Jawdropping views of cozy homes built in an abandoned office tower, a lagoon, a recycling heap and more

TED Blog

In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, nearly seventy percent of the population lives in slums that seem to drape over every corner of the city.  In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, nearly 70 percent of the population lives in slums that appear to drape like silk over every hill of the city.

[ted_talkteaser id=1846]Iwan Baan is not as interested in what architects build as he is in the beautiful ways that people appropriate the spaces once the planners are gone. In today’s talk, Baan — whose breathtaking image of lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy hangs on at least one of our walls — shows incredible images from communities thriving in ways that seem quite opposite to the uniformity of suburbs. First, Baan takes us to Chandigarh, India, where people inhabit buildings created by modernist architects Le Corbusier in very different ways than expected. Then, Baan takes us to Caracas, Venezuela, where an abandoned 45-story building has become a miniature city. From there, Baan  takes us to a Nigerian slum built on water, to a…

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I love when my dog digs random spots for no reason.

– Ninjas used to use special ninja letters to write to each other. Always so sneaky. What did they do for fun? I hope they cut loose from time to time.

– I hope they never decipher the Voynich Manuscript.

– Dolphins bite on puffer fish to enjoy their narcotic-like effects. Puffin’ on dat fish shyt. Hittin’ dat puff. And having so much recreational sex. Those dolphins sure know how to have fun.

– Days are getting longer. Each day is a tiny, tiny bit longer than the one before. Because Earth is spinning slower and slower.

– The moon keeps spinning further away from us, at the same speed as our fingernails grow. It must’ve looked even prettier from Earth a long time ago.

– The fact that people use cell phones a lot nowadays sucks in terms of aesthetics in movies. They’re so ugly, but have to be included in modern pieces or it wouldn’t seem realistic. They’re worse than TVs because most  people have cell phones on them at all times and use it to communicate, whereas a TV can just be sitting in the background.

– If you were on the equator and kept moving at the same speed in the opposite direction as the Earth spinning, your day would never end.

– “Temporal provincialism, our difficulty imagining times unlike our own.”- Arno Karlen

– So glad the GoldieBlox commercial played during the Super Bowl. Crazy thinking how far it’s come since the idea was first created.