Archives for category: Conference

Ted Glb_flt

I am currently at TEDGlobal in beautiful Edinburgh. TCondon designed the many social spaces here at the venue and I am sticking around to recharge and be inspired. A huge perk from collaborating on events like the TED series is having easy access to some of the best ideas and thinking in the world, unfolding all around me.

Day 3 is tomorrow and the stage has been set for a very engaging week. “Think Again” is the theme this year and the challenge is to open one’s mind to the possibility that old ways of thinking must evolve as the world is changing. The status quo is certainly being challenged: Could stress actually be good for us? Maybe. Can men be comfortable with not being the bread winner in the family? Probably. Are you open to loosening the hold you have on the way you understand the world around you?

As I mentioned, T. Condon once again designed the social spaces at this event. Always striving to create a great vibe, the design intent was to craft a unique experience. Imagine combining a comfortable lounge and café with a cool book store, coffee shop indulgences, a Getty art gallery and intriguing technology innovations showcased in the Autodesk Exhibit. This combination is a big hit – I am seeing many connections and conversations happening throughout this lively space. It is exactly the types of interactions we were designing for. And, if you are here be sure to see the other exhibits throughout the entire building. Great stuff.

A personal favorite this year — don’t miss the robot lab. Raffaello D’Andrea demos his flying quadcopters. These are amazing robots that seem to think on their own. They are solving physical problems by utilizing algorithms that help them learn. It’s incredible to watch these drones play catch and to work together using a net to toss a ball back. You have to watch the video to believe it. It’s certainly more than what you find on the shelves at any hobby shop, but who knows when this sort of technology may be commonplace? More great stuff!

http://www.ted.com/talks/raffaello_d_andrea_the_astounding_athletic_power_of_quadcopters.html

We’re closing the TEDGlobal event for 2012, where we did our best to make sure every great idea got written down!

What do you do with your ideas? How do you share them? Where do you go with great ideas that you don’t use ? Is there a new technology that can help ideas grow?

The TEDx space at TEDGlobal started as a blank canvas, slowly becoming a masterpiece of great thoughts as we encouraged the TED community to draw on literally every surface in the room. It’s a fun way to be part of a collaboration and sharing of ideas and people are actively participating. As some express themselves with markers, others are smiling as they read the messages on the walls, floor, tables and chairs. Inspiration and new ideas are shared on every surface and in countless conversations, all spurring on new ideas that will change the world.

Thanks to the Gates Foundation for bringing 15 TEDx organizers to Edinburgh and for continuing to help make this a great experience.

TEDGlobal 2012 opens soon and we are on site building a radical space to articulate the theme of the conference – Radical Openness. We might hear the words, “You want me to do what?”, as we push the boundaries of normalcy into new realms. New forms of expressing one’s self will be introduced, promising to make this a unique and life-changing few days. More photos and ideas will be shared soon – registration opens in about an hour, so its back to work for now!

Nurture by Steelcase shared a very critical product development message at TEDMED: When designing anything you must start with an understanding of all the needs of the end-user. In that vein, their space allowed people an opportunity to try a “Third Age Suit”. Once you have the suit on your motor skills are instantly aged by 30 years. This experience helped attendees gain first-hand insights about the user needs to consider when designing a chair for the elderly. That’s me, Grandpa Tom, in the photos trying to reach the ends of the armrest to eventually stand up from the new empath recliner by Nurture. Another very interactive aspect of the booth were custom chalk table tops. These were also a big hit and a fun way to join the conversations about questions that were being asked and the big ideas people were taking home.

So, what do you put in a tent the size of a football field to create an incredible experience at TEDMED? Well, we did a lot, but start with an impressive list of sponsors and great food, then design cool common-spaces to pull people together. Our focus was to create a Social Hub and Simulcast Lounges that made it easy for delegates to connect with experts – both from the medical and non-medical disciplines. When these connections happen the event moves from interesting to magical. To help make these connections we provided a variety of different lounge and café settings. The 16-foot long tables, for example, worked well– they were very easy to approach, connect a device to the power supply, and meet a new friend. I also used a die-cut fabric from Designtex to create a ceiling cloud over two other settings to make a more intimate space. Intimate spaces yield open conversations and I love a comment that I overheard: “I can’t decide what is better. The talks from the stage or all the great conversations I’m having.” Perfect!
Check out the TEDMED blog below for a brief day-to-day summary of the conference.
http://blog.tedmed.com/?m=201204

