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Fly with the Jetman
Strapped to a jet-powered wing, Yves Rossy is the Jetman -- flying free, his body as the rudder, above the Swiss Alps and the Grand Canyon. After a powerful short film shows how it works, Rossy takes the TEDGlobal stage to share the experience and thrill of flying.
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A robot that flies like a bird
Plenty of robots can fly -- but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. A soaring demo fresh from TEDGlobal 2011.
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Conception to birth -- visualized
Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond. (Some graphic images.)
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Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense
This demo -- from Pattie Maes' lab at MIT, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry -- was the buzz of TED. It's a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Imagine "Minority Report" and then some.
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Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks
Building sophisticated educational tools out of cheap parts, Johnny Lee demos his cool Wii Remote hacks, which turn the $40 video game controller into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer.
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6 ways mushrooms can save the world
Mycologist Paul Stamets lists 6 ways the mycelium fungus can help save the universe: cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, treating smallpox and even flu ... Read more.
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How to build your creative confidence
Is your school or workplace divided into "creatives" versus practical people? Yet surely, David Kelley suggests, creativity is not the domain of only a chosen few. Telling stories from his legendary design career and his own life, he offers ways to build the confidence to create... (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David
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The magic of truth and lies (and iPods)
Using three iPods like magical props, Marco Tempest spins a clever, surprisingly heartfelt meditation on truth and lies, art and emotion.
Gaming can make a better world
Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
Aimee Mullins and her 12 pairs of legs
Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs -- she's got a dozen amazing pairs -- and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height ... Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be.
Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by ... you
"Architecture is not about math or zoning — it's about visceral emotions," says Marc Kushner. In a sweeping — often funny — talk, he zooms through the past thirty years of architecture to show how the public, once disconnected, have become an essential part of the design process. With the help of social media, feedback reaches architects years before a building is
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The emergence of "4D printing"
3D printing has grown in sophistication since the late 1970s; TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time. This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed
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Build a tower, build a team
Tom Wujec presents some surprisingly deep research into the "marshmallow problem" -- a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. Who can build the tallest tower with these ingredients? And why does a surprising group always beat the average?
The genius puppetry behind War Horse
"Puppets always have to try to be alive," says Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, a gloriously ambitious troupe of human and wooden actors. Beginning with the tale of a hyena's subtle paw, puppeteers Kohler and Basil Jones build to the story of their latest astonishment: the wonderfully life-like Joey, the War Horse, who trots (and gallops) convincingly
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Magical houses, made of bamboo
You've never seen buildings like this. The stunning bamboo homes built by Elora Hardy and her team in Bali twist, curve and surprise at every turn. They defy convention because the bamboo itself is so enigmatic. No two poles of bamboo are alike, so every home, bridge and bathroom is exquisitely unique. In this beautiful, immersive talk, she shares the potential of
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Half a million secrets
"Secrets can take many forms -- they can be shocking, or silly, or soulful." Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret.com, shares some of the half-million secrets that strangers have mailed him on postcards.
Tom Shannon's anti-gravity sculpture
Tom Shannon shows off his gravity-defying, otherworldly sculpture -- made of simple, earthly materials -- that floats and spins like planets on magnets and suspension wire. It's science-inspired art at its most heavenly.
A garden in my apartment
Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles -- researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system. Call it distributed DIY. And the results? Delicious.
A Darwinian theory of beauty
TED collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton's provocative theory on beauty -- that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.
John Underkoffler points to the future of UI
Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak -- the real-life version of the film's eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow's computers will be controlled?
Less stuff, more happiness
Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.
I listen to color
Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color -- and yes, even listen to faces and paintings.
George Smoot on the design of the universe
At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos -- with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids -- got built this way.
Theo Jansen creates new creatures
Artist Theo Jansen demonstrates the amazingly lifelike kinetic sculptures he builds from plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. His creatures are designed to move -- and even survive -- on their own.
The first secret of design is ... noticing
As human beings, we get used to "the way things are" really fast. But for designers, the way things are is an opportunity ... Could things be better? How? In this funny, breezy talk, the man behind the iPod and the Nest thermostat shares some of his tips for noticing — and driving — change.
Ueli Gegenschatz soars in a wingsuit
Wingsuit jumping is the leading edge of extreme sports -- an exhilarating feat of almost unbelievable daring, where skydivers soar through canyons at over 100MPH. Ueli Gegenschatz talks about how (and why) he does it, and shows jawdropping film.
The beauty of data visualization
David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut -- and it may just change the way we see the world.
3 warp-speed architecture tales
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature -- they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy -- and creating stunning views.
The intelligence of crows
Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he's come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human.
How bad architecture wrecked cities
In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.
Jeff Han demos his breakthrough touchscreen
Jeff Han shows off a cheap, scalable multi-touch and pressure-sensitive computer screen interface that may spell the end of point-and-click.
Your body is my canvas
Alexa Meade takes an innovative approach to art. Not for her a life of sketching and stretching canvases. Instead, she selects a topic and then paints it--literally. She covers everything in a scene--people, chairs, food, you name it--in a mask of paint that mimics what's below it. In this eye-opening talk Meade shows off photographs of some of the more
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A story of mixed emoticons
Rives tells a typographical fairy tale that's short and bittersweet ;)
The power of time off
Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.
Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.
Chip Kidd doesn’t judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book -- and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In one of the funniest talks from TED2012, he shows the art and deep thought of his cover designs. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
John Hunter on the World Peace Game
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board -- and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches -- spontaneous, and always surprising -- go further than classroom lectures can.
Using nature's genius in architecture
How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.
Turning trash into toys for learning
At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves -- while learning basic principles of science and design.
Gever Tulley 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do
At TED U, Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do -- and why a little danger is good for both kids and grownups.
Cradle to cradle design
Green-minded architect and designer William McDonough asks what our buildings and products would look like if designers took into account "all children, all species, for all time."
The genesis of Google
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin offer a peek inside the Google machine, sharing tidbits about international search patterns, the philanthropic Google Foundation, and the company's dedication to innovation and employee happiness.
The design genius of Charles + Ray Eames
The legendary design team Charles and Ray Eames made films, houses and classic midcentury modern furniture. Eames Demetrios, their grandson, shows rarely seen films and archival footage in a lively, loving tribute to their creative process.
Paul MacCready flies on solar wings
Paul MacCready -- aircraft designer, environmentalist, and lifelong lover of flight -- talks about his long career.
Tim Brown on creativity and play
At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't).
A next-generation digital book
Software developer Mike Matas demos the first full-length interactive book for the iPad -- with clever, swipeable video and graphics and some very cool data visualizations to play with. The book is "Our Choice," Al Gore's sequel to "An Inconvenient Truth."
Architecture for the people by the people
Designer Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of WikiHouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere.
A primer on 3D printing
2012 may be the year of 3D printing, when this three-decade-old technology finally becomes accessible and even commonplace. Lisa Harouni gives a useful introduction to this fascinating way of making things -- including intricate objects once impossible to create.
Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web
20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together.
A magical tale (with augmented reality)
Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity -- all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.
