Design of useful things

Quirky, fascinating talks about the design of practical things we all need, whether we know it or not.

  1. 18:17
    Paola Antonelli Treat design as art

    Paola Antonelli, design curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art, wants to spread her appreciation of design — in all shapes and forms — around the world.

  2. 4:26
    Gary Lauder Take Turns

    Fifty percent of traffic accidents happen at intersections. Gary Lauder shares a brilliant and cheap idea for helping drivers move along smoothly: a new traffic sign that combines the properties of "Stop" and "Yield."

  3. 17:43
    Yves Béhar Designing objects that tell stories

    Designer Yves Béhar 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."

  4. 17:16
    Chip Kidd 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 this deeply felt (and deeply hilarious) talk, he shares the art and the philosophy behind his cover designs. (This talk is from The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)

  5. 6:23
    John Hodgman Design, explained.

    Resident expert John Hodgman "explains" the design of three iconic modern objects. Or does he. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)

  6. 16:33
    Thomas Goetz 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.

  7. 9:05
    Eben Bayer Are mushrooms the new plastic?

    Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens — and the environment.

  8. 17:20
    Niels Diffrient Rethinking the way we sit down

    Design legend Niels Diffrient talks about his life in industrial design (and the reason he became a designer instead of a jet pilot). He details his quest to completely rethink the office chair starting from one fundamental data set: the human body.

  9. 15:06
    Amy Smith Simple designs to save a life

    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.

  10. 3:19
    Kevin Surace Eco-friendly drywall

    Kevin Surace suggests we rethink basic construction materials — such as the familiar wallboard — to reduce the huge carbon footprint generated by the manufacturing and construction of our buildings. He introduces EcoRock, a clean, recyclable and energy-efficient drywall created by his team at Serious Materials.

  11. 6:04
    Jacek Utko Can design save newspapers?

    Jacek Utko is an extraordinary Polish newspaper designer whose redesigns for papers in Eastern Europe not only win awards, but increase circulation by up to 100%. Can good design save the newspaper? It just might.

  12. 4:10
    Marcin Jakubowski Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

    Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).

  13. 21:56
    Paula Scher Great design is serious, not solemn

    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.