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Skylar Tibbits: The emergence of “4D printing”

Skylar Tibbits: The emergence of “4D printing”

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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 pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.

Skylar Tibbits, a TED Fellow, is an artist and computational architect working on “smart” components that can assemble themselves.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?

Can we create objects that assemble themselves — that zip together like a strand of DNA or that have the ability for transformation embedded into them? These are the questions that Skylar Tibbits investigates in his Self-Assembly Lab at MIT, a cross-disciplinary research space where designers, scientists and engineers come together to find ways for disordered parts to become ordered structures.

A trained architect, designer and computer scientist, Tibbits teaches design studios at MIT’s Department of Architecture and co-teaches the seminar “How to Make (Almost) Anything” at MIT’s Media Lab. Before that, he worked at a number of design offices including Zaha Hadid Architects, Asymptote Architecture, SKIII Space Variations and Point b Design. His work has been shown at the Guggenheim Museum and the Beijing Biennale.

Tibbits has collaborated with a number of influential people over the years, including Neil Gershenfeld and The Center for Bits and Atoms, Erik and Marty Demaine at MIT, Adam Bly at SEED Media Group and Marc Fornes of THEVERYMANY. In 2007, he and Marc Fornes co-curated Scriptedbypurpose, the first exhibition focused exclusively on scripted processes within design. Also in 2007, he founded SJET, a multifaceted practice and research platform for experimental computation and design. SJET crosses disciplines from architecture and design, fabrication, computer science and robotics.

 

Amos Winter: The cheap all-terrain wheelchair

Amos Winter: The cheap all-terrain wheelchair

 

 

How do you build a wheelchair ready to blaze through mud and sand, all for under $200? MIT engineer Amos Winter guides us through the mechanics of an all-terrain wheelchair that’s cheap and easy to build — for true accessibility — and gives us some lessons he learned along the road.

 

Amos Winter and his team at MIT built the Leveraged Freedom Chair, a cheap lever-powered wheelchair whose design and develop put the user first.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM

 

Amos Winter wants to know: How do you redesign the wheelchair, an essential aid for millions, to be even better, more affordable, adaptable for the developing world, and able to face any type of terrain or weather? The answer is: the Leveraged Freedom Chair. Integrating science, engineering and user-driven design, Winter has developed a wheelchair that uses arm-powered levers that yield surprisingly simple, highly effective mechanical results. Even better, cheap parts means the chair costs under $200 and can be repaired easily, even in rural communities where resources are scarce.

 

Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

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Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script — give students video lectures to watch at home, and do “homework” in the classroom with the teacher available to help.

In 2004, Salman Khan, a hedge fund analyst, began posting math tutorials on YouTube. Six years later, he has posted more than 2.000 tutorials, which are viewed nearly 100,000 times around the world each day.

Why you should listen to him:

Salman Khan is the founder and faculty of the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) — a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere.  It now consists of self-paced software and, with over 1 million unique students per month, the most-used educational video repository on the Internet (over 30 million lessons delivered to-date).  All 2000+ video tutorials, covering everything from basic addition to advanced calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, have been made by Salman.

Prior to the Khan Academy, Salman was a senior analyst at a hedge fund and had also worked in technology and venture capital.  He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.Eng and B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and a B.S. in mathematics from MIT.