Pirates, nurses, and other rebel designers

"The greatest designers are almost always the biggest dreamers and rebels and renegades. This has been the case throughout history, all the way back to the year 300 BC..."

In this ode to design renegades, Alice Rawsthorn's recent TED talk highlights the work of unlikely heroes, from Blackbeard to Florence Nightingale. Drawing a line from these bold thinkers to some early modern visionaries like Buckminster Fuller, Rawsthorn shows how the greatest designers are often the most rebellious.

She refers to Fuller as a design maverick "who was completely committed to designing a sustainable society in such a forward-thinking way that he started talking about the importance of environmentalism in design in the 1920s."

Check out Alice Rawsthorn's recent TED talk!

About Alice Rawsthorn:

From TED: "Columnist and author Alice Rawsthorn illuminates the mesh of design woven into every aspect of our everyday lives and communities."

Alice Rawsthorn is the design critic of the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times. Her weekly Design column – published every Monday – is syndicated to other media worldwide.

As a columnist for Frieze and a writer for the International New York Times, Rawsthorn explores the world of design, seeking projects that fit their function "while also being responsible, ethically and environmentally, and desirable."

In her acclaimed book Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, Rawsthorn demonstrates the influence and impact of design on our lives and culture. She is active with various arts organizations, including London's Chisenhale Gallery and Michael Clark's contemporary dance company (where she chairs the boards of trustees).

Rawsthorn was a jury member for the 2012 Fuller Challenge.

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