David Rockwell Drew on Personal TedTalk Experience to Design the Next Chapter Theater for TED2014

TED celebrated its 30th anniversary by moving the annual TED Conference from Long Beach to a temporary theater installed within the Vancouver Convention Center.  Designed by David Rockwell of The Rockwell Group, The Next Chapter Theater is a portable 1,200-seat theater that was designed to enhance the speaker and audience experience, and will be reinstalled in the years ahead.

“I have spoken [at TED] and have had that experience of: your talk is influenced by how you feel in the room. The environment affects how the talk evolves,” says Rockwell.

David Rockwell’s talk at TED2002 on the memorial at Ground Zero influenced his design of The Next Chapter Theater.

The bowl of the theater is steeply raked to ensure that in a room of 1,200, the farthest distance from the speaker is a mere 80 feet, helping the speaker better see and feel the audience’s reactions and allowing audience members to immerse themselves more deeply in the talks.  By comparison, Hollywood’s Ford Amphitheater, which is lauded for its intimacy, has a 96-foot distance from the farthest seat to the stage.

“TED is a combination of theater and festival,” says Rockwell, “…we’re creating from scratch a theater designed around a talk. [It’s] like going back to the roots of theater. No one’s done a theater solely based on a talk.”

The intimate TED2014 theater was built in just under a week and was constructed from 600 modular boxes and flooring and furniture donations from Shaw Hospitality Group and Steelcase.  The carpet is from Shaw Hospitality Group’s Layered Luxe collection, which was also designed in collaboration from Rockwell.

Read more about the construction of the TED2014 Next Chapter Theater here.

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Popping up at TED 2014: Shaw Hospitality Group’s Layered Luxe

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The 2014 TED conference housed attendees at its new pop-up theater – designed to be rapidly assembled and disassembled annually.  Constructed in a six-day feat of logistics, this innovative structure relied on the capabilities and trust of manufacturers, fabricators and installation crews.

A total of 600 modular boxes were built in a warehouse in Vancouver, then shipped to the site. All had to be made strong enough to give the theater structural stability, but light and small enough for workers to move them around and to fit through 12-foot wide doors.  The assembly took six days and two crews of 30, each working 12-hour shifts on an hour-by-hour deployment plan to construct the structure.

The theater’s furniture, shipped from Steelcase, was installed in only 12 hours.  Designer David Rockwell relied on Shaw Hospitality Group for the carpet – not only to manufacture and ship the material in time for the event, but also for the design.  On the floor is “Crease” from the Layered Luxe Collection, which was designed in collaboration with Rockwell himself.

Watch a time lapse video of the construction of the Next Chapter Theater at TED2014.

TED2014 Theater Timelapse from Rockwell Group on Vimeo.

A theater that can be dissembled, stored and reassembled in future years seems to make sense for TED Conference, where the world’s most thought provoking and captivating speakers on technology, entertainment and design converge.

Read more about the design of the TED2014 Next Chapter Theater here.

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MASS Design Goes Beyond the Building

‘Beyond the Building’ speaks to the core values we have held since MASS began five years ago. Their 2014 theme articulates the end goal of their projects: that they work within communities to improve lives through architecture. They do that through architecture’s processes, but in our own way: local partners and materials, sustained economic impact, and better health through design.

MASS Design has seen that architecture is much more than buildings. Join them this year as we think #beyondthebuilding. Learn more at MASSDesignGroup.org.

Beyond The Building from MASS Design Group on Vimeo.

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2013 Market Winner: Red Bull Argentina by Avola-Llaber Arquitectos

As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Daniel Avola and Liliana Llaber, Architects, talked to us about proud employees, making a flexible space and “Giving Wings” to ideas.

What about this project represents why you choose to be a designer?
The company motto in itself is an inspiration. “Give wings” to ideas, to projects, to people; enable creativity and in this way create a space where ideas can come true. It could not be a better starting point and an inviting project for us designers and architects that are always seeking to look beyond structures to create new spaces, flexible, functional and fun.

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What was the happiest moment of the project?
The whole project was a gift. But definitely the happiest moment was the very last night when we completed the project. Before leaving the new office, we stopped by the entrance door with the team and some Red Bull counterparts working with us on the project to give a final look. The next morning is when ideas will begin to come to life in that space.

What are you most proud of?
The morning when all employees came for the first time to the new offices was also unforgettable. It was more than proud – a kind of thanks-giving and gratefulness – what we fell when watching the faces of everyone. Enjoying what we will be a new way of working. They were more happy and proud than us. That was the best gift and recognition we could get.

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Tell me about your client.
Red Bull is a one-of-a-kind company. The working culture, the vision, the idea and most important of all, the people are altogether unique and outstanding. You work together and they let you grow and create.

While we were giving around the rest of the offices around the world, the challenge became even bigger. But at the same time, loyal to what Red Bull is, the team gave to us full freedom to create our own project. This was the starting point and as the days went by it became the cornerstone of unforgettable teamwork.

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What were some of the challenges in designing this space?
The challenge was to create from two existing and conventional “L” shaped offices create a different – as from scratch – space. To make it interactive, as if no “L” shape was there, maximizing the sunlight intrusion and the green context from the outside.
In this way we designed glassed and sunlight-friendly meeting rooms on the sides and a flexible meeting room at the center, to break linear spaces and make it feel as if it was designed and created with no limitations.

Functionality and spaces interaction was our technical motivation throughout the project. To believe that we could create a new space as if nothing was there, to make it ideal and free forgetting that there was something there before. Simply, to go beyond it.

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Help NASA Pick the New Z-2 Space Suit Design

NASA’s Z-2 Suit is the newest prototype in its next-generation spacesuit platform, the Z-series. As a follow-up to the previous Z-1 suit, which was named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012, the Z-2 takes the next step in fidelity approaching a final flight-capable design. Most exciting, the Z-2 marks several milestones for NASA, including the first use of 3D human laser scans and 3D-printed hardware for suit development and sizing and the most conformal and re-sizeable hard upper torso suit built to date.

After the positive response to the Z-1 suit’s visual design, the designers wanted to take the opportunity to provide this new suit with an equally memorable appearance. To take it a step further, they are leaving it up to the public to choose which of three candidates will be built. Check out the options below and cast your vote HERE!

NASA_Biomimicry

Option A: “Biomimicry”
The “Biomimicry” design draws from an environment with many parallels to the harshness of space: the world’s oceans. Mirroring the bioluminescent qualities of aquatic creatures found at incredible depths, and the scaly skin of fish and reptiles found across the globe, this design reflects the qualities that protect some of Earth’s toughest creatures.

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Option B: “Technology”
“Technology” pays homage to spacesuit achievements of the past while incorporating subtle elements of the future. By using Luminex wire and light-emitting patches, this design puts a new spin on spacewalking standards such as ways to identify crew members.

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Option C: “Trends in Society”
“Trends in Society” is based off of just that: being reflective of what every day clothes may look like in the not too distant future. This suit uses electroluminescent wire and a bright color scheme to mimic the appearance of sportswear and the emerging world of wearable technologies.

VOTE for your favorite!

Images: NASA

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