Image recognition that triggers augmented reality
Matt Mills and Tamara Roukaerts demonstrate Aurasma, a new augmented reality tool that can seamlessly animate the world as seen through a smartphone. Going beyond previous augmented reality, their "auras" can do everything from making a painting talk to overlaying live news onto a printed newspaper.
Tim Brown urges designers to think big
Tim Brown says the design profession has a bigger role to play than just creating nifty, fashionable little objects. He calls for a shift to local, collaborative, participatory "design thinking" -- starting with the example of 19th-century design thinker Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
A robot that runs and swims like a salamander
Roboticist Auke Ijspeert designs biorobots, machines modeled after real animals that are capable of handling complex terrain and would appear at home in the pages of a sci-fi novel. The process of creating these robots leads to better automata that can be used for fieldwork, service, and search and rescue. But these robots don't just mimic the natural world — they
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Why Google Glass?
It's not a demo, more of a philosophical argument: Why did Sergey Brin and his team at Google want to build an eye-mounted camera/computer, codenamed Glass? Onstage at TED2013, Brin calls for a new way of seeing our relationship with our mobile computers -- not hunched over a screen but meeting the world heads-up.
Ursus Wehrli tidies up art
Ursus Wehrli shares his vision for a cleaner, more organized, tidier form of art -- by deconstructing the paintings of modern masters into their component pieces, sorted by color and size.
Scott McCloud on comics
In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.
What we learned from 5 million books
Have you played with Google Labs' Ngram Viewer? It's an addicting tool that lets you search for words and ideas in a database of 5 million books from across centuries. Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel show us how it works, and a few of the surprising things we can learn from 500 billion words.
Lessons from fashion's free culture
Copyright law's grip on film, music and software barely touches the fashion industry ... and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales, says Johanna Blakley. At TEDxUSC 2010, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture.
Forget multitasking, try monotasking
People aren’t just cooking anymore -- they’re cooking, texting, talking on the phone, watching YouTube and uploading photos of the awesome meal they just made. Designer Paolo Cardini questions the efficiency of our multitasking world and makes the case for -- gasp -- "monotasking." His charming 3D-printed smartphone covers just might help.
Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast
Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work. Learn how to run this exercise yourself, and hear Wujec’s surprising insights
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Changing my legs - and my mindset
In this TED archive video from 1998, paralympic sprinter Aimee Mullins talks about her record-setting career as a runner, and about the amazing carbon-fiber prosthetic legs (then a prototype) that helped her cross the finish line.
Visualizing the wonder of a living cell
Medical animator David Bolinsky presents 3 minutes of stunning animation that show the bustling life inside a cell.
Creative houses from reclaimed stuff
In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive.
Making sound visible through cymatics
Evan Grant demonstrates the science and art of cymatics, a process for making soundwaves visible. Useful for analyzing complex sounds (like dolphin calls), it also makes complex and beautiful designs.
Robots that "show emotion"
David Hanson's robot faces look and act like yours: They recognize and respond to emotion, and make expressions of their own. Here, an "emotional" live demo of the Einstein robot offers a peek at a future where robots truly mimic humans.
Tales of ice-bound wonderlands
Diving under the Antarctic ice to get close to the much-feared leopard seal, photographer Paul Nicklen found an extraordinary new friend. Share his hilarious, passionate stories of the polar wonderlands, illustrated by glorious images of the animals who live on and under the ice.
Cooking as never seen before
Cookbook author (and geek) Nathan Myhrvold talks about his magisterial work, "Modernist Cuisine" -- and shares the secret of its cool photographic illustrations, which show cross-sections of food in the very act of being cooked.
My mushroom burial suit
Here's a powerful provocation from artist Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Naturally -- using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Yes, this just might be the strangest TEDTalk you'll ever see ...
Eythor Bender demos human exoskeletons
Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS -- robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk. It's a powerful onstage demo, with implications for human potential of all kinds.
Hypersonic sound and other inventions
Woody Norris shows off two of his inventions that treat sound in new ways, and talks about his untraditional approach to inventing and education. As he puts it: "Almost nothing has been invented yet." So -- what's next?
Building the Seed Cathedral
A future more beautiful? Architect Thomas Heatherwick shows five recent projects featuring ingenious bio-inspired designs. Some are remakes of the ordinary: a bus, a bridge, a power station ... And one is an extraordinary pavilion, the Seed Cathedral, a celebration of growth and light.
Legos for grownups
Lego blocks: playtime mainstay for industrious kids, obsession for many (ahem!) mature adults. Hillel Cooperman takes us on a trip through the beloved bricks' colorful, sometimes oddball grownup subculture, featuring CAD, open-source robotics and a little adult behavior.
Nick Sears demos the Orb
Inventor Nick Sears demos the first generation of the Orb, a rotating persistence-of-vision display that creates glowing 3D images. A short, cool tale of invention.
How to reinvent the apartment building
In 1967, Moshe Safdie reimagined the monolithic apartment building, creating “Habitat ’67,” which gave each unit an unprecedented sense of openness. Nearly 50 years later, he believes the need for this type of building is greater than ever. In this short talk, Safdie surveys a range of projects that do away with the high-rise and let light permeate into densely-packed
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The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology
At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data -- including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop." In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he'll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all.
How I built a toaster -- from scratch
It takes an entire civilization to build a toaster. Designer Thomas Thwaites found out the hard way, by attempting to build one from scratch: mining ore for steel, deriving plastic from oil ... it's frankly amazing he got as far as he got. A parable of our interconnected society, for designers and consumers alike.
Peter Molyneux demos Milo, the virtual boy
Peter Molyneux demos Milo, a hotly anticipated video game for Microsoft's Kinect controller. Perceptive and impressionable like a real 11-year-old, the virtual boy watches, listens and learns -- recognizing and responding to you.
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.
A prosthetic arm that "feels"
Physiatrist and engineer Todd Kuiken is building a prosthetic arm that connects with the human nervous system -- improving motion, control and even feeling. Onstage, patient Amanda Kitts helps demonstrate this next-gen robotic arm.
Ingenious homes in unexpected places
In the center of Caracas, Venezuela, stands the 45-story "Tower of David," an unfinished, abandoned skyscraper. But about eight years ago, people started moving in. Photographer Iwan Baan shows how people build homes in unlikely places, touring us through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China.
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The beauty of human skin in every color
Angélica Dass's photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. In this personal talk, hear about the inspiration behind her portrait project, Humanæ, and her pursuit to document humanity's true colors rather than the untrue white, red, black and yellow associated with race.
Sweat the small stuff
It may seem that big problems require big solutions, but ad man Rory Sutherland says many flashy, expensive fixes are just obscuring better, simpler answers. To illustrate, he uses behavioral economics and hilarious examples.
Biomimicry in action
Janine Benyus has a message for inventors: When solving a design problem, look to nature first. There you'll find inspired designs for making things waterproof, aerodynamic, solar-powered and more. Here she reveals dozens of new products that take their cue from nature with spectacular results.
Artfully visualizing our humanity
Artist Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data -- and at times vast numbers of people -- and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the "Wilderness Downtown" video that customizes for the user, his works brilliantly explore
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Building unimaginable shapes
Inspired by cell division, Michael Hansmeyer writes algorithms that design outrageously fascinating shapes and forms with millions of facets. No person could draft them by hand, but they're buildable -- and they could revolutionize the way we think of architectural form.
