Living, breathing architecture: Today’s TEDTalks playlist

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TED is taking its annual two-week vacation; during the break, we’ll post some of our favorite talks from the TEDTalks archive, arranged into playlists.

Today’s playlist is about way-new architecture — using organic forms and living, growing materials to bring fresh life into the buildings, homes and infrastructure we occupy. Magnus Larsson, for instance, has a bold plan to build in the Sahara desert sands using living bacteria:

[ted id=698]

  • Bjarke Ingels’ buildings not only look like nature — they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy …

    [ted id=634]

  • In 2002, IDEO’s David Kelley asked designers to focus on the human experience of design — rather than on simply making the next shiny gadget:

    [ted id=122]

  • Rachel Armstrong gives a first glimpse at new, living building materials — barely understood now — that could one day allow buildings to grow organically:

    [ted id=667]

  • More talks like this:

    David Macauley’s Rome Antics — a bird’s-eye view of a city that has grown organically over thousands of years
    Ron Eglash on African fractals — learn more about the precisely fractal forms of African buildings and villages
    Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia — finding the living heart of once-sterile suburban spaces

    You tell us: What are your favorite architecture stories in the TEDTalks archive? Add your suggestions for this playlist to the comments below, or email with the subject PLAYLIST: ARCHITECTURE. (Jog your memory with the TEDTalks spreadsheet.)

    And look for fresh TEDTalks starting on August 16!

    Curator of this playlist: Rachel Tobias