Watch This: Thomas Heatherwick’s TED Talk

Positioned between intrepid polar photographer Paul Nicklen (who killed it with his snapshots of adorable polar bears and tales of befriending a leopard seal) and one-man band Bobby McFerrin, architect Thomas Heatherwick was one of the highlights of this year’s TED Conference, held earlier this year in Long Beach, California as you may recall. The founder of London-based Heatherwick Studio followed the usual TED talk format of “here are a few really cool things I’m working on.” With his charming Dickensian air and otherworldly projects, Heatherwick dazzled the crowd with a video of his studio’s innovative bridge that can be raised by curling back onto itself rather than breaking in two. “We liked the fact the two furthest bits of it would end up kissing each other,” he said, as video footage showed the bridge contort into a backbend and roll into a tight circle. Heatherwick’s firm is now at work on redesigning London buses and a Malaysian housing development topped by a giant rainforest. Meanwhile, today the TEDsters posted this video of his talk for all to delight in: