Situated deep in the Cambodian jungle, the majestic temple of Angkor Wat was designed to honour the Hindu god Vishnu and took over 30 years to build. (50 min)
The Perfect Home is a television series with three 46 minute episodes commissioned by Channel 4 UK, based on the book The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. In the series, Alain de Botton explores how our environment and the perfect home can philosophically affect our happiness, and how innovative architecture can contribute to the perfect home.
Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, this episode asks “What is a beautiful building?” The answer is a tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture, and aims to change the way we think about our homes, streets and ourselves. Segment 1 (9:25 min)
Today in the 21st Century people see fewer real dead bodies than at any time in history. Yet in the modern world we seem almost obsessed with images of death. In an investigation encompassing ancient Jericho, Aztec America, and classical Italy, How Art Made the World discovers what it is that has compelled human beings to surround themselves with images of death for thousands of years. (57 min)
Why did the Incas abandon their city in the clouds? Based on the latest evidence, this PBS NOVA & National Geographic collaboration gives a sumptuous overview of Inca history, engineering and culture to clear the mysteries. First aired on PBS in Feb 2010. (14:14 min) Perched at 8,000 ft on a ridge in the Andes, Machu Picchu is remote and mysterious. With few written records, archeologists piece together clues about Machu Picchu.
Travel deep into the heart of the Cambodian jungle with the History Channel to discover magnificent stone temples built on a scale unparalleled in human history. Hidden in the jungle for over four hundred years, the discovery of Angkor Wat shocked the world. Its intricate majesty could only be the world of a sophisticated and advanced people. But where did they go? And why did they abandon all these temples to the jungle?
Western Civilization has been influenced by many cultures, from Rome to America, but it was born in Ancient Greece. Centuries before Julius Caesar conquered much of the known world, the Ancient Greeks were laying a foundation that has supported nearly 3000 years of European history. Ancient Greece brings to mind philosophers like Aristotle and Socrates, Olympian gods, the beginnings of democracy, great conquering armies like those of Alexander the Great, and savage internecine battles, none more famous than the duel to the death between Athens and Sparta.
Greece is a story about the human drive to explore, to wonder, to be curious. Their ruins now communicate that drive. Over 1000 years, this strong and charismatic people strategically harnessed the materials and people around them to create the most advanced technological feats the world had ever seen. From The Tunnel of Samos: a mile-long aqueduct dug through a large mountain of solid limestone, to Agamemnon’s Tomb, to The Parthenon, this episode will examine the architecture and infrastructure engineered by the Greek Empire. Segment 1 (14:50 min) Themistocles, 525-460 BC, an Athenian general and statesman.
For over 4000 years, the world’s greatest empires have come and gone–only China has survived the test of time. Century after century, China’s regal emperors mobilized immense peasant armies to accomplish engineering feats unparalleled in human history. (44 min)
This Discovery documentary retells the epic tale of the lost empire high in the Andes that was the Inca. Before the arrival of the spaniards, the Inca people thrived in a wealthy society where all of the people were fed and cared for, creating a stability to build architectural and engineering marvels like Machu Picchu. (45:30 min)
PBS documentary about China’s Three Gorges Dam. Two million Chinese are displaced by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, a hydroelectric river dam that spans the Yangtze River in Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei, China. It is the world’s largest electricity-generating plant of any kind.