Structural Branding

Business 2.0: When companies like Apple, JetBlue, and Toyota want to build structures that articulate who they are, they turn to Gensler, an architecture and design firm with 28 offices, 2,000 employees, and 2004 revenues of $264 million. Using architecture to express identity doesn’t necessarily mean bombarding visitors with “experiential” gimmicks like those in a cartoon-encrusted Disney Store. Done Gensler’s way, buildings become a subtle expression of corporate personality. “We design everything to fit the message of the brand,” says Dian Duvall, principal in the firm’s San Francisco headquarters. So how do you translate the ephemeral qualities of a corporate image into tangible structures of concrete, steel, and glass?
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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.