YouTube personality and kinetic artist Joseph Herscher specializes in making useless yet comical machines. His absurdist contraptions use familiar objects in unfamiliar ways: books become dominoes, smashing a vase to scare a dog which pulls a leash – all to achieve a simple task, such as turning the page of a newspaper. His inventions have appeared on numerous television shows, from Jimmy Kimmel to Sesame Street. Joseph runs workshops with kids around the world, using humor, physics and undirected play to help foster the next generation of creative thinkers.
This February, Joseph Herscher will present at AcceleratED 2019, a one-day professional development conference focused on technology integration strategies for educational administrators.
In anticipation of this event, we conducted a brief personal interview with Joseph. Read the full interview below!
Who are you, and what do you do?
I build machines that solve annoying everyday problems. My popular YouTube channel Joseph’s Machines inspires millions of kids around the world.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the kinetic potential in the everyday objects we take for granted.
What are your technology “must-haves”—the technology (hardware, software—whatever falls into your definition of the category) that you could not get through the day without?
My number one beloved technology must-have is my power drill! I also use a lot of ramps for balls to roll down, so my digital level is really useful.
What is one thing that someone in a leadership position can learn from the art of building chain-reaction machines?
The secret to allowing creativity to blossom is prioritizing time for play and open-ended exploration.
If you could go out for coffee with anyone — historical or contemporary, real or fictional, celebrity or unknown—who would it be?
A dream would be to have coffee with Buster Keaton, the silent film star, and ask him about how he did some of this stunts!
To hear more of Joseph Herscher’s thoughts on fostering creativity, register for APDX 2019, a one-day professional development conference focused on technology integration strategies for educational administrators.