What's good architecture and why the world doesn't need more star architects | Xi Zhang | TEDxZurich

What's good architecture and why the world doesn't need more star architects | Xi Zhang | TEDxZurich



For star architects, all too frequently it is all about expressing their creativity and “genius” in their architecture. But truly great architecture is selfless. It is not self-serving but about making designs that are in harmony with human nature and respect the integrity, context and tradition of each context. Zhang Xi, Chinese architect, studied in ETH Zurich and went back to China and co-founded EXH Design Shanghai in 2006. In 2016 the company expended back to Switzerland. Now she works and lives between Zurich and Shanghai, switching locations every month. In 2016 their book ”Swiss quality Chinese Speed” – a monograph edited by Eduard Koegel is published by Jovis Verlag. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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48 Comments
  • mahdiyar mozaffarjalali
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    west people are individualist and east people are more collectivitest . its not about good or bad architect star or what ever

  • South Hill Farm
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I always wanted to pretend to be an architect.

  • Ceejay
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Tall buildings gives more homes than small houses. Making these buildings beautiful is just a bonus. It's more convenient, especially in her country, China , big population doesn't need small villages, it needs high, buildings. I know what selfless means, I just don't think she explained it right.

  • ZXLele
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Can someone explain to me the part about the building in Kyoto? I don't really understand it

  • Hendra Quaasalmy
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Just take the essences of her talks, there are some good points

  • Anand P
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Flat nose not only grab others land but also others Architrave.. Ashame and Fate of Architecture now…

  • pv
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    2:55 "where the house is allowed to coexist" that really stuck with me, interesting thinking

  • rajiv pandya
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I thought i was the only one thinking it this direction. You are absolutely correct. Let's stop wasting materials to satisfy our ego or coming generations will curse us.

  • Allen Bell
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Says that contexts are important and then goes on to compare European Architects and Asian Architects like you can even consider the two adjacent to one another.

  • xCali_ Fleur
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Am I the only one who can't name even a single architect?

  • Joseph Tanner
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    The message is good, but anyone who has seen Chinese tourists selfishly destroying historical sites for pictures or impatience knows that they are as selfish as anyone else. There is no "always try to place themselves in a larger context." This sounds like party reading material.

  • S T
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    She lost me in the first 3 minutes, when she claims that china knows better than anyone else. Chinese are not self-centered? Yeah right…

  • kanen008
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    only three countries are Asian country. wow she is so full of her self. thinking here is no one else

  • Sheru
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    ya many of the structures designed by star architects are such eyesores (& yet scream the loudest for our attention) … probably they were designed expressly to shock, induce anxiety, offend, or make the viewer go "wow, how did they build something this crazy!" in suspended disbelief (e.g. the gravity-defying Hadid-designed new campus of Vienna University of Economics and Business that sticks out like a sore thumb) … I guess as long as the structure holds up (does not topple), anything goes, symmetry, harmony, context, etc. be damned.

  • Razer Gear
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Some parts are interesting, may be worth some thought.

  • Pius Lee Eldor
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    If you want you can spend me some money:
    IBAN: CH41 0070 0110 0028 5710 5BIC: ZKBKCHZZ80A
    Thank you very much!

  • Derek Fyfe
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    good architecture is both.

  • TOPHEReid
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I agree that designers should focus more on "good" design, rather than constantly trying to gain recognition with designs that are more memorable than functional. However, I'm not sure how productive it is to promote the preservation of old-style city blocks as the only way to create livable cities. I think we should still aim to develop cities vertically in order to reduce sprawl and encroachment on "natural" environments. We just need a shift in focus toward building high rises that are more livable and affordable for the average person—as opposed to just luxury condos that become agents of gentrification and economic exclusion.

  • Danny Sze
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    because Chinese architect sucks. I am oriental and I could tell people that. fung shui is completely superstitious.

  • JHONNY BACKER
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Chinese selflessly made corona

  • JHONNY BACKER
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Sorry your saying Chinese history not asian

  • clearer carton
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    How many of you agree that this is a video to support the chinese

  • ANKERE
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    This video is full of controversy. Its not the star architects that built this cities but the Chinese government that allowed them to do it and demanded grand scale. Also the extensive pro China talks by a cute looking lady are not very nice to hear. Some uneducated people could believe all she say is true. I convinced myself that architects in Europe are so old fashioned and posh even if they are Asian.

  • A GJ
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I’m only 14 but i like to watch a video like this. Thank you about this 😊

  • NU Kwok
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    behind the mac

  • Architect Niket Sunil Upase
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I request the speaker to go through INDIAN ARCHITECTURE – It till date is brilliant and philosophy wise – No west architecture can superede it – Architect Niket Sunil Upase | Founder – Ahamasmi Architect .

  • Sid Suteja
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    watch?v=iQsnObyii4Q this might be the answer towards her statement in this video. The philosophy and the culture plays part in influencing the architecture, and how we preceive architecture. The dillema becomes, do we keep the public view or should we lean towards innovation? or should we find the good balance between those?