A monkey economy as irrational as ours
Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. A clever series of experiments in "monkeynomics" shows that some of the silly choices we make, monkeys make too.
How can technology transform the human body?
TED Fellow Lucy McRae is a body architect -- she imagines ways to merge biology and technology in our own bodies. In this visually stunning talk, she shows her work, from clothes that recreate the body's insides for a music video with pop-star Robyn, to a pill that, when swallowed, lets you sweat perfume.
This computer will grow your food in the future
What if we could grow delicious, nutrient-dense food, indoors anywhere in the world? Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change the food system by connecting growers with technology. Get to know Harper's "food computers" and catch a glimpse of what the future of farming might look like.
Meet Rezero, the dancing ballbot
Onstage at TEDGlobal, Péter Fankhauser demonstrates Rezero, a robot that balances on a ball. Designed and built by a group of engineering students, Rezero is the first ballbot made to move quickly and gracefully -- and even dance.
Play this game to come up with original ideas
Shimpei Takahashi always dreamed of designing toys. But when he started work as a toy developer, he found that the pressure to use data as a starting point for design quashed his creativity. In this short, funny talk, Takahashi describes how he got his ideas flowing again, and shares a simple game anyone can play to generate new ideas. (In Japanese with English
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Hod Lipson builds "self-aware" robots
Hod Lipson demonstrates a few of his cool little robots, which have the ability to learn, understand themselves and even self-replicate.
How beauty feels
A story, a work of art, a face, a designed object -- how do we tell that something is beautiful? And why does it matter so much to us? Designer Richard Seymour explores our response to beauty and the surprising power of objects that exhibit it.
Are games better than life?
Game designer David Perry says tomorrow's videogames will be more than mere fun to the next generation of gamers. They'll be lush, complex, emotional experiences -- more involving and meaningful to some than real life. With an excerpt from Michael Highland's film "As Real as Your Life."
Why buses represent democracy in action
"An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport," argues Enrique Peñalosa. In this spirited talk, the former mayor of Bogotá shares some of the tactics he used to change the transportation dynamic in the Colombian capital... and suggests ways to think about building smart cities of the future.
Memes and "temes"
Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology -- and invents ways to keep itself alive
Paula Scher gets serious
Paula Scher looks back at a life in design (she's done album covers, books, the Citibank logo ...) and pinpoints the moment when she started really having fun. Look for gorgeous designs and images from her legendary career.
Buildings that blend nature and city
A skyscraper that channels the breeze ... a building that creates community around a hearth ... Jeanne Gang uses architecture to build relationships. In this engaging tour of her work, Gang invites us into buildings large and small, from a surprising local community center to a landmark Chicago skyscraper. "Through architecture, we can do much more than create
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The rise of personal robots
As a grad student, Cynthia Breazeal wondered why we were using robots on Mars, but not in our living rooms. The key, she realized: training robots to interact with people. Now she dreams up and builds robots that teach, learn -- and play. Watch for amazing demo footage of a new interactive game for kids.
The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands
"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen
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How pig parts make the world turn
Christien Meindertsma, author of "Pig 05049" looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.
My simple invention, designed to keep my grandfather safe
60% of people with dementia wander off, an issue that can prove hugely stressful for both patients and caregivers. In this charming talk, hear how teen inventor Kenneth Shinozuka came up with a novel solution to help his night-wandering grandfather and the aunt who looks after him ... and how he hopes to help others with Alzheimer's.
Why architects need to use their ears
Because of poor acoustics, students in classrooms miss 50 percent of what their teachers say and patients in hospitals have trouble sleeping because they continually feel stressed. Julian Treasure sounds a call to action for designers to pay attention to the “invisible architecture” of sound.
A 3D-printed jumbo jet?
Designer Bastian Schaefer shows off a speculative design for the future of jet planes, with a skeleton inspired by strong, flexible, natural forms and by the needs of the world's, ahem, growing population. Imagine an airplane that's full of light and space -- and built up from generative parts in a 3D printer.
How I became 100 artists
How do you stage an international art show with work from 100 different artists? If you're Shea Hembrey, you invent all of the artists and artwork yourself -- from large-scale outdoor installations to tiny paintings drawn with a single-haired brush. Watch this funny, mind-bending talk to see the explosion of creativity and diversity of skills a single artist is
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David Macaulay's Rome Antics
David Macaulay relives the winding and sometimes surreal journey toward the completion of Rome Antics, his illustrated homage to the historic city.
What happens when a city runs out of room for its dead
"If you want to go out and start your own cemetery" in the UK, says Alison Killing, "you kind of can." She thinks a lot about where we die and are buried — and in this talk, the architect and TED Fellow offers an eye-opening economic and social perspective on an overlooked feature of our towns and cities: the cemetery. Speaking specifically to UK laws, she unpacks the
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The technology of storytelling
iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces us to Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book. Sabia shows how new technology has always helped us tell our own stories, from the walls of caves to his own onstage iPad.
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.
Tom Wujec on 3 ways the brain creates meaning
Information designer Tom Wujec talks through three areas of the brain that help us understand words, images, feelings, connections. In this short talk from TEDU, he asks: How can we best engage our brains to help us better understand big ideas?
Let's go all-in on selling sustainability
The big blue buildings of Ikea have sprouted solar panels and wind turbines; inside, shelves are stocked with LED lighting and recycled cotton. Why? Because as Steve Howard puts it: “Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.” Howard, the chief sustainability officer at the furniture megastore, talks about his quest to sell eco-friendly materials
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Accepting his 2005 TED Prize, photographer Edward Burtynsky makes a wish: that his images -- stunning landscapes that document humanity's impact on the world -- help persuade millions to join a global conversation on sustainability.
Playing with space and light
In the spectacular large-scale projects he's famous for (such as "Waterfalls" in New York harbor), Olafur Eliasson creates art from a palette of space, distance, color and light. This idea-packed talk begins with an experiment in the nature of perception.
7 rules for making more happiness
Using simple, delightful illustrations, designer Stefan Sagmeister shares his latest thinking on happiness -- both the conscious and unconscious kind. His seven rules for life and design happiness can (with some customizations) apply to everyone seeking more joy.
A delightful way to teach kids about computers
Computer code is the next universal language, and its syntax will be limited only by the imaginations of the next generation of programmers. Linda Liukas is helping to educate problem-solving kids, encouraging them to see computers not as mechanical, boring and complicated but as colorful, expressive machines meant to be tinkered with. In this talk, she invites us to
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Taking imagination seriously
Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing -- which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity.
David Carson on design + discovery
Great design is a never-ending journey of discovery -- for which it helps to pack a healthy sense of humor. Sociologist and surfer-turned-designer David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images.
Brilliant designs to fit more people in every city
How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? Kent Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small village of the past.
Shh! Sound health in 8 steps
Julian Treasure says our increasingly noisy world is gnawing away at our mental health -- even costing lives. He lays out an 8-step plan to soften this sonic assault (starting with those cheap earbuds) and restore our relationship with sound.
