The 5 Most Interesting New TED Fellows: From Living Fashion to a PowerPoint Killer

A global, intellectual glitterati will hit Long Beach in February, 2011.



TED‘s annual Long Beach conference is coming up in February and the 2011 Fellows were announced today.

TED’s Long Beach and U.K. conferences have become the go-to place for global visionaries to meet and greet, as Fast Company‘s Anya Kamenetz explored in “How TED Connects the Idea-Hungry Elite.

The theme of February’s conference is “the rediscovery of wonder” and the Fellows include:


Suzanne Lee
We profiled Lee’s biocouture sweet tea-grown clothing back in July. Based in the UK, her Biocouture Fashion Research Project aims to literally grow clothing from bacteria, yeast, and tea, mixed together in her bathtub. The end-result is non-toxic sheets of cellulose that can be tinted with natural fruit or vegetable dye. (The New York Times Magazine has just caught on to her as well.)

Sumit Dagar
Mr. Dagar is an Indian entrepreneur and filmmaker developing a mobile phone for the blind, called the Braille Phone. The interface involves a keyboard and a set of buttons with a “refreshable Braille display.” He previously experimented with haptics and pillow speakers and a host of other interaction designs. The TED Platform is likely to give him the visibility he needs to further develop, scale, and market his forward-thinking products.

Skylar Tibbits

A graduate of Philadelphia University and MIT, Tibbits is the founder of SJET, an experimental computation and design research firm. He focuses on coded assembly and programmable matter, specifically the embedding of information within material parts for “large-scale self-assembly.” He currently lectures at MIT and since 2007 has been collaborating with the experimental design group, THEVERYMANY


Sey Min
Min is an interaction designer based in Seoul–a graduate of Pratt, her work has been a creative experiment in visualizing live data sets in more innovative ways. The kind of information she works with ranges from gender ratios in night clubs to water-saving visuals. Who doesn’t always need a little more spice in presentations? Min is the ultimate PowerPoint killer.

Marcin Jakubowski
The Polish American is an open source agricultural innovator, pioneering Gandhi’s swadeshi principles of independence in America’s heartland, the Midwest. Specifically, one of his first innovations is an open source compressed earth block press. He is creating a “new civilization from scratch,” according to the TED announcement.

You can follow the TED Fellows’ blog here and look out for their contributions to the TED conference in February.


Related: How TED Connects the Idea-Hungry Elite


Follow me, Jenara Nerenberg, on Twitter.


[Image: flickr user whiteafrican]


About the author

Jenara is an overseas reporter for Fast Company and a freelance writer/producer in Asia, regularly on CNNGo, and a graduate of Harvard and UC Berkeley.


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