A cathedral from cardboard: TEDxTokyo speaker Shigeru Ban's Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, NZ.

Shigeru Ban is an architect who believes architecture is about more than just commission and product, more than aesthetics or pure design — which is why he began using his expertise to build temporary relief housing out of recycled materials, things like paper tubes, beer cartons, and cardboard.

In his talk at TEDxTokyo, "Emergency shelters made from paper,"
Shigeru explains what made him want to build these atypical buildings:

"I was disappointed in my profession,” he says. “We are working for privileged people, for rich people, for government and developers. They have money and power, and those are invisible, so they hire us to visualize their power and money by making monuments of architecture…

I was very disappointed that we are not working for society, even though there are so many people who lost their houses by natural disasters … I thought, even as architects, we can be involved in the reconstruction of temporary housing. We can make it better. So that is why I started working in disaster areas.”

Since his start working with recycled materials in 1986, Shigeru has built multistory housing from shipping containers for victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan; built shelters from local materials in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake; even crafted an elementary school out of paper — the Hualin Paper Elementary School — replacing a school destroyed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China.

Recently, Shigeru rebuilt the Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand, which was badly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. However, his cathedral is a bit different than the original structure, as a good amount of the building materials are paper rather than stone.

Above, images of the newly-opened Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral, which seats 700 and is predicted to last for 50 years while a new,permanent structure is built. Below, Shigeru’s talk, which was featured on TED.com last week:

(Photos: Shigeru Ban Architects)

A TEDx language playlist: 5 TEDx Talks in Japanese

TEDxトークは英語だけか?と思っている方に、良いおしらせです。日本語で収録されたTEDxトークのプレイリスト第一弾。どうぞお楽しみください!

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.

どうぞお楽しみください!

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
日本語のプレイリストに、この原宿のトークはぴったりです。生き生きとしたファッションコミュニティーの秘密がわかる原宿ストリートのビジュアル・ツアーに、シトウレイ氏と一緒に出掛けましょう


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
TEDxSeedsの舞台に上がった二人の”石黒浩”。人間とアンドロイドの差がますます縮まる時代には、やがて「人間とは何か」という究極の命題が生まれます。ロボット工学から人間そのも­のを科学するフィールドへと、石黒氏は新たな第一歩を踏み出しています。

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
日本に存在する性的搾取を目的とした人身取引の現状を、藤原志帆子氏がTEDxTokyoの舞台でお話しします。性を商品の様に売り買いすることが若者に与える影響についても考えます。

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
地震と津波の直後から島田昌幸氏は仲間たちと共に炊き出しプロジェクトを開始。物­資の行き届かない避難所を中心にこれまでに2万食以上の炊き出しを提供しました。現在は、コミュニティを活性化させ、新たな雇用を創り出すことで東北の人口流出を反転させようというプロジェクトを手がけています。


Micropresence
 [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
小さな昆虫の写真を特別な手法で撮り続ける小檜山賢二氏が、TEDxKeioSFCで美しく感動的ともいえる虫の写真を披露します。

Balloon art of the day: TEDxSapporo in Sapporo, Japan celebrated the fourth birthday of the TEDx program this year in style: with balloons! (Art by Naoko Ishiyama.)For those of you who speak Japanese, they included this note:

今週はTEDx誕生から4年目にあたります。 今日までに 6,417 のTEDxイベントが世界149カ国 1,777都市で開催されました。現在は25,000以上のTEDxトークがYouTubeに投稿されており、計8千万回以上再生されました。 TEDxSapporo はさらなる成長を続けるコミュニティの一部であることを大変嬉しく思います。 バルーンアートby: Naoko Ishiyamaさん

Balloon art of the day: TEDxSapporo in Sapporo, Japan celebrated the fourth birthday of the TEDx program this year in style: with balloons! (Art by Naoko Ishiyama.)

For those of you who speak Japanese, they included this note:

今週はTEDx誕生から4年目にあたります。

今日までに 6,417 のTEDxイベントが世界149カ国 1,777都市で開催されました。現在は25,000以上のTEDxトークがYouTubeに投稿されており、計8千万回以上再生されました。

TEDxSapporo はさらなる成長を続けるコミュニティの一部であることを大変嬉しく思います。

バルーンアートby: Naoko Ishiyamaさん