David Kelley on human-centered design
IDEO’s David Kelley says that product design has become much less about the hardware and more about the user experience. He shows video of this new, broader approach, including footage from the Prada store in New York.
Kwabena Boahen on a computer that works like the brain
Researcher Kwabena Boahen is looking for ways to mimic the brain's supercomputing powers in silicon -- because the messy, redundant processes inside our heads actually make for a small, light, superfast computer.
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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Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.
The fractals at the heart of African designs
'I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof.' That is how Ron Eglash greeted many African families he met while researching the fractal patterns he’d noticed in villages across the continent.
John Hodgman, comedian and resident expert, "explains" the design of three iconic modern objects. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
Paul Debevec animates a photo-real digital face
Computer graphics trailblazer Paul Debevec explains the scene-stealing technology behind Digital Emily, a digitally constructed human face so realistic it stands up to multiple takes. (Filmed at TEDxUSC.)
Daniel Libeskind's 17 words of architectural inspiration
Daniel Libeskind builds on very big ideas. Here, he shares 17 words that underlie his vision for architecture -- raw, risky, emotional, radical -- and that offer inspiration for any bold creative pursuit.
Adam Grosser and his sustainable fridge
Adam Grosser talks about a project to build a refrigerator that works without electricity -- to bring the vital tool to villages and clinics worldwide. Tweaking some old technology, he's come up with a system that works.
New York's streets? Not so mean any more
In this funny and thought-provoking talk, Janette Sadik-Khan, transportation commissioner of New York City, shares projects that have reshaped street life in the 5 boroughs, including pedestrian zones in Times Square, high-performance buses and a 6,000-cycle-strong bike share. Her mantra: Do bold experiments that are cheap to try out.
Ross Lovegrove shares organic designs
Designer Ross Lovegrove expounds his philosophy of “fat-free” design and offers insight into several of his extraordinary products, including the Ty Nant water bottle and the Go chair.
the Web's secret stories
Jonathan Harris wants to make sense of the emotional world of the Web. With deep compassion for the human condition, his projects troll the Internet to find out what we're all feeling and looking for.
Meet the inventor of the electronic spreadsheet
Dan Bricklin changed the world forever when he codeveloped VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet and grandfather of programs you probably use every day like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Join the software engineer and computing legend as he explores the tangled web of first jobs, daydreams and homework problems that led to his transformational invention.
Paul Moller on the Skycar
Paul Moller talks about the future of personal air travel -- the marriage of autos and flight that will give us true freedom to travel off-road. He shows two things he's working on: the Moller Skycar (a jet + car) and a passenger-friendly hovering disc.
The beautiful math of coral
Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician -- celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation.
Architecture at home in its community
When TED Fellow Xavier Vilalta was commissioned to create a multistory shopping mall in Addis Ababa, he panicked. Other centers represented everything he hated about contemporary architecture: wasteful, glass towers requiring tons of energy whose design had absolutely nothing to do with Africa. In this charming talk, Vilalta shows how he champions an
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Easy DIY projects for kid engineers
TED Resident Fawn Qiu designs fun, low-cost projects that use familiar materials like paper and fabric to introduce engineering to kids. In this quick, clever talk, she shares how nontraditional workshops like hers can change the perception of technology and inspire students to participate in creating it.
Architecture that senses and responds
With his team at SENSEable City Lab, MIT's Carlo Ratti makes cool things by sensing the data we create. He pulls from passive data sets -- like the calls we make, the garbage we throw away -- to create surprising visualizations of city life. And he and his team create dazzling interactive environments from moving water and flying light, powered by simple gestures
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The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist
The nerve disease ALS left graffiti artist TEMPT paralyzed from head to toe, forced to communicate blink by blink. In a remarkable talk at TEDActive, entrepreneur Mick Ebeling shares how he and a team of collaborators built an open-source invention that gave the artist -- and gives others in his circumstance -- the means to make art again.
A call for open-source architecture
Accepting his 2006 TED Prize, Cameron Sinclair demonstrates how passionate designers and architects can respond to world housing crises. He unveils his TED Prize wish for a network to improve global living standards through collaborative design.
The bio-future of joint replacement
Arthritis and injury grind down millions of joints, but few get the best remedy -- real biological tissue. Kevin Stone shows a treatment that could sidestep the high costs and donor shortfall of human-to-human transplants with a novel use of animal tissue.
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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Design with the blind in mind
What would a city designed for the blind be like? Chris Downey is an architect who went suddenly blind in 2008; he contrasts life in his beloved San Francisco before and after -- and shows how the thoughtful designs that enhance his life now might actually make everyone's life better, sighted or not.
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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My 5 lives as an artist
With endearing honesty and vulnerability, Raghava KK tells the colorful tale of how art has taken his life to new places, and how life experiences in turn have driven his multiple reincarnations as an artist -- from cartoonist to painter, media darling to social outcast, and son to father.
Can we make things that make themselves?
MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly -- the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper), we can create materials that build themselves, much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. It's a big concept at early stages; Tibbits shows us three in-the-lab projects that hint at what a self-assembling future might look like.
Don't build your home, grow it!
TED Fellow and urban designer Mitchell Joachim presents his vision for sustainable, organic architecture: eco-friendly abodes grown from plants and -- wait for it -- meat.
How to go to space, without having to go to space
"We will start inhabiting outer space," says Angelo Vermeulen, crew commander of a NASA-funded Mars simulation. "It might take 50 years or it might take 500 years, but it’s going to happen." In this charming talk, the TED Senior Fellow describes some of his official work to make sure humans are prepared for life in deep space ... and shares a fascinating art project
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Burt Rutan sees the future of space
In this passionate talk, legendary spacecraft designer Burt Rutan lambasts the US government-funded space program for stagnating and asks entrepreneurs to pick up where NASA has left off.
Glowing life in an underwater world
Some 80 to 90 percent of undersea creatures make light -- and we know very little about how or why. Bioluminescence expert Edith Widder explores this glowing, sparkling, luminous world, sharing glorious images and insight into the unseen depths (and brights) of the ocean.
There’s a better way to die, and architecture can help
In this short, provocative talk, architect Alison Killing looks at buildings where death and dying happen — cemeteries, hospitals, homes. The way we die is changing, and the way we build for dying ... well, maybe that should too. It's a surprisingly fascinating look at a hidden aspect of our cities, and our lives.
Why I brought Pac-Man to MoMA
When the Museum of Modern Art's senior curator of architecture and design announced the acquisition of 14 video games in 2012, "all hell broke loose." In this far-ranging, entertaining, and deeply insightful talk, Paola Antonelli explains why she's delighted to challenge preconceived ideas about art and galleries, and describes her burning wish to help
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Engineering and evolution
Insects and animals have evolved some amazing skills -- but, as Robert Full notes, many animals are actually over-engineered. The trick is to copy only what's necessary. He shows how human engineers can learn from animals' tricks.
