Blog  The Editor's Notebook

TED Comes to frog: Lunchtime Conversations on DIY Biology and Smart Materials

To celebrate the recent publication of the "Radical Openness" issue of Design Mind magazine, created in partnership with TED, frog welcomed two 2012 TEDGlobal speakers to the New York studio to share their work. On November 13, Ellen Jorgensen, the president and co-founder of community biology lab Genspace (pictured above), joined us for lunch and discussed how DIY biology is both a growing segment of the Maker movement and a compelling source for innovative new materials and fresh product and service ideas. On November 15, Catarina Mota, a TED Fellow and visiting scholar at New York University, shared her research into simple, DIY smart materials and announced a new initiative she is co-organizing to mobilize Makers to help develop humanitarian solutions. Both events were available via video- and phone-conferencing to frog studios around the world.

Blog  Elektroniker

Out in the Open

“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone,” the 17th century philosopher Pascal famously said. Four centuries later, however, research asserts a direct correlation between openness and happiness. It turns out humans are social animals, after all. “Openness is the freedom to be one’s self,” one self-help blog states, representative of common belief. I concur. In my life, openness has been a prerequisite for almost anything good happening to me – from moving to the U.S. to meeting my wife to, most recently and fittingly, speaking at a TED conference focused on the theme of “Radical Openness.”

Blog  Future Perfect on design mind



A lot of you reading this work on bringing new products and services to market, you understand that twinge of pride when it ships. Some of have start-ups requiring a whole different level of energy and commitment. But how about starting a country? What would that take?

I was at TEDxJuba last week, held on the banks of the White Nile on the one year anniversary of the birth of South Sudan following its independence. The theme of the event was New Nation, New Ideas and as you might expect from people that have been through so much it showcased local stories of overcoming overwhelming odds to bring a nation together and ultimately push things forward.

Blog  The Editor's Notebook

Radical Openness: How to Best Understand it, Manage it, Harness it?

Not so long ago, in the mid-2000s, many conversations in offices, schools, and even parties centered around the exciting concept of radical openness made possible by then-new social media. But now, as the 2010s are in full swing and social media are established, dominant platforms, how can we--as designers, strategists, organizations, consumers, and individuals--best harness the widespread acceptance of radical openness? The recent TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, offered a fascinating and widely varied lineup of speakers who, collectively, helped to answer this question. Or at least will help propel the discussion forward, long after the conference ended on June 29.

Blog  frogs on the road

frog's Burning Man at TED 2012


frog Senior Principal Technologist Jared Ficklin isn’t your typical gadget geek (in fact, he was once on the PBS reality show, Texas Ranch, challenged with living the tech-free life of an 1867 cowboy).

When he isn’t designing user experiences and thinking about the future of interaction choreography, you might find him in the bowl of an Austin skatepark (he founded and codirects the Austin Public Skatepark Action Committee) or you might see him creating sound visualizations in unlikely mediums.

Now, the man behind the edgy tech hacks at the annual frog SXSW Interactive Opening Party will be bringing his edgy presentation to a new stage: this year’s TED Conference in Long Beach. design mind caught up with Jared to discuss his journey to TED, what we can expect from a new presentation of fiery sound displays, and a sneak peak at the playful tech behind this frog's SXSW Interactive Opening party this year. 

Blog  Elektroniker

Embracing Openness

Rotman magazine, the print and online quarterly of the Rotman School of Management, has just released its new (Winter) issue, devoted to the theme “Open.” Openness has been a buzzword for a while, ever since Henry Chesbrough wrote his seminal book on Open Innovation, but, to apply Gartner’s Hype-Cycle terminology, now it seems as if Openness has finally reached a plateau of productivity after going through years of troughs of disillusion.

Blog  Pattern Language

TEDGlobal 2011: Day 3

Here's the third full day of the conference. Another solid group of speakers.

Blog  Pattern Language

The "Stuff" in the Stuff of Life

Pre-conference TEDGlobal is in the books, the first session is near, and after days of wondering what the “stuff” in this year’s Stuff of Life theme could mean, I may have a start. Thinking about stuff automatically includes thinking about things. And indeed we are fond of our stuff: computers, cars, Saturday jeans, running shoes, and whatever other objects you value. But the stuff of life is not only objects (and besides, you can’t have a four-day conference only about things). The Stuff of Life is actually the stuff in life—inspiration and disappointment, marriage and divorce, life and death.

Blog  Pattern Language

Re-Framing in London

The third TED Salon in London supported by frog.

In partnership with frog, a TED Salon took place in London earlier this week at the Unicorn Theatre, a cozy venue near the Tate Modern on the south side of the Thames. It was the third such event together, and this time 250 local TEDsters attended to hear 15 speakers talk in two sessions about a variety of subjects on the theme of “Re-Framing.” Master of ceremonies and TED’s European director Bruno Giussani explained the theme this way: “When films shift camera angles, they shift a scene… they literally reframe; that’s what we’re trying to do tonight… to look at things from a different perspective.” It was also the occasion to debut the special TEDGlobal edition of design mind, which covered the 2010 Oxford conference and the theme “And Now the Good News.”  

Blog  frogs on the road

TED Salon - Framing, Constraints, and Play

I was lucky enough to speak at the TED Salon in London last week. Like many of you, I've enjoyed learning about technology, education and design from some great minds through the online TED-talk library, and I was honored to be a part of the event.

Categories on design mind blogs