Michael Pawlyn: Using nature’s genius in architecture

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I’ll be teaching city planners, and so have decided to use this wonderful presentation (TED Salon 2010) by the designer of the Eden Project bubble dome, the biomimicry specialist Michael Pawlyn. The presentation is deeply architectural in nature. I’ll be asking:
Watch the first minutes (0:17-1:50) and answer:

  • What examples does he begin with?
  • What details does he highlight? Why?
  • How does he follow up to lead into his presentation?

The answer is that he provides a bridge to a classic 3-part structure. After the engaging examples, he postulates that to make progress in sustainability, we need to make 3 radical changes:


Watch the rest of the talk, then answer:

  • How does he come back to the structure?
  • What is his take-home message?

Under the impression of the Coursera course I’m taking (University of Washington, Introduction to Public Speaking, by Dr. Matt McGarrity), I’ll be asking: Is this more of a solo performance, or more of an interactive communication with the audience? You can make a case for both. The speaker must have learned the speech by heart, or it must come from the heart, because if he’s reading it off, he’s doing an unbelievable job. This is highly constructed, down to the last detail. Michael Pawlyn never falters. Yet he is deeply involved and passionate about the topic, and that adds so much life that his speech seems natural and authentic.


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