How technology allowed me to read
Months after he was born, in 1948, Ron McCallum became blind. In this charming, moving talk, he shows how he is able to read -- and celebrates the progression of clever tools and adaptive computer technologies that make it possible. With their help, and that of generous volunteers, he's become a lawyer, an academic, and, most of all, a voracious reader. Welcome
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How an old loop of railroads is changing the face of a city
Urban planner Ryan Gravel shares the story of how his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, rallied to build a massive urban park that will transform an abandoned railroad track into 22 miles of public green space called the Atlanta BeltLine. The places we live aren't inevitable, he says — and if we want something different, we need to speak up.
Wearing nothing new
Designer Jessi Arrington packed nothing for TED but 7 pairs of undies, buying the rest of her clothes in thrift stores around LA. It's a meditation on conscious consumption -- wrapped in a rainbow of color and creativity.
Thom Mayne on architecture as connection
Architect Thom Mayne has never been one to take the easy option, and this whistle-stop tour of the buildings he's created makes you glad for it. These are big ideas cast in material form.
The potential of regenerative medicine
Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine -- a breakthrough way of thinking about disease and injury, using a process that can signal the body to rebuild itself.
Joshua Prince-Ramus on Seattle's library
Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus takes the audience on dazzling, dizzying virtual tours of three recent projects: the Central Library in Seattle, the Museum Plaza in Louisville and the Charles Wyly Theater in Dallas.
Once Upon a School
Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. With spellbinding eagerness, he talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open
Siegfried Woldhek shows how he found the true face of Leonardo
Mona Lisa is one of the best-known faces on the planet. But would you recognize an image of Leonardo da Vinci? Illustrator Siegfried Woldhek uses some thoughtful image-analysis techniques to find what he believes is the true face of Leonardo.
Shake up your story
Artist Raghava KK demos his new children's book for iPad with a fun feature: when you shake it, the story -- and your perspective -- changes. In this charming short talk, he invites all of us to shake up our perspective a little bit.
Steven Johnson tours the Ghost Map
Author Steven Johnson takes us on a 10-minute tour of The Ghost Map, his book about a cholera outbreak in 1854 London and the impact it had on science, cities and modern society.
Design for people, not awards
Timothy Prestero thought he'd designed the perfect incubator for newborns in the developing world -- but his team learned a hard lesson when it failed to go into production. A manifesto on the importance of designing for real-world use, rather than accolades. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.)
The emotion behind invention
Soldiers who've lost limbs in service face a daily struggle unimaginable to most of us. At TEDMED, Dean Kamen talks about the profound people and stories that motivated his work to give parts of their lives back with his design for a remarkable prosthetic arm.
Brenda Laurel on games for girls
A TED archive gem. At TED in 1998, Brenda Laurel asks: Why are all the top-selling videogames aimed at little boys? She spent two years researching the world of girls (and shares amazing interviews and photos) to create a game that girls would love.
Architecture that repairs itself?
Venice is sinking. To save it, Rachel Armstrong says we need to outgrow architecture made of inert materials and, well, make architecture that grows itself. She proposes a not-quite-alive material that does its own repairs and sequesters carbon, too.
The shape-shifting future of the mobile phone
At TEDxBerlin, Fabian Hemmert demos one future of the mobile phone -- a shape-shifting and weight-shifting handset that "displays" information nonvisually, offering a delightfully intuitive way to communicate.
How to reduce poverty? Fix homes
In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to "stop people getting sick" in a small indigenous community in south Australia. The key insights: think beyond medicine and fix the local environment. In this sparky, interactive talk, Pholeros describes projects undertaken by Healthabitat, the
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A plane you can drive
A flying car -- it's an iconic image of the future. But after 100 years of flight and automotive engineering, no one has really cracked the problem. Pilot Anna Mracek Dietrich and her team flipped the question, asking: Why not build a plane that you can drive?
Teaching design for change
Designer Emily Pilloton moved to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina, to engage in a bold experiment of design-led community transformation. She's teaching a design-build class called Studio H that engages high schoolers' minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state.
How better tech could protect us from distraction
How often does technology interrupt us from what we really mean to be doing? At work and at play, we spend a startling amount of time distracted by pings and pop-ups — instead of helping us spend our time well, it often feels like our tech is stealing it away from us. Design thinker Tristan Harris offers thoughtful new ideas for technology that creates more meaningful
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Yves Behar on designing objects that tell stories
Designer Yves Behar digs up his creative roots to discuss some of the iconic objects he's created (the Leaf lamp, the Jawbone headset). Then he turns to the witty, surprising, elegant objects he's working on now -- including the "$100 laptop."
A warm embrace that saves lives
In the developing world, access to incubators is limited by cost and distance, and millions of premature babies die each year. TED Fellow Jane Chen shows an invention that could keep millions of these infants warm -- a design that's safe, portable, low-cost and life-saving.
A future beyond traffic gridlock
Bill Ford is a car guy -- his great-grandfather was Henry Ford, and he grew up inside the massive Ford Motor Co. So when he worries about cars' impact on the environment, and about our growing global gridlock problem, it's worth a listen. His vision for the future of mobility includes "smart roads," even smarter public transport and going green like never before.
We are makers
America was built by makers -- curious, enthusiastic amateur inventors whose tinkering habit sparked whole new industries. At TED@MotorCity, MAKE magazine publisher Dale Dougherty says we're all makers at heart, and shows cool new tools to tinker with, like Arduinos, affordable 3D printers, even DIY satellites.
Medicine's future? There's an app for that
At TEDxMaastricht, Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient's bedside.
3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand
The days are past (if they ever existed) when a person, company or brand could tightly control their reputation -- online chatter and spin mean that if you're relevant, there's a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over. Tim Leberecht offers three big ideas about accepting that loss of control, even designing for it -- and
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The shareable future of cities
How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need -- while reducing the time we spend in cars.
Art with wire, sugar, chocolate and string
Vik Muniz makes art from pretty much anything, be it shredded paper, wire, clouds or diamonds. Here he describes the thinking behind his work and takes us on a tour of his incredible images.
Good news in the fight against pancreatic cancer
Anyone who has lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer knows the devastating speed with which it can affect an otherwise healthy person. TED Fellow and biomedical entrepreneur Laura Indolfi is developing a revolutionary way to treat this complex and lethal disease: a drug delivery device that acts as a cage at the site of a tumor, preventing it from spreading and
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Charles Elachi on the Mars Rovers
At Serious Play 2008, Charles Elachi shares stories from NASA's legendary Jet Propulsion Lab -- including tales and video from the Mars Rover project.
It's time to redesign medical data
Your medical chart: it's hard to access, impossible to read -- and full of information that could make you healthier if you just knew how to use it. At TEDMED, Thomas Goetz looks at medical data, making a bold call to redesign it and get more insight from it.
E-voting without fraud
David Bismark demos a new system for voting that contains a simple, verifiable way to prevent fraud and miscounting -- while keeping each person's vote secret.
Peter Diamandis on our next giant leap
Peter Diamandis says it's our moral imperative to keep exploring space -- and he talks about how, with the X Prize and other incentives, we're going to do just that.
Milton Glaser on using design to make ideas new
From the TED archives: The legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser dives deep into a new painting inspired by Piero della Francesca. From here, he muses on what makes a convincing poster, by breaking down an idea and making it new.
