Who’s the guy in the new Apple ad? Meet Mathieu Lehanneur

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It’s alive.

The new Apple iPad ad, titled “Alive,” debuted last night and features a gorgeous glimpse of the recently updated TED mobile app. The spot also highlights TED speaker Mathieu Lehanneur, a designer who looks to science and nature for inspiration for problem-solving objects. Lehanneur is the man behind the living air purifier Andrea— a space age terrarium that uses plants to metabolize toxins in the air — and Local River, a mash-up of an aquarium and herb garden for locavores. His designs marry the living and the synthetic in order to tackle environmental problems.

Mathieu Lehanneur: Science-inspired design Mathieu Lehanneur: Science-inspired design

In his talk from TEDGlobal 2009, Lehanneur demoed a handful of his most fascinating creations — like a rolling ball that neutralizes noise pollution and a week-long antibiotic course all in one layered pill. But what has Lehanneur been working on since? According to his website, his latest invention is Isaac & Graham (named to honor Sir Isaac Newton and Alexander Graham Bell), an emergency phone for hikers that generates power by the dropping of a weight. In addition to a solo show at the Grand Hornu Museum in Belgium, Lehanneur has also designed a WikiBar for The Lab Store in Paris and Take Time!, a creation that is halfway between a pocket watch and a pendulum.