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.
A gorgeous landscape in Afghanistan, documented by TEDx speaker James Willcox
As school starts, the weather turns cold, and long walks become harder to handle, pangs of wanderlust are sure to set in again. So to celebrate World Tourism Day, we thought we’d bring the great wide world to you. Here, we’ve hand picked five talks that take you all over the world — from Palestine to Poland — so you can travel vicariously through TEDx.
The road less traveled: Tony Wheeler at TEDxQueenstown
In the travel talk to end all travel talks, Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet, waxes poetic about the adventure of travel — in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Albania, Libya, Myanmar, the Congo, Palestine, Zimbabwe and beyond — with gorgeous photos to boot.
A new look at an old country: Mark Power at TEDxKrakow
Sent to Poland to photograph the country in 2004, just before it joined the European Union, Mark Power found himself coming back again and again. This photographic tour de force at TEDxKrakow will show you the true complexity of this fascinating country. Warning: NSFW, some graphic images.
More than a thousand words — the power of images: Antonio Bolfo at TEDxEast
NYPD police officer and photographer Antonio Bolfo has seen a lot in his career. In this dynamic talk at TEDxEast, he shows how a well-crafted photo can tell a rich, inspiring story — with examples from the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the daily work of NYPD officers.
Off-road tours in Afghanistan: James Willcox at TEDxBathUniversity
James Wilcox operates a very untraditional tour company in Afghanistan and Somalia, giving tourists a chance to see the real places behind the headlines. In this talk at TEDxBathUniversity, he describes how he was inspired to start this off-road initiative after a chance meeting with a UN translator named Abdul.
Scenes from a Romanian village: Katy Fox at TEDxLuxembourgCity
Social anthropologist Katy Fox spent several months as a researcher in rural Romania. At TEDxLuxembourgCity, she shows what she learned — weaving stories of the people she met in the villages with stunning photos of village life.
(Photo from James Willcox’s talk at TEDxBathUniversity)
(TEDxCity2.0 posters from TEDxMelbourne, TEDxTanta, TEDxPeshawar and TEDxLeeds)
What is the city of the future? What will it look like? How will it come to be?
This weekend, from Taipei to Melbourne to Mexico City, over 100 local organizers will offer their answers at TEDx events in honor of TEDCity2.0, a day-long TED event to celebrate urban innovation.
TED challenged organizers to remix the official TEDCity2.0 posters (made by design firm Kiss Me I’m Polish) to give them some local flavor — with really impressive results.
Below, some of our favorites — including a design from TEDxStormont in Belfast, Northern Ireland — whose team cited Seamus Heaney’s poem, “The Cure at Troy,” as inspiration, a poem signaling new hope for Belfast after long political trauma. Eva Grosman, TEDxStormont’s organizer, sent this excerpt:
“History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.”
1. TEDxChristchurch: Christchurch, New Zealand
Kaila Colbin, organizer: “Christchurch is a city best defined by transition, as it seeks to rebuild and reinvent itself following the major earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Today, the city is littered with shipping containers and broken buildings, but it also boasts seeds of life as creative temporary projects have begun to spring up. A summer events pavilion made entirely of blue shipping pallets or a Cathedral made out of cardboard…these are all signs of the re-emergence of Christchurch as a place to experiment and grow.”