Designers, Artists, ‘Wrongologist’ Among 2011 TED Conference Speakers

On March 2, TED Prize-winning street artist JR will announce his “one wish to change the world” during the week-long creativity confab known as the TED Conference. This year’s event, back at California’s Long Beach Performing Arts Center, will explore “the rediscovery of wonder” in a four-day blitz of sessions with themes such as “Monumental,” “Deep Mystery,” and “The Echo of Time” (the latter involves a paleontologist and General Stanley McChrystal). Among the design-minded speakers slated to give 18-minute talks are architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, who directs MIT’s SENSEsable City Lab, and director/designer Julie Taymor, who may or not discuss a certain arachnid-themed project. Gamestorming author Sunni Brown and wearable technology innovator Kate Hartman will each weigh in on “Beauty, Imagination, and Enchantment,” while Aaron Koblin‘s data-driven artwork is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Other artists slated to address the TED crowd include papercutter Beatrice Coron and sculptor Janet Echelman, the reshaper of urban airspace who we thought was a shoo-in for the “Mindblowing” session but will actually be part of a scientist- and engineer-heavy afternoon devoted to “Threads of Discovery.” And just when attendees think they’ve got this whole “wonder” thing figured out will come a talk by “wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz, author of the just-published Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error (Ecco).