Themes Tales of Invention

Tales of Invention An experimental French multiplane prepares for a flight attempt in the 1890s.

TED has always loved a good creation story. No matter the scale -- kitchen, continent, or solar system -- invention grants us access to the frontiers of our understanding.

Legendary designer Philippe Starck's lively ruminations on his own creative process suggest how the patterns of a civilization might affect, say, the design of a citrus juicer. Jan Chipchase investigates the worldwide impact of mobile phones -- and the impact of culture on next-generation mobile technology. Explorer and adventurer Bill Stone, meanwhile, fires up a rapt audience with his ambitious plan to harvest energy from the moon.

Copyright lawyer Larry Lessig gives a brief history of creative freedom and copyright, and talks about how contemporary copyright law could strangle future artistic invention and interpretation. William Kamkwamba tells how he built a windmill from scrap metal when he was 14 years old. And Amy Smith shares her transformative low-tech tools for saving life in the developing world.

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Play_iconRegina Dugan: From mach-20 glider to hummingbird drone

Regina Dugan: From mach-20 glider to hummingbird drone

25:01 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 1,330,720 | Comments: 489

Play_iconDonald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

15:15 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 1,508,255 | Comments: 348

Play_iconTaylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor

Taylor Wilson: Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor

03:32 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 2,465,995 | Comments: 369

Play_botw_iconAdam Savage: How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries

Adam Savage: How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries

07:32 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 757,657 | Comments: 123

Play_iconVijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate

Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate

16:46 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 3,299,255 | Comments: 363

Play_iconNeil MacGregor: 2600 years of history in one object

Neil MacGregor: 2600 years of history in one object

19:37 Posted: Feb 2012

Views: 753,313 | Comments: 257

Play_iconBilal Bomani: Plant fuels that could power a jet

Bilal Bomani: Plant fuels that could power a jet

14:26 Posted: Jan 2012

Views: 93,277 | Comments: 72

Play_iconSonaar Luthra: Meet the Water Canary

Sonaar Luthra: Meet the Water Canary

03:37 Posted: Jan 2012

Views: 274,140 | Comments: 128

Play_iconSheila Nirenberg: A prosthetic eye to treat blindness

Sheila Nirenberg: A prosthetic eye to treat blindness

10:01 Posted: Dec 2011

Views: 332,174 | Comments: 108

Play_iconQuyen Nguyen: Color-coded surgery

Quyen Nguyen: Color-coded surgery

16:08 Posted: Dec 2011

Views: 1,001,640 | Comments: 193

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