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_iconThomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral

Thomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral

16:52 Posted: May 2011

Views: 1,314,455 | Comments: 138

Play_iconLeonard Susskind: My friend Richard Feynman

Leonard Susskind: My friend Richard Feynman

14:41 Posted: May 2011

Views: 651,291 | Comments: 63

Play_iconFiorenzo Omenetto: Silk, the ancient material of the future

Fiorenzo Omenetto: Silk, the ancient material of the future

09:40 Posted: May 2011

Views: 684,939 | Comments: 93

Play_iconSuzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes

06:40 Posted: May 2011

Views: 956,769 | Comments: 134

Play_iconJohn Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game

John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game

19:50 Posted: Apr 2011

Views: 1,122,918 | Comments: 281

Play_iconMarcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

04:10 Posted: Apr 2011

Views: 1,240,928 | Comments: 309

Play_iconMick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

Mick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

07:49 Posted: Apr 2011

Views: 871,891 | Comments: 156

Play_iconSebastian Thrun: Google's driverless car

Sebastian Thrun: Google's driverless car

04:14 Posted: Mar 2011

Views: 1,953,082 | Comments: 263

Play_iconEythor Bender: Human exoskeletons -- for war and healing

Eythor Bender: Human exoskeletons -- for war and healing

06:23 Posted: Mar 2011

Views: 1,275,556 | Comments: 226

Play_iconPaul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering

Paul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering

19:42 Posted: Mar 2011

Views: 879,830 | Comments: 601

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