“We can call the muse, and we don’t just have to wait for her.”

Jessica Banks is inspired by the principles of physics, and she channels this through her creation of unique furniture. Whether it’s a floating diamond table or ergonomic chairs that fold into themselves, she sees the world differently, and in turn, helps us reimagine our surroundings. A visual impairment in high school paired with leaving MIT in her 24th year, Bank’s career — and her work — is a perfect reflection of her inner life.

About the speaker

Described as a creative hybrid, Jessica Banks invents products that transform how people think about the future of decor.

Banks founded RockPaperRobot–a company that redefines traditionally static objects (e.g., furniture and lighting) into ones that respond and react in real-time. Inspired by physics principles, Jessica’s creations expand the functional and aesthetic versatility of homes and workplaces. From levitating and disappearing tables to robotic chandeliers and shelves, RPR aligns time-honored craftsmanship with progressive engineering: think Charles Eames’s and Judy Jetson’s wedding registry.

A trained roboticist, Jessica holds an Engineer’s and a Master’s degree from MIT, where she was in the Humanoid Robotics Group within the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. She left graduate school just shy of her Ph.D. (in the 24th grade!) to teach about distributed power systems in MIT’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept. Jessica also holds a B.S. in General Physics from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in creative writing—a combination which actually makes more sense on a quantum level.Jessica’s multi-disciplinary background has established her as a strategic and technical resource. This work includes projects such as campaign consultation for large ad agencies, development of global initiatives, viable products, and market strategies for international corporations, and design of robotic projects for Frank Gehry and MichelGondry. She also used to be Al Franken’s personal assistant.

Banks speaks at numerous conferences on topics ranging from science to manufacturing and her work has been featured in over 100 media outlets. She lives in Brooklyn and has superhuman peripheral vision.

Learn more about Jess and her work, here

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