Remembering Ross Langdon: TEDx speaker and humanitarian architect dies in Nairobi attack

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Ross Langdon at TEDxKraków

On September 21, gunmen attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, killing at least 67 people, with many others still missing. We are extraordinarily saddened to hear that among the victims of this violence were TEDxKraków speaker Ross Langdon and his partner Elif Yavuz.

Ross, an architect by trade, gave a beautiful talk at TEDxKraków 2012 about “chameleon architecture,” structures he built in places like Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania made of local materials. They’re designed to complement communities, not disrupt them — something he was clearly passionate about. Before his death, Ross designed an HIV-AIDS hopistal in Kenya — pro bono — and was working on plans for a museum based on the first fossil records of humanoids walking.

TEDxKraków organizer Ewa Spohn shared her memories of Ross with us:

"From our very first conversation about his talk at TEDxKrakow, it was clear that Ross loved his profession and was devoted to it, but he approached it with a lightness that made him a joy to work with. His commitment to the potential of architecture to improve people’s lives was clear and he took the architect’s responsibility for the environment very seriously. We think this comes across in his talk. We’re just grateful that we managed to record it so that everyone can see the potential for good that was destroyed though this senseless act of murder."

Above, Ross’s talk, and, here, a touching tribute to him and his work by his friend Peter Adams. He will be missed.

  1. panderjinblurb reblogged this from tedx and added:
    A great loss to humanity and genepool. Great respect to his accomplishments and the capricious nature of life. :(
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