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TED talk

On Courthouses and Spaceflight

image courtesy TEDxSanAntonio

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to speak at this year’s San Antonio TEDx conference at Rackspace Global Headquarters here in San Antonio.  To be sure it was an honor to be selected to speak but even more so it was an amazing event to experience.  Being able to work with and interact as much as I did with my fellow speakers made the event all the more profound.  In addition to coming away from the experience with more than a few “ideas worth sharing”, but I also made a group of friends with whom I’m sure I will stay in contact for some time.  The act of crafting and delivering a talk also gave me the opportunity to make connections that had not been made before. 

I spoke specifically about my work on county courthouses and how they helped transform Texas from a mostly poor and rural condition into the modern state it is today.  I had always thought that this interest was wholly separate from spaceflight - another subject I have spoken about in the past.  But a UTSA graduate student I met at the event made me realize that courthouses and spaceflight serve the same purpose even if they did so at different times. 

The power of both comes from their ability to harness our dreams to move society forward.  Courthouses inspired Texans to build a modern state that was civil and just and so was critical to the advancement of Texas in the 19th century.  Likewise, the space program inspired America to become the leader in technology and innovation that it was throughout the second half of the 20th century.  Courthouses and the space program both had an immeasurable ability to inspire that made them so critical to the advancement of society. 

At any rate, I’ll post my individual talk as soon as it’s available but in the meantime, a video of the entire eight hour day can be found here.



logo courtesy TEDxSanAntonio

On October 12 I will be speaking at the 4th annual TEDx conference here in San Antonio, Texas.  I’m incredibly honored to have been selected to be a speaker and am looking forward to taking the stage at Rackspace to share some ideas about architecture.

I’ll be speaking about Texas courthouses and what they teach us about the importance of design.  This is a topic I’ve lectured on before but a TED talk is a very different kind of presentation.  The goal is not to convey as much information as possible but instead to convey to a diverse audience “an idea worth sharing”.  The act of condensing five years of research into 6 minutes has been a bit of a challenge, but in doing so I’ve been able to distill what is at the core of my fascination with these buildings. 

The script is mostly done and my plan is to spend these last few weeks refining it and my delivery.  Hopefully all will go well on stage.  Although tickets are no longer available, the event will be simulcast at several locations in San Antonio and an online webcast will be available here