Themes Architectural Inspiration

Architectural Inspiration The Seattle Public Library

TED has a love affair with buildings. Big or small, we cherish the inspired visions behind them. But Joshua Prince-Ramus, architect of the Seattle Public Library, would argue: It isn't a stroke of genius that creates a great building; rather, it's a rational, collaborative, bottom-up approach. Frank Gehry, consummate "starchitect," on the other hand, sees each building as the product of a strong individual vision.

Other pioneers are pushing architecture in radically new directions. Cameron Sinclair champions design for humanitarian causes, and his new Open Architecture Network could revolutionize the pro bono project. Sustainability guru William McDonough is bringing green design to the Rust Belt and to brand-new megacities in China. And then there's the delightful and uncategorizable Ron Eglash, who found math in the design of African villages.

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