James Patten, a TED Fellow, imagines new ways for us to play with computers.

Why you should listen

James Patten is an interaction designer, inventor and visual artist working at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. Patten is a TED Fellow and the founder and principal of the design firm Patten Studio, where his clients have included Björk, Barneys New York, General Electric, Steelcase and Autodesk. Patten earned his doctorate at the MIT Media Lab where he studied in the Tangible Media Group under Hiroshi Ishii. His work has been exhibited or performed in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Transmediale festival in Berlin, the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria. Patten's work has been recognized in several international design competitions including the International Design Magazine's Annual Design Review, and the International Design Excellence Awards. Tour his Brooklyn workshop.

James Patten’s TED talk

James Patten on the TED Blog


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December 19, 2013

Listen to too much talk about innovation, and before long you’re bound to hear someone utter the “cross” word. It might be followed by “fertilization,” maybe “pollination,” perhaps even “disciplinary,” but the sharing of ideas with unlike-minded people is a hot topic, the holy grail of wannabe world-changers. After all, the thinking goes, working with […]

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TED Fellow helped Björk create 30-foot harp for Biophilia tour

December 10, 2012

Björk commissioned some truly unusual instruments for her Biophilia tour, which is headed to Paris next in 2013. The Icelandic songstress, who revealed her favorite TED Talks earlier this month, shares the stage with a sharpsicord, a gameleste and a musical Tesla coil. But perhaps the most dramatic instrument is a gravity harp, which stands 30-feet […]

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