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Jessica Banks
Current location
New York, NY
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
20070809, Project Resident

Jessica Banks is an inventor, artist, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of RockPaperRobot, a company specializing in kinetic furniture and lighting. Inspired by physics principles, her creations expand the functional and aesthetic versatility of traditional decor. From levitating and transformable tables to robotic chandeliers and shelves, RPR aligns time-honored craftsmanship with progressive engineering: think Charles Eames’s and Judy Jetson’s wedding registry.

Banks 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 makes even more sense on a quantum level.

Banks’ multi-disciplinary background has also established her as a creative and technical resource. This work includes projects such as campaign consultation for large ad agencies, development of global initiatives for international corporations, and design of robotic projects for Frank Gehry and Michel Gondry. She also used to be Al Franken’s personal assistant.

She speaks at numerous conferences about design and manufacturing hardware for small businesses. Her work and out-of-context quotes have been featured in over 100 media outlets. She was once even on a dorky reality TV show filmed on the Isle of Rhum (which was an entirely out-of-context experience).

Eyebeam models a new approach to artist-led creation for the public good; we are a non-profit that provides significant professional support and money to exceptional artists for the realization of important ideas that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nobody else is doing this.

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