In this video by TED, legendary architect Renzo Piano — the mind behind such indelible buildings as The Shard in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the new Whitney Museum of Art in New York City — takes us on a stunning tour through his life’s work. With the aid of gorgeous imagery, Piano makes an eloquent case for architecture as the answer to our dreams, aspirations and desire for beauty. “Universal beauty is one of the few things that can change the world,” he says. “This beauty will save the world. One person at a time, but it will do it.”
Why you should listen
Renzo Piano is an architect and legend. Playing with transparency, light and curves while creating buildings with utility and permanence, he’s the mind behind the Shard in London, the new Whitney Museum at Gansevoort in New York and the Kansai International Airport Terminal in Osaka, Japan, and he co-created the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
As he writes: “Since I was a child looking at the shiploads suspended over the harbor of my hometown, Genoa, I dreamt about fighting against gravity. And this is what I tried to accomplish in all these years of work: making buildings (one of the heaviest things you can make) that float above grounds. I also like to create buildings that could be shelter for human beings: good places for people to meet and share experiences. This is also the way cities become more beautiful cities, and this is why it is so important to me. In my job you need to be different things at a time: a builder in the morning, a poet at lunchtime and a humanist in the afternoon. It is one of the oldest and most adventurous things you can do. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time every day.”
Video and article text via TED