Last weekend’s TEDx Berlin, with the theme The City 2.0, reminded me of a double-decker Oreo. Bookending the conference were outstanding, hefty intellectual presentations from architects Kai-Uwe Bergmann and Carlo Ratti, with the middle held down by the equally rigorous, if further-into-the-future futuristic, talk by urban planner/architect Mitch Joachim. All their visions of future cities shared a focus on human experience, on integration of nature (not like it’s not all nature, but here it means green things, water, animals, etc), and on closed-loop self-sufficiency where what we once considered “waste,” for example, is converted into resources.
Between these came beautiful presentations that resonated less in the brain and more in the heart, gut, and soul, like Line Hadsbjerg‘s shattering revelation of Johannesburg’s underworld, populated by refugees and other forgotten people; artist Tomás Saraceno‘s erratic tour through his creative process involving clouds, Buckminster Fuller, and social spiders’ webs; and Ofrin‘s stunning soulbaring. And, um, perhaps my own contribution.