In this talk we are going to discuss how different types of algebras can be encoded by an algebraic object called operad. Then we are going to show how a certain compactification of configuration spaces can give us a geometric interpretation of homotopy (Lie and associative)-algebras. This interpretation can also serve as an independent description of what a homotopy Lie-algebra is (so the audience does not have to know that beforehand). We will also outline how we can use this interpretation to construct interesting algebraic structures.