into the process - Alexandro Aravena

When asked to build housing for 100 families in Chile ten years ago, Alejandro Aravena looked to an unusual inspiration: the wisdom of favelas and slums. Rather than building a large building with small units, he built flexible half-homes that each family could expand on. It was a complex problem, but with a simple solution — one that he arrived at by working with the families themselves. With a chalkboard and beautiful images of his designs, Aravena walks us through three projects where clever rethinking led to beautiful design with great benefit.

9. The architectural wonder of impermanent cities - Rahul Mehrotra

Every 12 years, a megacity springs up in India for the Kumbh Mela religious festival -- what's built in ten weeks is completely disassembled in one. What can we learn from this fully functioning, temporary settlement? In a visionary talk, urban designer Rahul Mehrotra explores the benefits of building impermanent cities that can travel, adapt or even disappear, leaving the lightest possible footprint on the planet.

10. Building the seed cathedral - Thomas Heatherwick

A future more beautiful? Architect Thomas Heatherwick shows five recent projects featuring ingenious bio-inspired designs. Some are remakes of the ordinary: a bus, a bridge, a power station ... And one is an extraordinary pavilion, the Seed Cathedral, a celebration of growth and light.

11. Emergency shelters made from paper - Shigeru Ban

Long before sustainability was a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban was using ecologically sound building materials such as cardboard tubes. He uses them to build remarkable temporary structures for disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda and Japan. Yet often, these buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.

12. Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by you - Mark Kushner

"Architecture is not about math or zoning -- it's about visceral emotions," says Marc Kushner. In a sweeping — often funny — talk, he zooms through the past thirty years of architecture to show how the public, once disconnected, have become an essential part of the design process. With the help of social media, feedback reaches architects years before a building is even created. The result? Architecture that will do more for us than ever before.

13. Create, Expore and Love your life - B V Doshi

(This talk was part of TEDx Talk  India organised by Nirma University). B V Doshi explains that creation can only happen if we have patience. We should always explore and try something new daily. There is so much to learn from nature and especially trees. Love your life. Be generous. Be adventurous and explore.

14. Buildings that blend nature and city - Jeanne Gang

A skyscraper that channels the breeze ... a building that creates community around a hearth ... Jeanne Gang uses architecture to build relationships. In this engaging tour of her work, Gang invites us into buildings large and small, from a surprising local community center to a landmark Chicago skyscraper. "Through architecture, we can do much more than create buildings," she says. "We can help steady this planet we all share."

15. How we can design timeless cities for our collective future - Vishaan Chakrabarti

There's a creeping sameness in many of our newest urban buildings and streetscapes, says architect Vishaan Chakrabarti. And this physical homogeneity -- the result of regulations, mass production, safety issues and cost considerations, among other factors -- has blanketed our planet in a social and psychological homogeneity, too. In this visionary talk, Chakrabarti calls for a return to designing magnetic, lyrical cities that embody their local cultures and adapt to the needs of our changing world and climate.

If you would like us to add one to these lists, let us know in comments below:

Text: www.ted.com, Images: ted.com | youtube

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