Building imagination: architectural design videos that teach and inspire

The digital age has a voracious appetite for information, not least in video form. In part, this is because videos provide an efficient and effective way to simplify complex phenomena for quick and easy understanding. That can be a big help in explaining innovative ideas, products, and designs. Planners and architects are using videos to explain and promote their solutions to the challenges of constructing better buildings and cities. Here are some popular videos about the world of urban architectural design.
Beacons of urban sustainability – Today’s urban city planning creates future beacons for cities which convey the new messages of sustainability, green choices and living responsibly.

Published on 15.08.2019

Time-lapse construction – Seeing is believing

China’s Broad Group specializes in the extremely fast construction of pre-fabricated, sustainable high-rises. In order to do that, the company first had to develop the mass production of the building components as well as work out a plan for the just-in-time delivery of these to building sites. Get a taste of this impressive feat by watching the construction of a 30-story building in just 15 days.

30-Story Building Built In 15 Days

Norway’s biggest megaproject – Complexity made simple

Norway’s impressive plan to improve transportation along its coast is really many megaprojects rolled into one. Massive bridges and the world’s longest and deepest underwater tunnel are just a part of the country’s largest-ever infrastructure project. This video gives a good overview of a technically challenging solution to better link Norway’s cities together.

Norway’s $47BN Coastal Highway

Wooden skyscrapers – New work for an old material

Housing the growing global urban population is a big challenge, and doing that sustainably is an even bigger challenge. A growing number of ambitious architects are using wood to build their tall buildings – specifically, cross-laminated timber (CLT). It’s strong enough and has a much lower carbon footprint than steel or concrete. The Economist uses this video to explain the advantages.

Wooden skyscrapers

Send in the drones – It’s a matter of perspective

According to one architect, drones are “potentially as disruptive as the internet” and offer both revolutionary solutions and unprecedented challenges for people and cities. We all know that drones are a part of our future. But this video suggests that the impact of drones isn’t simply an issue for tomorrow. Drones are already changing our present time and how we think about it.

how drones will change cities

Space elevators – The sky is the limit

The 828-meter Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, but for how long? New materials and innovative people-moving solutions for tall buildings like MULTI and TWIN are allowing architects to plan ever higher. There’s even the idea of building all the way up to a geo-stationary space station. This video reviews the human urge to build upwards and looks at how a space elevator might actually be built.

How High Can We Build?

4D printing – Things that build themselves

If you thought 3D printing was futuristic, then what do you think about 4D printing? 4D printing creates shapes that “intelligently” bend themselves into a desired shape or structure – after they have been printed – and fit themselves together automatically. When this new technology is finally ready for commercial use, it could be used to build human habitations across the street, in space, or under the oceans.

4D Printing Self-Building Space Stations

Oceanscrapers – Location is everything

With urban land selling at a premium, an obvious place to expand cities is in the sea. No, we’re not talking about reclaimed land, underground skyscrapers, or even floating cities. This video explores the possibility of constructing actual “oceanscrapers” – tall, submerged, airtight buildings that use the natural buoyancy of the water for structural support and exploit a variety of new technologies for high sustainability.

What are

Smart cities – On the road to Utopia

Architect and futurist Jacque Fresco launched The Venus Project at the very dawn of the digital age. His vision of a just society powered by technology only grows in attraction and feasibility with the development of smart cities, the Internet of Things, advanced robotics, and artificial intelligence. In his view, automation can free up human energies to better serve the common good. Learn more about this creative commonwealth in this video.

The Venus Project

Sky cities – Multiple levels of mobility

Videos about a possible techno-utopia or space elevators expand the discussion of how we may one day use our technological wealth. Videos about wooden skyscrapers and prefabricated high-rises show something already beginning to happen.

And some videos show a new urban technology that has practical, bottom-line advantages for cities today as well as opening entirely new vistas for how cities may one day be designed. This video shows a bit of both because it’s about the revolutionary, multidirectional MULTI elevator system.

thyssenkrupp MULTI elevator - The future of cities is the sky

Video Credits:

Time-Lapse Construction, video by MrBeeblebroxx

Norway’s Megaproject, video by The B1M

Wooden Skyscrapers, video by The Economist

Drones, video by Dezeen

Space Elevators, video by Vsauce

4D Printing, video by Seeker

Oceanscrapers, video by The B1M

Smart Cities, video by Joe Scott