Scientist, professor, entrepreneur and TED Senior Fellow Andrew Pelling has built a career on unapologetic curiosity, creativity and serendipity. He is a professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, where he founded and directs a curiosity-driven research lab that brings together artists, scientists, social scientists and engineers. The lab uses low-cost, open source materials and methods to explore speculative living technologies of the future. He has, for instance, created human body parts made from plants and grown living skins on LEGOs — innovations with the potential to replace prohibitively expensive commercial biomaterials.
Pelling is also the co-founder and CTO of Spiderwort Inc., a mission driven company developing open source platforms to enable the widespread and global adoption of biological research in all environments and economic contexts. Most recently, he founded pHacktory, a street-level research lab in Ottawa that amplifies community ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity and curiosity.
Pelling’s work has been in the international media spotlight for many years, with recognition in outlets such as Wired, Huffington Post, NPR, Scientific American, Popular Science, BBC, Der Spiegel, Deutsche Welle and others, as well as numerous highlights in the Canadian media and Scientific media.
TED Fellow Andrew Pelling is a biohacker, and nature is his hardware. His favorite materials are the simplest ones (and oftentimes he finds them in the garbage). Building on the cellulose structure that gives an apple its shape, he “grows” lifelike human ears, pioneering a process that might someday be used to repair body parts safely and cheaply. Click here for video.