contact maria lorena lehman

send your message

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

spECIAL MASTERCLASS: Design concept formulation

AHA MOMENTS, GUARANTEED.

Join Now to learn my HPA Design Formula to improve your architectural design concept formulations. This formula will help bring your mindset, skillset, and project design results to new heights. Plus, get the Design Insight Digest, FREE.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW

Learning from Apple: Can Architecture Brand Thinking Help Your Design?

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

Image Credit: © mattbuchanan | Flickr

The first thing I think of when I think of an architecture brand is “experience” — that is, when sensory design elements come together to yield a place’s personality. And this “personality” can go a long way toward helping a place to achieve its goal. For example, a well branded architectural retail store can help to make more sales. And this is because the architectural experience contributes toward the retail store’s culture, product line, and customer appreciation.

But what goes into an architecture brand, beyond the colors, smells, layout, and messaging that would be a part of its sensory design? Well, one must ask if the designed experience is “repeatable”. In other words, can the experience be replicated from place to place? Also, can the branded architectural language be extended beyond “place” — to products, print materials, or employee dress code or behavior, for example?

All in all, an architecture that becomes a brand becomes like a “signature” for a building’s culture. In such cases, architecture can create micro-cultures (a culture within a culture) — and doing this will make an architectural experience memorable. This is important in retail stores and office buildings. Each of the latter building types maintains its own culture, whether it is for a retail company (store) or a business (office building). Each building type has its own culture, its own way to be memorable, and its own experience.

So, when you design, think about the experience you are creating in terms of its “brand-ability”. Is it memorable? Is it a micro-culture? Is it different and unique? Can it be replicated?

Of course, not all designs should strive to become an architecture brand. But for those projects that require an architecture’s personality to step up and “sell” or “unite”, an architecture brand could be just the ticket.

For example, Apple’s retail stores are unique. In fact, they just trademarked them. They create a micro-culture. They are different. They can be replicated. And they are memorable. Apple’s signature retail environment promotes visitors to interact with their products, to ask questions and get answers, and of course the environment also promotes visitor purchases. Apple’s environment is an architecture brand that both “sells” and “unites”.

So, when you need to design an architecture brand. Think in terms of the keys I mentioned earlier: memory, culture, uniqueness, replication, and experience. Think about what goals your architectural brand needs to accomplish — and about how the architectural “signature” created will promote those goals from place to place.

Usually, architecture is involved in trying to be unique, while standing strong in an individual place. But there are times when its signature experience must be replicated — and for those instances, you can design with an architecture brand in mind.

...

NEXT STEP: YOUR DESIGN PARADIGM SHIFT

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

...

TESTIMONIALS

what members are saying...
Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
read more testimonials
journal article collectionsresearch designs

Maria Lorena Lehman is a multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

maria lorena lehman, as seen in...
featured posts
Design Creativity

Do You Design Architecture "Beyond the Box"?

Developing the ability to evolve your design process is critical not only to your architectural brand, but also to the clients and building occupants your design projects serve. By formulating design concepts that push boundaries, you eliminate getting stuck or plateauing as you improve your design thinking and design doing from project to project.

Adaptive Architecture

The Fluidity of Nature in Architectural Response

With the continual development of biomimicry that learns from nature to create design solutions, it is important to see the “bigger picture” as well. This is about more than replicating nature’s design exactly as it presents itself. Instead, to embody the fluidity of nature within environmental designs, an even deeper philosophical design awareness is needed. A designer with such an awareness may ask: How can a building “breathe” in and out to help its occupants as they strive to reach their goals?

Design Process

How to Expand (and Sharpen) Your Design Process

When designing architectural environments, how do you notice your creative thinking? Yes, this question asks how you as a designer can observe your design process. Why is this important? When you become truly aware of your creative process, you are able to step outside of it to ask important questions and make critical decisions to improve and optimize how you design.