LOS ANGELES Presenters ranging from Bill Gates to James Cameron gathered at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center for the 26th annual Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Conference, an intellectual powwow held February 9 to 13. TED gives participating speakers, whom the nonprofit bills as “the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers,” a forum to present 18-minute talks to an invitation-only audience of more than 1,000.
To foster dialogue and collaboration among such a large group of innovators, this year the conference introduced nine themed areas it called social spaces. TED global partnerships director Ronda Carnegie tapped New York-based event production firm EventQuest to design the areas, which included six distinct spaces in the center’s multilevel lobby, as well as a tent, dome, and village on a plaza.
Beacons standing more than 14-feet high announced the name of social spaces, like “the Hub,” a blogger and social networker-friendly center, and “the Eco Village,” a meeting point for environmental enthusiasts. Decor in the latter reflected its theme with interactive touch-screen monitors encased in eco-friendly bamboo plywood and a symbol of solar power in the form of large, frosted graphic panels illuminated by the sun.
Other social spaces included “the Summit,” which provided projection screens and conference tables for private meetings, and “the Playroom,” which broadcast live feeds from each of the eight cameras shooting speakers’ presentations.