Theater

TED Theater

Vancouver, BC

A temporary, portable venue for TED’s 30th annual conference required some theatrical experimentation. The nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading” invited Rockwell Group to design and build a theater within the Vancouver Convention Centre’s 45,000-square-foot ballroom.

The concept grew from the remarkable experiences fostered by TED: Live talks that let the speaker and audience share a communal learning experience.

Amanda Burden onstage at TED Vancouver 2014.
A setting built just for this moment is designed to inspire the audience.

Proximity creates a communal experience like that of a campfire.


The venue has the ephemeral magic of theater, but with the attention to detail given to permanent architecture—allowing TED to reuse it for years to come.

“It has the excitement of a pop-up place, but has the quality of a real piece of architecture.”

Paul Goldberger

A five-day assembly schedule heightened the excitement leading up to the conference.

After the five-day conference, the theater was dismantled in three days.
Casual seating options give viewers the choice of how they want to sit.

A variety of seating options—benches, lounge seating, beanbags and chairs—are all less than 80 feet from the stage, and let viewers sit where they feel most comfortable.

“It was clear this was not the usual way to build a theater."
Chris Anderson, TED Curator
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