Alejandro Aravena works inside paradoxes, seeing space and flexibility in public housing, clarity in economic scarcity, and the keys to rebuilding in the causes of natural disasters. He

Why you should listen

Throughout his career, Alejandro Aravena has grappled with what he calls the “double condition of cities.” Attracting people, knowledge, development and opportunities on one hand, the Chilean architect says cities also concentrate and magnify social pressures.

Through Elemental, the firm he founded in 1994, Aravena has devoted as much time to the design of iconic structures like the San Joaquin Universidad Catolica's “Siamese Towers” and Santiago’s Metropolitan Park as he has to the design of flexible and beautiful low-cost housing for low-income families. The firm's work is not just about buildings, but about shaping lives.

Aravena is the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize.

What others say

“Aravena's plans extend far from the standard considerations of building and line, into theories of social organisation and civic engagement. He's designing buildings, but he's also designing cities they will occupy and the livelihoods of the people who will live in them.” — Bruce Watson, The Guardian

Alejandro Aravena’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Alejandro Aravena

Live from TEDGlobal

Sideways solutions and inverted explanations: A recap of session 10 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 9, 2014

The thinkers in this session, “Lateral Action,” don’t go about creating change in the usual ways. Here, their unexpected approaches: Argentinian singer-songwriter Juana Molina opens the session with a hypnotizing performance on the electric guitar and a rack of pedals that layer sounds into gorgeously complex song structures. Singing calmly behind layers of chords, she mixes […]

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