If This Were That: Branding and Architecture

Branding in architecture is hardly a new idea.  Much of what we know about ancient civilizations has been communicated through the architecture associated with each culture.  Egypt and Rome, for example, used architecture to express the power associated with their empire.  Napoleon I branded his empire with powerful, sometimes oppressive expressions of dominance.  Cultural values are also carried through in the interior environment.  How do people circulate through a space?  Is their a clear focus or a purposeful sense of ambiguity?  Architects and designers are responsible for addressing these questions as they are designing any type of built form.  The intention of an architect and a designer is much like that of a branding specialist.  Take Nike, for example.  This company has saturated the consumer mind with their ideals.  You will be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't at least heard of Nike.  Most people even have a sense of who
Nike is as a company--who their target market is and how they want to reach them.  Modern architects such as Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry have also developed a certain sense of "brand".  With just a little background on either of these amazing architects, you can recognize a Hadid or Gehry form almost immediately.  So, what would Nike look like through the eyes of Zaha Hadid?  How about Gehry?  Take a look at a few fun comparisons...

Nike and Zaha Hadid

JS Bach Chamber Music Hall:

Frank Gehry and Nike

MIT Stata Center by Frank Gehry:

Always be true to who you are as a designer, and if you're lucky, your client might find you.


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