  • Charying Chang
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    看了评论蛮生气的,不同的文化背景,说给不了解的人真的是对牛弹琴。并不是明星建筑师不好,而是现在每个城市在趋于同化,失去了文化背景。明星建筑师,显然是其中的原因之一,因为就像北京,大多数这些建筑破坏了城市的气息,就像你在景山公园眺望,看到中国大剧院是多么尴尬地在这整个城市语境中。

  • Paula Rodrigues de S. Paula
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Arquitetura que não respeita a história, cultura, o humano e seu entorno natural, é má arquitetura, na minha opinião. Claro, artisticamente falando e esteticamente falando, todos esses edificios futuriscos mostrados são boa arquitetura e expressão da criatividade humana. Socialmente falando, é triste.

  • lvrt
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    its just an excuse for her inability to design something beautiful. fitting the building into context are common sense. stop making it sounds like your philosophy or asia architecture philosophy.

  • lei
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    to say the world doesnt deserve art is something youd hear from a sneaky engineer

  • Sean Winkfield
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Self centered-ness is in all fields involved with creation, Engineering, Acience, Art…don't try and pin it to Architects.

  • marioalvear95
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    This is true. As a society, we get deviated for the real purpose of things. We have fallen into the trend and hype of what should be the must and the need. There needs to be a change. Architecture ultimately is a service to the user and to the society. It shapes those who interact with it. directly or indirectly. Let's not forget what is architecture instead of thinking about which architect is this. There are brilliant architects that are great, but their building should talk in a passive way. Not like a flashing disco ball.

  • EN Mi corazón
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I’m seeing racism in this Ted-Talk

  • Michael Provost
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Isn't I. M. Pei one of the most celebrated architects?

  • Raghav Agarwal
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I honestly get her people-centric design approach and how that is the need of the hour, however, you cannot just bring in concepts like Feng Shui or Vastu Shastra and say that these approaches work just because they are traditional; it is like appealing to an improper authority in an argument. Moreover, this talk is almost like an irrelevant conclusion fallacy; the question was not whether or not we should follow people-centric designs but why don't we need star architects and why their work is not good.

  • Pro Veritatem
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Traditional Chinese architecture is rather bad. Maybe China needed more "self-centered" architects in its long history. I've heard that pagodas and Japanese traditional houses, for example, have an expected lifetime of around 30 years, and by that time, their wooden roofs start to show signs of collapsing and the walls start to curve.

  • Mark Kats
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Site Research, aesthetics, combination. First one is obviously missing in many projects.

  • thangal msk
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Trust the magic of new beginning ….

  • Bob Terryson
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    We need to get back into the garden

  • Rochelle Spencer
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Why does the audience not seem to "get" her jokes? She's thoughtful but also funny.

  • Drizzlnish
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    'Void is the force which shapes a space' – a fantastic perspective on design

  • Seveigone ninsevfiv eigninzersev
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    BUILDING: B levels U full containment I masterful separation L use D combined separation I masterful separation N division from G world opening

    It works with every word. Another example: LAMP: L use A true point of M respectful to/from P high part

    Let's see: ARCHITECTURE: A true point of R high part rule of C whole open freely H perfections to I masterful T pure authority over divisions E all levels C whole open freely T pure authority over U full containment R high rule part of E all levels

    CAKE: whole open choice A true point of K freely dynamic (taste) E all levels

    YIN YAN: Y anywhere to I masterfully pure distinct N division from, Y anywhere to (up from/to) A true point (perfected anywhere somewhere law) N division from.

    SUN: S goes where flows U whole containment N division from power

    It's not magic, and unlikely planned, as far as I know. Just like humans aren't surprised at an animal not knoing how nutrients and flavors happen to have been combined. It suggests intelligence is partially consciously true, just like perceptions.

  • Cyberpunk 2077
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Architecture is useless i dont like architecture and their are many more like me (past architecture is failure failure of humanity now day economy given is more important than humanity)

  • Wojciech Odrobina
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Good Video

  • iisluxy
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    nope i really dont agree you really cant just say oh we don't need more star architects instead TRY to encorage other ppl

  • valueboyzmsg
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    I get it. She is a chinese afterall.

  • Ar. Dave Ejera UAP,PIA
    Posted at 22:54h, 17 January Reply

    Starchitects promotes more on architectural beauty or aesthetic which main purpose is to feed us with positive emotion. It make us happy which gives us uplifting energy, like a therapy.The“ look of building” is a must,just like a pieace of painting. Do not elimenate or put less value on beauty in architecture,because it has different purpose. It does not make your energy bill cheap and save economy but your heart will. Beautiful architecture give us happiness,memories and hope.Just like now ,we all staying at home, streets and establishments are unoccupied.Let this empty beautiful building serves a piece of art to cure our mental and emotional health.

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