Playlist TEDTalks

Rock, paper, scissors! These 5 TED Talks play with paper in fresh ways

Posted by: Nia Ashley
Beatrice Coron shows off an incredible cape, made out of cut paper, at TED2011. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Beatrice Coron shows off an incredible cape, made out of cut paper, at TED2011. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Architect Shigeru Ban uses paper tubes to build temporary, ecologically sustainable structures. Shigeru Ban: Emergency shelters made from paper Shigeru Ban: Emergency shelters made from paper These geometrically complex structures can be big and impressive — like a concave complex built for Expo 2000 in Germany — or small and functional, like the half-pipe office Ban built for himself atop the Pompadou Center in Paris. No matter their size or shape, these majestic structures make an impact. And in today’s talk, Ban suggests that architecture should focus on things that help society; whether that means building emergency shelters for people in need or creating buildings that can be recycled, leaving behind nothing at all.

Ban may be one of the few major architects in the world making buildings out of paper, but when it comes to transforming paper into something new and revolutionary, he is in good company. Below, talks from TED speakers using paper innovation for art, technology and social change.

Kate Stone: DJ decks made of... paper Kate Stone: DJ decks made of... paper
Kate Stone: DJ decks made of paper
A fan of both paper and technology, Kate Stone unites her two passions to make paper interactive. At TED2013, she demonstrates a paper DJ deck printed with conductive ink and incredibly small circuits.
Béatrice Coron: Stories cut from paper Béatrice Coron: Stories cut from paper
Beatrice Coron: Stories cut from paper
Paper-cutter Beatrice Coron tells stories through silhouette. In her TED2011 talk, Coron describes how she cuts away excess to reveal the story within the paper.
Robert Lang: The math and magic of origami Robert Lang: The math and magic of origami
Robert Lang: The math and magic of origami
How can the properties of paper-folding translate to something as intricate as a 100-scaled fish or an expandable telescope? At TED2008, Robert Lang explains how the elaborate detail and simple mathematics of origami can reinvent the way we think about materials.
JR: One year of turning the world inside out JR: One year of turning the world inside out
JR: One year of turning the world inside out
In 2011, JR’s TED Prize wish was to start a worldwide photo revolution. One year later, he returns the TED2012 stage to explain how photography, large sheets of paper and wheatpasting are giving social change a new face.

And a bonus:

Callie Curry aka Swoon at TEDxBrooklyn
Callie Curry started wheatpasting as a way to take her art out of the classroom and engage with her world. But what began as outdoor art expanded to seagoing rafts, and eventually to homes in post-earthquake Haiti made out of scavenged material. In her TEDxBrooklyn talk, Curry describes the power of repurposing products of destruction into the structures of tomorrow.