David Edwards

Creator, Writer and Harvard University Professor

How To Be Creative In Science


Harvard University inventor David Edwards has been called a real-life Willy Wonka for creating futuristic food-related novelties, with a purpose, like the Le Whif — an inhalable chocolate — and a “scent message” device called the oPhone.  A creator, scientist, and visionary whose work lies at the boundaries of artistic, design and scientific practice. Edwards is the leader of an international creativity movement, described in his book The Lab: Creativity and Culture. His commitment to social and cultural engagement through collaborative artistic and scientific discovery has led to remarkable arts partnerships, technological advances, and design solutions.

Edwards biannual collaborations with artists, designers, chefs, composers and perfumers (William Kentridge, Philippe Starck, Mark Dion, Mathieu Lehanneur, Christophe Laudamiel, Random International, Massimo Bottura, Neri Oxman, Todd Machover among others) highlight his work at Harvard University, where he is professor of the practice of idea translation. Edwards founded the cultural lab, Le Laboratoire in Paris in 2007, where experiments in art and design engage public audiences and translate into works of culture and bio-inspired contemporary design.  In 2014, he moved Le Laboratoire to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and opened his future-of-food restaurant, Cafe ArtScience. 

Over the period 1995 to 2005, Edwards pioneered inhalation drug and vaccine delivery for diseases ranging from diabetes to TB.  His company Advanced Inhalation Research (AIR) developed one of the first inhaled insulin platforms.  Since 2005, his creative work has focused on sensorial design and the emergence of a new food system, including his invention of air food (AeroDesigns, started in 2010), edible packaging (WikiFoods, started in 2012) and scent communication (Vapor Communications, started in 2014). 

Edwards has won many national and international awards and was elected the youngest member of the National Academies of Engineering in the USA and also in France, a member of the National Academy of Inventors, and Chevalier of arts and letters of the French Ministry of Culture.

Professor, Harvard, Creator, Artist, Design, Science, Writer, Sarasota 2016