A lamp that tells a story: London-based artist Yu “Jordy” Fu uses the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting to create intricate, whimsical, and gorgeous paper lamps that showcase 3-D architectural landscapes.

In a talk at TEDxTokyo, Yu talks about her process and shows how she uses the world around us to inspire her designs.

Watch the whole talk here»

(Photos: Yu “Jordy” Fu)

Walking through clouds: TEDxHamburg speaker creates a walkable cube of clouds 

If you were to have visited the Sunken Garden at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo last year, you would have seen something quite surprising: a transparent cube filled with clouds. This cube is the design of environmental architecture firm Transsolar and Japanese architecture firm Tetsuo Kondo Architects, and is meant to immerse visitors in man-made clouds to show the importance of humanity’s connection to nature. 

The installation, entitled Cloudscapes, allowed visitors to climb a staircase through and beyond a layer of floating clouds. “When you climb [the stairs inside the clouds’ container] to reach the top,” says the designers at ArchDaily, “the museum, 
the surrounding buildings, and the sky stretch out above the clouds. The edges of the clouds are sharp, yet soft, and always in motion. Their color, density and brightness are constantly changing in tune with the weather and time of day.”

At TEDxHamburg, Thomas Auer, one of Transsolar’s environmental engineers, spoke about the firm’s installations, and their connection to his work with green design. From his talk:

[When it comes to climate change], the question is not so much, ‘Are we going to have global warming?’ The question is, ‘What can we do to minimize it?’ … What we do at Transsolar, we call climate engineering, and the idea [behind this] is, ‘How can we bring together the quality of the built environment and [its] energy performance?’

[In 2010] we at Transsolar, we got asked to do an installation at the Architecture Biennale in Venice, and we thought about, ‘What can we do? What can we show at Architecture Biennale?’ So we came up with the idea that we should do a cloud, because we thought a cloud is the only thing where we can make climate engineering visible.

…The question [was], 'How can we do a floating cloud?' … The cloud happens in a layer where we have 100% humidity — it’s what we call saturated air — in which we can spray water and it stays.

Watch Thomas’s whole talk below for more information about man-made clouds, green design, and climate engineering:

(Photos: Tetsuo Kondo Architects, Ken’ichi Suzuki, Yasuhiro Takagi)

A TEDx language playlist: 5 TEDx Talks in Japanese


Konichiwa! Welcome to the first TEDx playlist in Japanese. Below, 5 great Japanese-language TEDx Talks, on topics ranging from Harajuku fashion to the mechanics of an insect eye.


Fashion and Beyond [日本語]: Rei Shito at TEDxTokyo
We can’t have a Japanese playlist without a talk about Harajuku. At TEDxTokyo, join Rei Shito on a visual journey through the streets of Harajuku as she explores the structure of this vibrant fashion community.(Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

ファッション、その先にあるもの: シトウレイ at TEDxTokyo

My, myself and my android [日本語]: Hiroshi Ishiguro [石黒 浩]: TEDxSeeds
At TEDxSeeds, Hiroshi Ishiguro (and his android) philosophize over human/android relations as we become ever closer to bridging the gap between humans and androids.

半神: 石黒浩 at TEDxSeeds

End Slavery in Japan [日本語]: Shihoko Fujiwara at TEDxTokyo
At TEDxTokyo, Shihoko Fujiwara discusses the problem of sex trafficking in Japan, and looks at how the commodification of sex is affecting Japanese youth. (Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

日本における人身取引の根絶に向けて: 藤原志帆子 at TEDxTokyo

Rebuilding the city [日本語]: Masayuki Shimada at TEDxTohoku 2012
The day after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Masayuki Shimada started a food project which eventually grew to provide more than 20,000 meals to people in evacuation centers. After the success of the cookouts, Shimada branched out with other projects to revitalize spirit in the community and reverse the declining population of Tōhoku with new employment opportunities.

地域の生きる力を育むプロジェクト: 島田昌幸 at TEDxTohoku

 [日本語]: Kenji Kohiyama at TEDxKeioSFC
At TEDxKeioSFC, Kenji Kohiyama shows off his micro insect archiving project, featuring some beautiful photos of the fascinating insects of Japan. (Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

マイクロプレゼンス: 小檜山 賢二 at TEDxKeioSFC