The quantified self
At TED@Cannes, Gary Wolf gives a 5-min intro to an intriguing new pastime: using mobile apps and always-on gadgets to track and analyze your body, mood, diet, spending -- just about everything in daily life you can measure -- in gloriously geeky detail.
Making sense of maps
Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places. How can we learn from these mental maps to make better real ones? As a test case, he remakes the notorious Dublin bus map. (Filmed at TEDxDublin)
Golan Levin makes art that looks back at you
Golan Levin, an artist and engineer, uses modern tools -- robotics, new software, cognitive research -- to make artworks that surprise and delight. Watch as sounds become shapes, bodies create paintings, and a curious eye looks back at the curious viewer.
Nicholas Negroponte, in 1984, makes 5 predictions
With surprising accuracy, Nicholas Negroponte predicts what will happen with CD-ROMs, web interfaces, service kiosks, the touchscreen interface of the iPhone and his own One Laptop per Child project.
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.
The emergent genius of ant colonies
With a dusty backhoe, a handful of Japanese paint markers and a few students in tow, Deborah Gordon digs up ant colonies in the Arizona desert to understand their complex social system.
Jaime Lerner sings of the city
Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.
Toward a science of simplicity
Simplicity: We know it when we see it -- but what is it, exactly? In this funny, philosophical talk, George Whitesides chisels out an answer.
Sculptor and engineer Arthur Ganson talks about his work -- kinetic art that explores deep philosophical ideas and is gee-whiz fun to look at.
Tod Machover and Dan Ellsey play new music
Tod Machover of MIT's Media Lab is devoted to extending musical expression to everyone, from virtuosos to amateurs, and in the most diverse forms, from opera to video games. He and composer Dan Ellsey shed light on what's next.
Building a theater that remakes itself
Joshua Prince-Ramus believes that if architects re-engineer their design process, the results can be spectacular. In his talk, he walks us through his fantastic re-creation of the local Wyly Theater as a giant "theatrical machine" that reconfigures itself at the touch of a button. (Filmed at TEDxSMU.)
The universal anesthesia machine
What if you're in surgery and the power goes out? No lights, no oxygen -- and your anesthesia stops flowing. It happens constantly in hospitals throughout the world, turning routine procedures into tragedies. Erica Frenkel demos one solution: the universal anesthesia machine.
Stefan Sagmeister on what he has learned
Rockstar designer Stefan Sagmeister delivers a short, witty talk on life lessons, expressed through surprising modes of design (including ... inflatable monkeys?).
Scott Kim takes apart the art of puzzles
At the 2008 EG conference, famed puzzle designer Scott Kim takes us inside the puzzle-maker's frame of mind. Sampling his career's work, he introduces a few of the most popular types, and shares the fascinations that inspired some of his best.
Paul Bennett finds design in the details
Showing a series of inspiring, unusual and playful products, British branding and design guru Paul Bennett explains that design doesn't have to be about grand gestures, but can solve small, universal and overlooked problems.
A short intro to the Studio School
Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, a new kind of school in the UK where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, "for real."
Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, two years on
Nicholas Negroponte talks about how One Laptop per Child is doing, two years in. Speaking at the EG conference while the first XO laptops roll off the production line, he recaps the controversies and recommits to the goals of this far-reaching project.
We're covered in germs. Let's design for that.
Our bodies and homes are covered in microbes -- some good for us, some bad for us. As we learn more about the germs and microbes who share our living spaces, TED Fellow Jessica Green asks: Can we design buildings that encourage happy, healthy microbial environments?
Spore, birth of a game
In a friendly, high-speed presentation, Will Wright demos his newest game, Spore, which promises to dazzle users even more than his previous masterpieces.
Let's simplify legal jargon!
Tax forms, credit agreements, healthcare legislation: They're crammed with gobbledygook, says Alan Siegel, and incomprehensibly long. He calls for a simple, sensible redesign -- and plain English -- to make legal paperwork intelligible to the rest of us.
Nathaniel Kahn on "My Architect"
Nathaniel Kahn shares clips from his documentary "My Architect," about his quest to understand his father, the legendary architect Louis Kahn. It's a film with meaning to anyone who seeks to understand the relationship between art and love.
Alan Kay shares a powerful idea about ideas
With all the intensity and brilliance for which he is known, Alan Kay envisions better techniques for teaching kids by using computers to illustrate experience in ways -– mathematically and scientifically -- that only computers can.
Brewster Kahle builds a free digital library
Brewster Kahle is building a truly huge digital library -- every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history ... It's all free to the public -- unless someone else gets to it first.
The world's first charter city?
Back in 2009, Paul Romer unveiled the idea for a "charter city" -- a new kind of city with rules that favor democracy and trade. This year, at TED2011, he tells the story of how such a city might just happen in Honduras ... with a little help from his TEDTalk.
How photography connects us
The photo director for National Geographic, David Griffin knows the power of photography to connect us to our world. In a talk filled with glorious images, he talks about how we all use photos to tell our stories.
Isaac Mizrahi on fashion and creativity
Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi spins through a dizzying array of inspirations -- from '50s pinups to a fleeting glimpse of a woman on the street who makes him shout "Stop the cab!" Inside this rambling talk are real clues to living a happy, creative life.
A history of the universe in sound
Artist-technologist Honor Harger listens to the weird and wonderful noises of stars and planets and pulsars. In her work, she tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including "the oldest song you will ever hear," the sound of cosmic rays left over from the Big Bang.
When ideas have sex
At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It's not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is.
Every new invention changes the world -- in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.
Moshe Safdie on building uniqueness
Looking back over his long career, architect Moshe Safdie delves into four of his design projects and explains how he labored to make each one truly unique for its site and its users.
Intricate beauty by design
In graphic design, Marian Bantjes says, throwing your individuality into a project is heresy. She explains how she built her career doing just that, bringing her signature delicate illustrations to storefronts, valentines and even genetic diagrams.
Philippe Starck thinks deep on design
Designer Philippe Starck -- with no pretty slides to show -- spends 18 minutes reaching for the very roots of the question "Why design?" Listen carefully for one perfect mantra for all of us, genius or not.
Sculpting waves in wood and time
Reuben Margolin is a kinetic sculptor, crafting beautiful pieces that move in the pattern of raindrops falling and waves combining. Take nine minutes and be mesmerized by his meditative art -- inspired in equal parts by math and nature.
Edward Burtynsky photographs the landscape of oil
In stunning large-format photographs, Edward Burtynsky follows the path of oil through modern society, from wellhead to pipeline to car engine -- and then beyond to the projected peak-oil endgame.
Maira Kalman, the illustrated woman
Author and illustrator Maira Kalman talks about her life and work, from her covers for The New Yorker to her books for children and grown-ups. She is as wonderful, as wise and as deliciously off-kilter in person as she is on paper.
Jay Walker's library of human imagination
Jay Walker, curator of the Library of Human Imagination, conducts a surprising show-and-tell session highlighting a few of the intriguing artifacts that backdropped the 2008 TED stage.
Silk, the ancient material of the future
Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature's most elegant materials -- in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.
How low-cost eye care can be world-class
India's revolutionary Aravind Eye Care System has given sight to millions. Thulasiraj Ravilla looks at the ingenious approach that drives its treatment costs down and quality up, and why its methods should trigger a re-think of all human services.
