David Rockwell Designs Temporary Theater for TED Conference in Vancouver

Photography by Ryan Lash

David Rockwell unveiled the temporary, reusable theater he designed for the TED2014 conference, held March 17-21 at the Vancouver Convention Center. Drawing his inspiration from past TED conferences he has attended, Rockwell planned the structure to capture the event's informal, social format. A seating bowl and perimeter walkway form the design, complemented by latticework and handrails.

Rockwell — Contract's 1998 Designer of the Year — used 600 components made from locally harvested Douglas fir wood, stacked as individual boxes that withstand building loads. A construction crew assembled the theater on site in four-and-a-half days.

Steelcase fabricated the theater's 16 different seating options, including lounge seating, stage-side benches, and beanbags and chairs. Other features include custom-built floor lounges near the front and a standing area in the back where people can use their devices without disturbing the audience.

TED plans to reuse the theater and furniture for use at future conferences.