TED Blog

“I was disappointed in my profession,” says architect Shigeru Ban in today’s talk, which he gave at TEDxTokyo in May. As far as he’s concerned, architecture has lost its way. [ted_talkteaser id=1809]”We are working for privileged people, for rich people, for government and developers. They have money and power, and those are invisible, so they hire us to visualize their power and money by making monuments of architecture.” Ban, instead, has committed himself to creating buildings that can truly be useful — whether or not they’re permanent fixtures on a horizon.

Ban first began experimenting with constructing buildings from paper tubes in 1986, and he’s continued to test new ideas of form and material ever since. For Ban, good architecture must answer questions of utility and sustainability even as it delights with aesthetics. Somewhat surprisingly, given the apparently transient nature of so many of his chosen materials, his buildings…

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