by Bridget Hamilton
You may not have had a Power Rangers lunch box in a while but that's no excuse not to keep learning. To help out, we've compiled some of the best TED talks on the construction industry, innovation and Big Data - so you can go back to school without even leaving your desk.
1. Julio Gil: Future tech will give you the benefits of city life anywhere
"Don't believe predictions that say the future is trending towards city living. Urbanization is actually reaching the end of its cycle, says logistics expert Julio Gil, and soon more people will be choosing to live (and work) in the countryside, thanks to rapid advances in augmented reality, autonomous delivery, off-the-grid energy and other technologies. Think outside city walls and consider the advantages of country living with this forward-thinking talk."
2. Augie Picado: The real reason manufacturing jobs are disappearing
"We've heard a lot of rhetoric lately suggesting that countries like the US are losing valuable manufacturing jobs to lower-cost markets like China, Mexico and Vietnam -- and that protectionism is the best way forward. But those jobs haven't disappeared for the reasons you may think, says border and logistics specialist Augie Picado. He gives us a reality check about what global trade really looks like and how shared production and open borders help us make higher quality products at lower costs."
3. Tomás Saraceno: Would you live in a floating city in the sky?
"In a mind-bending talk that blurs the line between science and art, Tomás Saraceno exhibits a series of air-inspired sculptures and installations designed to usher in a new era of sustainability, the 'Aerocene'. From giant, cloud-like playgrounds suspended 22 metres in the air to a balloon sculpture that travels the world without burning a single drop of fossil fuel, Saraceno's work invites us to explore the bounds of our fragile human and terrestrial ecosystems."
4. Giorgia Lupi: How we can find ourselves in data
"Giorgia Lupi uses data to tell human stories, adding nuance to numbers. In this charming talk, she shares how we can bring personality to data, visualising even the mundane details of our daily lives and transforming the abstract and uncountable into something that can be seen, felt and directly reconnected to our lives."
5. Karoliina Korppoo: How a video game might help us build better cities
"With more than half of the world population living in cities, one thing is undeniable: we are an urban species. Part game, part urban planning sketching tool, 'Cities: Skylines' encourages people to use their creativity and self-expression to rethink the cities of tomorrow. Designer Karoliina Korppoo takes us on a tour through some extraordinary places users have created, from futuristic fantasy cities to remarkably realistic landscapes. What does your dream city look like?"
6. Xavier De Kestelier: Adventures of an interplanetary architect
"How will we live elsewhere in the galaxy? On Earth, natural resources for creating structures are abundant, but sending these materials up with us to the Moon or Mars is clunky and cost-prohibitive. Enter architect Xavier De Kestelier, who has a radical plan to use robots and space dust to 3D print our interplanetary homes. Learn more about the emerging field of space architecture with this fascinating talk about the (potentially) not-too-distant future."
7. Vishaan Chakrabarti: How we can design timeless cities for our collective future
"There's a creeping sameness in many of our newest urban buildings and streetscapes, says architect Vishaan Chakrabarti. And this physical homogeneity -- the result of regulations, mass production, safety issues and cost considerations, among other factors -- has blanketed our planet in a social and psychological homogeneity, too. In this visionary talk, Chakrabarti calls for a return to designing magnetic, lyrical cities that embody their local cultures and adapt to the needs of our changing world and climate."
8. Ken Goldberg: 4 lessons from robots about being human
"The more that robots ingrain themselves into our everyday lives, the more we're forced to examine ourselves as people. At TEDxBerkeley, Ken Goldberg shares four very human lessons that he's learned from working with robots."
9. Giada Gerboni: The incredible potential of flexible, soft robots
"Robots are designed for speed and precision -- but their rigidity has often limited how they're used. In this illuminating talk, biomedical engineer Giada Gerboni shares the latest developments in "soft robotics," an emerging field that aims to create nimble machines that imitate nature, like a robotic octopus. Learn more about how these flexible structures could play a critical role in surgery, medicine and our daily lives."
10. Kai-Fu Lee: How AI can save our humanity
"AI is massively transforming our world, but there's one thing it cannot do: love. In a visionary talk, computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee details how the US and China are driving a deep learning revolution -- and shares a blueprint for how humans can thrive in the age of AI by harnessing compassion and creativity. 'AI is serendipity,' Lee says. 'It is here to liberate us from routine jobs, and it is here to remind us what it is that makes us human.'"
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