This article covers the TED book titled The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner. The book is based on the Architizer co-founder Marc Kushner’s 18 minutes long TED Talk named ‘Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by…you.’ The delightful guide is an essential read to dive deep and truly understand the future of the built environment around us. 

Marc Kushner is a partner in the NYC-based architecture firm HWKN (HollwichKushner) and CEO of Architizer (the first crowd-sourced database for architecture online). Kushner also teaches at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and sits on the boards of Goods for Good (non-profit serving children of Malawi and a Storefront for Art and Architecture). The Harvard graduate gathered experience by working at J Mayer H Architects in Berlin and Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis in New York before co-founding HWKN and Architizer. Kushner’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Interior and many other celebrated publications. He and his partner Matthias Hollwich, founders of HWKN are the recipients of the 2012 MoMA PS1 Young Architect Program. The architect is focused on the intersection of media and the built environment.

Book in Focus: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner - Sheet1
Marc Kushner delivering his TED talk_©TED

The second-generation American’s book captures his passion and vision for the future of architecture. Kushner strongly believes that architecture affects everyone and realizes that the new digital age with its various forms of media has empowered people to shape and influence the built environment. In the current times where food would be soon delivered by drones, social media has started an architectural movement across the globe. In this movement, smartphones have enabled everyone to become an architectural photographer and similarly, anyone can become an architectural critic just by sitting behind a screen and tweeting their views. The ardent architect with his TED Talk and book aims to partner with the public to educate them about good architecture. And build better structures without following the stereotypical methods and using the latest technology to build out-of-the-box structures in the most awaited future with their help.

Book in Focus: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner - Sheet2
A futuristic public space in the historic city of Seville, one of the 100 structures featured in the book_©davidfranck.de
Book in Focus: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner - Sheet3
A pop-up party tent for the Design Miami_2012 fair by Snarkitecture, one of the 100 structures featured in the book_©MARKUS HAUGG

Just like Winston Churchill, Kushner believes that every structure and every space in it is responsible for incomprehensibly shaping us. Kushner opened his TED Talk by sharing how his childhood bedroom at his parent’s house in New Jersey made him feel disgusted, through this instance he wanted to make speakers realize the power of architecture. He further says, “Architecture is not about math or zoning…. it’s about visceral emotional connections that we feel to the places that we occupy”. He supports it by even providing a report on the environment by EPA, according to which Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. Kushner wants everyone to realize that architecture has the power to change what and how people see things around them. 

One of the facts that makes The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner worth a read is that this book about architecture is written in the layperson’s language to reach out to the general public and have them as its readers too. The current times, more than ever, need more architectural professionals like Kushner who are initiating to break down the architectural language for the general public to make them participate in the process of designing future cities. After exhaustive research, conversations and personal experience, 100 structures from skyscrapers to dainty quarters to art pavilions were selected to be featured in the book, which answer questions like: Can we live on the moon? Would you eat dinner in a sewer pipe? Can architecture give us superpowers? Can a skyscraper bend over? The book wants to instigate everyone to ask questions about architecture, even if they sound silly for the present times. As this would gradually make the same person ask for good architecture in the future, which presently appears as a frenetic whirlwind of experimentation and a reevaluation of long-accepted habits to Kushner.

Book in Focus: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner - Sheet4
A cathedral in New Zealand made up of cardboard tubes by Shigeru Ban, one of the 100 structures featured in the book_©Bridgit Anderson
Book in Focus: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner - Sheet5
Truffle House built by cow in spain, one of the 100 structures featured in the book_©Roland Halbe

The compact red book, with its dreamy illustrations and witty insight on each page, educates one about the most groundbreaking and interesting work done in the discipline of architecture all across the globe with an intent to inspire the general public for architecture. The selected structures belong to every continent and typology, which truly offers a global perspective on the forthcoming architecture across the globe. For professionals, the book would act as a source of inspiration and motivation by providing various latest innovative examples. One must give the book a read even if they just want to flip across the structure made up of mushrooms or the ones which are an answer to the questions like Can you live on a stone? Can opera empower a village? What if houses were made of meat? Can bacteria be your architect? 

Cover of the book_©TED

References:  

  1. Kushner, M. and Krichels, J. (2015). The future of architecture in 100 buildings. New York: Ted Books/Simon & Schuster.
  2. ‌www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by … you | Marc Kushner. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/hha0NsYXS5c [Accessed 10 Apr. 2022].
  3. ‌Kushner, M. (2015). The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings. [online] Google Books. Simon & Schuster UK. Available at: https://books.google.co.in/books/about/The_Future_of_Architecture_in_100_Buildi.html?id=7X0wBAAAQBAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y [Accessed 23 Jul. 2022].
  4. ‌TEDxSydney. (n.d.). TED Book review: The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings. [online] Available at: https://tedxsydney.com/idea/ted-book-review-the-future-of-architecture-in-100-buildings/.
Author

Ujjwal is a design enthusiast who is currently studying to be an architect. He is passionate about researching, exploring, documenting and writing about various fields of art, architecture and design.

Write A Comment