TCondon designed prototype spaces recently unveiled at a global Marriott Hotels & Resorts event. These spaces envision the future of meetings and work. For this event, we partnered with Steelcase and IDEO to build dynamic solutions that reflect hosted work experiences. Many factors are pointing to mobile, global, and business travel trends evolving the way people will meet, work, socialize, and collaborate.
The prototype rooms were very well-received and we love the immediate feedback being generated. Check out these links for more information and stay tuned as the prototypes evolve and we continue to design the future!

Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Steelcase, and IDEO Collaborate to Innovate on the Future of Meetings and Work – MarketWatch

A vital step in the planning of any event is a thorough feeling of the space. For an event at a new space a site visit is an absolute necessity. No matter what pictures you may have seen, once on site your vision and imagination begin to connect with the physical and emotional feel of a space. I went to The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. which will be the venue for the upcoming TEDMED. This facility is unique in that it is a performing arts center and also a monument to JFK, the Kennedy Family, and their many contribution to the arts. The building is beautiful, and it is a great space for the event, but what I want to share with you is what I found on the walls back stage. Over the course of 40 seasons of presenting theater, dance, ballet and music, an interesting collection of stage sets and theater posters have been lovingly saved and displayed on the walls. To take them in is to walk back in time. You will recognize many of the images, they are icons in the art of entertaining the world.

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I want to share with you some of the photos that are great glimpses into another successful gathering. The many months of planning and designing the spaces produced a virtual beehive, perfect for conversations and connections. A real focus was the Center Entry Space which seemed to naturally become the kitchen – where everyone at the party wants to hang out. So, we embraced this and positioned a variety of settings to enable those connections happen. As the last day came to a close our team was buzzing with ideas for next year.

The talks were once again moving, inspiring, and good for making us all think more deeply about the many great ideas. There are many talks highlighted on the TED site, but I would like to highlight some of John Hockenberry’s words from his presentation titled “Design a Life With Intent”. He begins with stories of growing up with a father who was a designer and continues to tell of the unfortunate circumstances around his own situation that resulted in him being in a wheelchair for the past 35 years. Frustrated by years of awkward stares and uncomfortable comments, he added these cool lights to his wheels and it totally changed his life. Now, “instead of blank stares and awkwardness, people say ‘those are awesome!’ Kids ask for a ride!” The difference? Intent. By adding electric flashing lights to his wheelchair wheels, “I’m no longer a victim. I chose to change this situation.” John observed the natural reactions of people over the years and knew that he could give them something other than his legs to look at. I love this quote “an object imbued with intent has power. It’s treasure; we’re drawn to it. An object devoid of intent is random, imitative, it repels us.  It is junkmail to be thrown away. This is what we must demand of our lives, of our objects, of our things, our circumstances: living with intent.” Be sure to watch the entire talk and catch the last few minutes when John picks up a guitar and gives a TED-themed version of The Beatles’ song, “Get Back.” http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/design-a-life-with-intent-john-hockenberry-at-ted2012/

We all need to smile – so watch the TED Speaker’s worst nightmare: http://www.ted.com/talks/a_ted_speaker_s_worst_nightmare.html

TCondon crafted a great social space for TED in Monterey in 2008. We created a similar experience in the Cromdale Hall at TEDGlobal, and now you will find a space at TED in Long Beach that is reminiscent of these great spaces. We are utilizing a ballroom on the first floor of the Terrace Theater and have designed it to be one large lab of connectivity and collaboration. There will be ready access to simulcast spaces, immersing everyone in the content coming from the stage while allowing great connections with fellow TED attendees. This will facilitate rewarding interactions in a space that people will want to hang out in all day. It’s not magic – just a lot of thoughtful planning and pulling in the best dynamics from successful past TED spaces. If you are going to be there, make sure to spend some time in the Creativity Lab on Level 1. If you can’t make it, we will post some shots from the event soon there after.