Paul MacCready on nature vs. humans
In 1998, aircraft designer Paul MacCready looks at a planet on which humans have utterly dominated nature, and talks about what we all can do to preserve nature's balance. His contribution: solar planes, superefficient gliders and the electric car.
Building a museum of museums on the web
Imagine being able to see artwork in the greatest museums around the world without leaving your chair. Driven by his passion for art, Amit Sood tells the story of how he developed Art Project to let people do just that.
Making maps to fight disaster, build economies
As of 2005, only 15 percent of the world was mapped. This slows the delivery of aid after a disaster -- and hides the economic potential of unused lands and unknown roads. In this short talk, Google's Lalitesh Katragadda demos Map Maker, a group map-making tool that people around the globe are using to map their world.
Torsten Reil builds better animations
Torsten Reil talks about how the study of biology can help make natural-looking animated people -- by building a human from the inside out, with bones, muscles and a nervous system. He spoke at TED in 2003; see his work now in GTA4.
The hidden light of Afghanistan
Photographer Monika Bulaj shares powerful, intimate images of Afghanistan -- of home life, of ritual, of men and women. Behind the headlines, what does the world truly know about this place?
The route to a sustainable future
Worldchanging.com founder Alex Steffen argues that reducing humanity’s ecological footprint is incredibly vital now, as the western consumer lifestyle spreads to developing countries.
Capturing memories in video art
Using video mapping and projection, artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo captures and shares his memories and friendships. At TED Fellow Talks, he shows his charming, thoughtful work -- which appears to preserve the people in his life in jars, suitcases, blenders ...
Ellen Dunham-Jones fires the starting shot for the next 50 years' big sustainable design project: retrofitting suburbia. To come: Dying malls rehabilitated, dead "big box" stores re-inhabited, parking lots transformed into thriving wetlands.
Stewart Brand on the Long Now
Stewart Brand works on the Clock of the Long Now, a timepiece that counts down the next 10,000 years. It's a beautiful project that asks us to think about the far, far future. Here, he discusses a tricky side problem with the Clock: Where can we put it?
Art of substance and absence
Alwar Balasubramaniam's sculpture plays with time, shape, shadow, perspective: four tricky sensations that can reveal -- or conceal -- what's really out there. At TEDIndia, the artist shows slides of his extraordinary installations.
Facial surgeon Iain Hutchison works with people whose faces have been severely disfigured. By pushing to improve surgical techniques, he helps to improve their lives; and by commissioning their portraits, he celebrates their humanity. NOTE: This talk contains images of disfigured and badly injured faces that may be disturbing -- and Hutchison provides thoughtful
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Eva Zeisel on the playful search for beauty
The ceramics designer Eva Zeisel looks back on a 75-year career. What keeps her work as fresh today (her latest line debuted in 2008) as in 1926? Her sense of play and beauty, and her drive for adventure. Listen for stories from a rich, colorful life.
10 young Indian artists to watch
Collector Ravin Agrawal delivers a glowing introduction to 10 of India's most exciting young contemporary artists. Working in a variety of media, each draws on their local culture for inspiration.
Maya Beiser(s) and her cello(s)
Cellist Maya Beiser plays a gorgeous eight-part modern etude with seven copies of herself, and segues into a meditative music/video hybrid -- using tech to create endless possibilities for transformative sound. Music is Steve Reich's "Cello Counterpoint," with video from Bill Morrison, then David Lang's "World to Come," with video by Irit Batsry.
This is Saturn
Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shows images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, focusing on its largest moon, Titan, and on frozen Enceladus, which seems to shoot jets of ice.
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.
Meet the Water Canary
After a crisis, how can we tell if water is safe to drink? Current tests are slow and complex, and the delay can be deadly, as in the cholera outbreak after Haiti's earthquake in 2010. TED Fellow Sonaar Luthra previews his design for a simple tool that quickly tests water for safety -- the Water Canary.
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.
Rob Forbes on ways of seeing
Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, shows a gallery of snapshots that inform his way of seeing the world. Charming juxtapositions, found art, urban patterns -- this slideshow will open your eyes to the world around you.
John Maeda on his journey in design
Designer John Maeda talks about his path from a Seattle tofu factory to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he became president in 2008. Maeda, a tireless experimenter and a witty observer, explores the crucial moment when design met computers.
The anthropology of mobile phones
Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase's investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. He's made some unexpected discoveries along the way.
Reviving New York's rivers -- with oysters!
Architect Kate Orff sees the oyster as an agent of urban change. Bundled into beds and sunk into city rivers, oysters slurp up pollution and make legendarily dirty waters clean -- thus driving even more innovation in "oyster-tecture." Orff shares her vision for an urban landscape that links nature and humanity for mutual benefit.
Liz Diller plays with architecture
In this engrossing EG talk, architect Liz Diller shares her firm DS+R's more unusual work, including the Blur Building, whose walls are made of fog, and the revamped Alice Tully Hall, which is wrapped in glowing wooden skin.
Steve Jurvetson on model rocketry
Moneyman Steve Jurvetson takes TEDsters inside his awesome hobby -- launching model rockets –- by sharing some gorgeous photos, his infectious glee and just a whiff of danger.
Phil Borges on endangered cultures
Photographer Phil Borges shows rarely seen images of people from the mountains of Dharamsala, India, and the jungles of the Ecuadorean Amazon. In documenting these endangered cultures, he intends to help preserve them.
Stephen Lawler tours Microsoft Virtual Earth
Microsoft's Stephen Lawler gives a whirlwind tour of Virtual Earth, moving up, down and through its hyper-real cityscapes with dazzlingly fluidity, a remarkable feat that requires staggering amounts of data to bring into focus.
Caleb Chung plays with Pleo
Pleo the robot dinosaur acts like a living pet -- exploring, cuddling, playing, reacting and learning. Inventor Caleb Chung talks about Pleo and his wild toy career at EG07, on the week that Pleo shipped to stores for the first time.
Steven Johnson on the Web as a city
Outside.in's Steven Johnson says the Web is like a city: built by many people, completely controlled by no one, intricately interconnected and yet functioning as many independent parts. While disaster strikes in one place, elsewhere, life goes on.
Reed Kroloff on modern and romantic architecture
Reed Kroloff gives us a new lens for judging new architecture: is it modern, or is it romantic? Look for glorious images from two leading practices -- and a blistering critique of the 9/11 planning process.
Jakob Trollback rethinks the music video
What would a music video look like if it were directed by the music, purely as an expression of a great song, rather than driven by a filmmaker's concept? Designer Jakob Trollback shares the results of his experiment in the form.
Negroponte takes OLPC to Colombia
TED follows Nicholas Negroponte to Colombia as he delivers laptops inside territory once controlled by guerrillas. His partner? Colombia's Defense Department, who see One Laptop per Child as an investment in the region. (And you too can get involved.)
The refugees of boom-and-bust
At TEDGlobal U, Cameron Sinclair shows the unreported cost of real estate megaprojects gone bust: thousands of migrant construction laborers left stranded and penniless. To his fellow architects, he says there is only one ethical response.
