Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

How to Redesign an Urban Landscape With Nothing More than Paint

Architect Marc Kushner explains how the goals of architecture and design vary between locations and contexts.

Marc Kushner: The way we design houses in different places makes for different solutions. So when you think about a house that's going to be built in, say, suburban Houston, there are different inputs and different requirements than if you're building something in, say, an industrializing nation. Architects have to deal with that and therefore come up with very different solutions for the two inhabitants. When you're dealing with building something in the United States in the suburbs, you're thinking about, "How are we going to create a house that engages with nature? How are we going to create a house that uses less electricity instead of more electricity and that is thermally insulated so we're not bleeding heat all over the place? How are we going to make a happy space without taking up 8,000 square feet, but rather build it in 2,500 square feet?"

So, it really becomes a problem of excess and dealing with excess in the developed world. It's a different equation when you're thinking about the developing world. Frequently there's a history and a tradition of people getting in there and doing it themselves. So when you think about the favelas that grew outside of cities like Rio, that's people realizing we don't have anywhere to live; we're just going to go and start to jerry-rig solutions and occupy spaces that otherwise weren't occupied by the city. That leads to other architectural questions about how do we make those stable so that even though they're jerry-rigged, they're safe in case of storms or earthquakes.

And then how do we take what's this very naturally occurring ecosystem, this social ecosystem really tightly woven interactions in these densely packed places; how do we make sure architecture doesn't destroy that, but rather enhances it? So how do we start to add public spaces to a space that was only built out of necessity? Where do parks go? Where do people go see a show or hang out? And how do you do that safely and economically?

The Favela Painting Project by Haas and Hahn is an amazing example of using just paint to create an entirely different urban context. So the favela is these individual pieces. I built a house; I built a house; I built a house — built without regard for law or for zoning statutes. What Haas and Hahn did is come in and take these individual pieces and turn it into one single, iconic form and they just used paint to do that. That creates a different sense of place, a different icon for the city at large and a sense of pride for the people who live there. You can point to that; you can take pictures of that and say that's mine; that belongs to my community. It's an amazingly innovative project.


 

 

The goals of architecture and design vary among different locations and contexts. As architect Marc Kushner explains, designing in the developing world is very different from building houses in the American suburbs. When tasked with reinforcing structures like the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, how far can architects go without threatening the existing vibrancy of the local social ecosystem? In this video, Kushner explains how the Favela Painting Project by Haas and Hahn manages to reinvent the social context with little more than paint.


Kushner's new TED book is titled The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings.

LIVE TOMORROW | Jordan Klepper: Comedians vs. the apocalypse

Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

LGBTQ+ community sees spike in first-time depression in wake of coronavirus​

Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
  • Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
  • The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Keep reading Show less

The mind-blowing science of black holes

What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.

Videos
  • When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
  • A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
  • Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less

Space travel could create language unintelligible to people on Earth

A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center.
Surprising Science
  • A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
  • Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
  • This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast