Top 10 TED Talks for Architects

When you’re struggling with a particular project or stuck in a design rut, there’s nothing like seeking inspiration from an architect you admire—even remotely. Whether you’re just beginning your career in architecture or have years of practice behind you, here are 10 visionary TED Talks guaranteed to get you thinking.

Michael Murphy: Architecture That’s Built to Heal

In this moving talk, CEO and co-founder of MASS Design Group Michael Murphy demonstrates how his firm achieves their goal of creating architecture that builds community and restores humanity in hurting societies.

Jeanne Gang: Buildings That Blend Nature and City

Famous for her award-winning designs and emphasis on sustainability, Jeanne Gang is the founding principal of Studio Gang and Architectural Review’s 2016 Architect of the Year. Here, Gang discusses how she incorporates elements of nature into her buildings.

Ole Scheeren: Why Great Architecture Should Tell a Story

Award-winning German architect Ole Scheeren talks about how five of his skyscrapers do more than tower—they also encourage people to connect and collaborate.

Neri Oxman: Design at the Intersection of Technology and Biology

Architect Neri Oxman is the head of the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, where she leads research into combining environmental design with digital modeling. Here, she discusses how buildings interact with our biology, and more.

Marc Kushner: Why the Buildings of the Future Will Be Shaped by You

Architizer CEO Marc Kushner talks about how public feedback integrates with design, and how social media will continue to impact architecture in the future.

Bjark Ingels: Three Warp-speed Architecture Tales

Danish architect and BIG principal Bjarke Ingels summarizes his “Yes is More” philosophy toward architecture and how his buildings don’t just incorporate nature, but imitate it within the built environment.

Michael Pawlyn: Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture

“You could look at nature as being like a catalog of products,” says architect Michael Pawlyn in this TED Talk explaining how architecture and biomimicry go hand in hand.

Alejnadro Aravena: My Architectural Philosophy

Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena won the 2016 Pritzker Prize for his work designing flexible, low-cost housing that improves the dignity and community of its occupants. Here, he explores the inspiration and theory behind his design process.

Rachel Armstrong: Architecture That Repairs Itself?

“I'm interested in the use of metabolic materials for the practice of architecture. But they don't exist. So I'm having to make them.” In this TED Talk, innovative scientist Rachel Armstrong proposes the creation of new sustainable building materials that are almost (but not quite) alive.

Frank Gehry: A Master Architect Asks, Now What?

You may not be able to schedule a sit-down with Frank Gehry, but you can watch someone else’s. Here, the iconic architect discusses success, failure, and what to do with yourself when you’re a living legend.

What’s your favorite architecture TED Talk?