Do the green thing
Andy Hobsbawm shares a fresh ad campaign about going green -- and some of the fringe benefits.
Meet the dazzling flying machines of the future
When you hear the word "drone," you probably think of something either very useful or very scary. But could they have aesthetic value? Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D'Andrea develops flying machines, and his latest projects are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight — from a flying wing that can hover and recover from disturbance to an eight-propeller craft
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How to grow a forest in your backyard
Forests don't have to be far-flung nature reserves, isolated from human life. Instead, we can grow them right where we are — even in cities. Eco-entrepreneur and TED Fellow Shubhendu Sharma grows ultra-dense, biodiverse mini-forests of native species in urban areas by engineering soil, microbes and biomass to kickstart natural growth processes. Follow along as he
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How I teach kids to love science
At the Harbour School in Hong Kong, TED Senior Fellow Cesar Harada teaches citizen science and invention to the next generation of environmentalists. He's moved his classroom into an industrial mega-space where imaginative kids work with wood, metal, chemistry, biology, optics and, occasionally, power tools to create solutions to the threats facing the world's oceans.
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The art of the eco-mindshift
Natalie Jeremijenko's unusual lab puts art to work, and addresses environmental woes by combining engineering know-how with public art and a team of volunteers. These real-life experiments include: Walking tadpoles, texting "fish," planting fire-hydrant gardens and more.
Stefan Sagmeister shares happy design
Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister takes the audience on a whimsical journey through moments of his life that made him happy -- and notes how many of these moments have to do with good design.
My green school dream
Join John Hardy on a tour of the Green School, his off-the-grid school in Bali that teaches kids how to build, garden, create (and get into college). The centerpiece of campus is the spiraling Heart of School, perhaps the world's largest freestanding bamboo building.
The reporting system that sexual assault survivors want
We don't have to live in a world where 99 percent of rapists get away with it, says TED Fellow Jessica Ladd. With Callisto, a new platform for college students to confidentially report sexual assault, Ladd is helping survivors get the support and justice they deserve while respecting their privacy concerns. "We can create a world where there's a real deterrent to
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Why I keep speaking up, even when people mock my accent
Artist Safwat Saleem grew up with a stutter — but as an independent animator, he decided to do his own voiceovers to give life to his characters. When YouTube commenters started mocking his Pakistani accent, it crushed him, and his voice began to leave his work. Hear how this TED Fellow reclaimed his voice and confidence in this charming, thoughtful talk.
Don't fear superintelligent AI
New tech spawns new anxieties, says scientist and philosopher Grady Booch, but we don't need to be afraid an all-powerful, unfeeling AI. Booch allays our worst (sci-fi induced) fears about superintelligent computers by explaining how we'll teach, not program, them to share our human values. Rather than worry about an unlikely existential threat, he urges us to
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Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms
There are a few things that we all need: fresh air, water, food, shelter, love ... and a safe place to pee. For trans people who don't fit neatly into the gender binary, public restrooms are a major source of anxiety and the place where they are most likely to be questioned or harassed. In this poetically rhythmic talk, Ivan Coyote grapples with complex and intensely
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Marisa Fick-Jordan shares the wonder of Zulu wire art
In this short, image-packed talk, Marisa Fick-Jordan talks about how a village of traditional Zulu wire weavers built a worldwide market for their dazzling work.
Amy Smith shares simple, lifesaving design
Fumes from indoor cooking fires kill more than 2 million children a year in the developing world. MIT engineer Amy Smith details an exciting but simple solution: a tool for turning farm waste into clean-burning charcoal.
How Syria's architecture laid the foundation for brutal war
What caused the war in Syria? Oppression, drought and religious differences all played key roles, but Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests another reason: architecture. Speaking to us over the Internet from Homs, where for the last six years she has watched the war tear her city apart, Al-Sabouni suggests that Syria's architecture divided its once tolerant and multicultural
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David Rockwell builds at Ground Zero
In this emotionally charged conversation with journalist Kurt Andersen, designer David Rockwell discusses the process of building a viewing platform at Ground Zero shortly after 9/11.
When we design for disability, we all benefit
"I believe that losing my hearing was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received," says Elise Roy. As a disability rights lawyer and design thinker, she knows that being Deaf gives her a unique way of experiencing and reframing the world — a perspective that could solve some of our largest problems. As she says: "When we design for disability first, you often
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Simple hacks for life with Parkinson's
Simple solutions are often best, even when dealing with something as complicated as Parkinson's. In this inspiring talk, Mileha Soneji shares accessible designs that make the everyday tasks of those living with Parkinson's a bit easier. "Technology is not always it," she says. "What we need are human-centered solutions."
The taboo secret to healthier plants and people
Our poop and pee have superpowers, but for the most part we don't harness them. Molly Winter faces down our squeamishness and asks us to see what goes down the toilet as a resource, one that can help fight climate change, spur innovation and even save us money.
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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Turning dunes into architecture
Architecture student Magnus Larsson details his bold plan to transform the harsh Sahara desert using bacteria and a surprising construction material: the sand itself.
What a driverless world could look like
What if traffic flowed through our streets as smoothly and efficiently as blood flows through our veins? Transportation geek Wanis Kabbaj thinks we can find inspiration in the genius of our biology to design the transit systems of the future. In this forward-thinking talk, preview exciting concepts like modular, detachable buses, flying taxis and networks of suspended
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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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Frank Gehry asks "Then what?"
In a wildly entertaining discussion with Richard Saul Wurman, architect Frank Gehry gives TEDsters his take on the power of failure, his recent buildings, and the all-important “Then what?” factor.
Janine Benyus shares nature's designs
In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build.
Breakthrough designs for ultra-low-cost products
Engineer RA Mashelkar shares three stories of ultra-low-cost design from India that use bottom-up rethinking, and some clever engineering, to bring expensive products (cars, prosthetics) into the realm of the possible for everyone.
How we can find ourselves in data
Giorgia Lupi uses data to tell human stories, adding nuance to numbers. In this charming talk, she shares how we can bring personality to data, visualizing even the mundane details of our daily lives and transforming the abstract and uncountable into something that can be seen, felt and directly reconnected to our lives.
Why light needs darkness
Lighting architect Rogier van der Heide offers a beautiful new way to look at the world -- by paying attention to light (and to darkness). Examples from classic buildings illustrate a deeply thought-out vision of the play of light around us.
Mathieu Lehanneur demos science-inspired design
Naming science as his chief inspiration, Mathieu Lehanneur shows a selection of his ingenious designs -- an interactive noise-neutralizing ball, an antibiotic course in one layered pill, asthma treatment that reminds kids to take it, a living air filter, a living-room fish farm and more.
How music led to the invention of modern computers
Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, not always. Steven Johnson shows us how some of the most transformative ideas and technologies, like the computer, didn't emerge out of necessity at all but instead from the strange delight of play. Share this captivating, illustrated exploration of the history of invention. Turns out, you'll find the future wherever
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How art gives shape to cultural change
Thelma Golden, curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, talks through three recent shows that explore how art examines and redefines culture. The "post-black" artists she works with are using their art to provoke a new dialogue about race and culture -- and about the meaning of art itself.
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.