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How Jessica Banks Went From Aspiring Astronaut To Levitating Furniture Designer

Co.Design has partnered with the Brooklyn design studio Hyperakt to bring you Lunch Talks, a video series of conversations with smart, creative people.–Eds

Jessica Banks is the founder and CEO of RockPaperRobot, an engineering and design firm that specializes in kinetic furniture and lighting fixtures–they give robotic powers to otherwise static, boring household objects.

Here, Banks discusses how she went from being an aspiring astronaut to dropping out of MIT while working for Frank Gehry to creating levitating tables, robots that draw your portrait in the foam of a latte, and sensor-based kinetic chandeliers. Also: why she loathes industry buzzwords like “disruption” and “maker” (“So much shit is made”).

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