Tag Archives: David Rockwell

Cell Theory is Design Multiplied for a Global Audience


Shaw Hospitality Goes Global with Cell Theory

Shaw Hospitality Group launched their first ever global broadloom carpet collection with a burst of energy (courtesy of the tasty Shaw-spresso above!) and fresh perspective at Equipotel 2015 in Sao Paulo this week! Equipotel has been the mecca for the hospitality, food and services industry in Latin America for over 53 years. It is among the world’s five biggest events in the industry and a must for any brand looking to distinguish itself on an international stage.


The Inspiration Behind Cell Theory

A theory in biology that includes one or both of the statements that the cell is the fundamental structural and functional unit of living matter and that the organism is composed of autonomous cells with its properties being the sum of those of its cells. – Webster’s Dictionary

Formal definitions aside, elegant design is structured at an elemental level and multiplied out. Cells are the building blocks of life and are the foundation of Cell Theory.

Cell Theory is the product of another creative collaboration between David Rockwell, founder of the legendary architecture firm Rockwell Group. Evolving along the same organic lines of flight that inspired Natural Curiosities, Cell Theory provides an ethereal view of the microscopic that expands out at a macro level.

We started to think about a collection that would capture some of the elegance you see in plant life. We wanted to create a beautiful, organic yet abstract palette that other designers could breathe life into. – David Rockwell


Growing Global

Cell Theory will continue its coming out party by visiting the Best Western, IHG and Motel 6 conferences at the end of September and turn heads across the pond at Europe’s foremost hospitality design event, Sleep. Elegant design transcends all artificial boundaries and Cell Theory is an extrapolation of fundamental beauty that inspires. Expect more innovative design in the hospitality space as Shaw Hospitality Group continues to accelerate forward as a global brand built around innovative hospitality flooring design that accentuates any space.

Cell Theory Inspiration Video 

Cell Theory Collection Page

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


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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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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