Relaxing Constraints | Jessica Banks | TEDxTimesSquare


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This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. People are bound by the laws of gravity, physics and what works now. It is those rare Inventors that can take the known and push them into the unknown, daringly entering a world of pure creation. Jessica Banks, the CEO of RockPaperRobot is taking physics principles to expand functionality of everyday objects. From levitating tables to robotic chandeliers.

Jessica Banks is an inventor, artist, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of RockPaperRobot, a company specializing in kinetic furniture and lighting. Inspired by physics principles, her creations expand the functional and aesthetic versatility of traditional decor. From levitating and transformable tables to robotic chandeliers and shelves, RPR aligns time-honored craftsmanship with progressive engineering: think Charles Eames's and Judy Jetson's wedding registry.

Jessica holds an Engineer's and a Master's degree from MIT, where she was in the Humanoid Robotics Group within the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. She left graduate school just shy of her Ph.D. (in the 24th grade!) to teach about distributed power systems in MIT's Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept. Jessica also holds a B.S. in General Physics from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in creative writing—a combination which makes even more sense on a quantum level.

Jessica's multi-disciplinary background has also established her as a creative and technical resource. This work includes projects such as campaign consultation for large ad agencies, development of global initiatives for international corporations, and design of robotic projects for Frank Gehry and Michel Gondry. She also used to be Al Franken's personal assistant.

Jessica speaks at numerous conferences about design and manufacturing hardware for small businesses. Her work and out-of-context quotes have been featured in over 100 media outlets. She was once even on a dorky reality TV show filmed on the Isle of Rhum (which was an entirely out-of-context experience).

Jessica lives in a pretty consistent state of wonder and believes she will someday invent an un-losable mechanical pencil.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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