The business logic of sustainability
At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.
Grow your own clothes
Designer Suzanne Lee shares her experiments in growing a kombucha-based material that can be used like fabric or vegetable leather to make clothing. The process is fascinating, the results are beautiful (though there's still one minor drawback ...) and the potential is simply stunning.
Design at the intersection of technology and biology
Designer and architect Neri Oxman is leading the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies can interact with the biological world. Working at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, her lab is pioneering a new age of symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, our products and
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This scientist makes ears out of apples
TED Fellow Andrew Pelling is a biohacker, and nature is his hardware. His favorite materials are the simplest ones (and oftentimes he finds them in the garbage). Building on the cellulose structure that gives an apple its shape, he "grows" lifelike human ears, pioneering a process that might someday be used to repair body parts safely and cheaply. And he has some even
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DJ decks made of... paper
"I love paper, and I love technology," says physicist and former sheep herder Kate Stone, who's spent the past decade working to unite the two. Her experiments combine regular paper with conductive inks and tiny circuit boards to offer a unique, magical experience. To date, applications include a newspaper embedded with audio and video, posters that display
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Neil Gershenfeld on Fab Labs
MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld talks about his Fab Lab -- a low-cost lab that lets people build things they need using digital and analog tools. It's a simple idea with powerful results.
Learning from the gecko's tail
Biologist Robert Full studies the amazing gecko, with its supersticky feet and tenacious climbing skill. But high-speed footage reveals that the gecko's tail harbors perhaps the most surprising talents of all.
Luca Turin on the science of scent
What's the science behind a sublime perfume? With charm and precision, biophysicist Luca Turin explains the molecular makeup -- and the art -- of a scent.
A young inventor's plan to recycle Styrofoam
From packing peanuts to disposable coffee cups, each year the US alone produces some two billion pounds of Styrofoam — none of which can be recycled. Frustrated by this waste of resources and landfill space, Ashton Cofer and his science fair teammates developed a heating treatment to break down used Styrofoam into something useful. Check out their original design,
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Saul Griffith on everyday inventions
Inventor and MacArthur fellow Saul Griffith shares some innovative ideas from his lab -- from "smart rope" to a house-sized kite for towing large loads.
Christopher Deam restyles the Airstream
In this low-key, image-packed talk from 2002, designer Christopher C. Deam talks about his makeover of an American classic: the Airstream travel trailer.
How I turned a deadly plant into a thriving business
The water hyacinth may look like a harmless, even beautiful flowering plant — but it's actually an invasive aquatic weed that clogs waterways, stopping trade, interrupting schooling and disrupting everyday life. In this scourge, green entrepreneur Achenyo Idachaba saw opportunity. Follow her journey as she turns weeds into woven wonders.
Shape-shifting tech will change work as we know it
What will the world look like when we move beyond the keyboard and mouse? Interaction designer Sean Follmer is building a future with machines that bring information to life under your fingers as you work with it. In this talk, check out prototypes for a 3D shape-shifting table, a phone that turns into a wristband, a deformable game controller and more that may change
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The next step in nanotechnology
Every year the silicon computer chip shrinks in size by half and doubles in power, enabling our devices to become more mobile and accessible. But what happens when our chips can't get any smaller? George Tulevski researches the unseen and untapped world of nanomaterials. His current work: developing chemical processes to compel billions of carbon nanotubes to assemble
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How do you build a sacred space?
To design the Bahá'í Temple of South America, architect Siamak Hariri focused on illumination — from the temple's form, which captures the movement of the sun throughout the day, to the iridescent, luminous stone and glass used to construct it. Join Hariri for a journey through the creative process, as he explores what makes for a sacred experience in a secular world.