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Watch Chip Kidd Knock ‘Em Dead at TED Conference

Innovative. Refreshing. Full of ideas. Three ways to describe both TED and Chip Kidd. The charismatic graphic designer, author, editor, Batman expert, and rock star made his TED debut at the recent Full Spectrum conference in Long Beach, California, thanks to “guest curators” Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell, who organized a smashing session entitled “The Design Studio” that featured creative superstars including architect Liz Diller, Metropolitan Museum of Art director Tom Campbell, and IDEO’s David Kelley, bracketed by the whimsy of Maira Kalman‘s tapestry-cum-stage set and the wisdom of John Hodgman, who provided interstitial interrogations on design classics such as Philippe Starck‘s Juicy Salif citrus squeezer (“When you fall asleep it comes alive,” warned Hodgman. “Mr. Starck, I have revealed your terrible secret.”) In the leadoff spot was Kidd, who managed to bring the tech-heavy crowd to its feet by talking about the wonders of books: the analog kind, with dustjackets, odors, and, according to Kidd, “tradition, a sensual experience, the comfort of thingy-ness—a little bit of humanity.” Treat yourself to his freshly posted TED talk:

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