Perkins+Will

Architecture and Design

Space to Place

What turns space into place? The same passion that turns ideas into movements: a fundamental drive to create environments where people connect. In the third volume of Perkins+Will’s Ideas+Buildings, artful and authentic storytelling invites us on a collective journey through the history of Perkins+Will. Together, we celebrate the firm’s 75-year heritage and share a vision for what lies ahead.

Insight

How do you pay tribute to 75 years of design innovation? By embracing your roots. From the firm’s humble beginnings, Perkins+Will has built a global, interdisciplinary practice around improving how people live, work and learn. To help celebrate the firm’s 75th anniversary, 50,000feet helped the world’s largest sustainable design firm take a year-long look at the ideas and ideals that will lead us into the next 75 years and beyond. Our team partnered with Perkins+Will to deliver an integrated global communications program that included the development of a series of books, videos and events as well as a website to host videos and content, facilitate blogging and encourage conversation.

Idea

The third volume of Ideas+Buildings provided a platform for a firm-wide retrospective and celebration of the firm’s 75th anniversary, helping to guide the visual and brand language of a series of short films, a microsite and print communications. Volume .03 was also a critical component in helping to reposition one of the world’s largest architecture firms as a global leader in design innovation. The book helps to bring the mission, vision and spirit of the firm to the fore, through a series of case studies that will help Perkins+Will maintain the firm’s leadership in the global architecture and design community. 

Impact

The anniversary program helped Perkins and Will reposition the firm through an engaging and authentic brand voice using a bold, visual language that has inspired younger generations in the architecture and design community and aided the firm in business development and recruiting efforts. The videos served as story pillars that anchored Space to Place, and together, offered a permanent retrospective that shared Perkins and Will’s history memorably. Our year-long campaign highlighted their legacy of designing with purpose and reaffirmed their mission that well-designed, well-built spaces make people feel good about working, living or playing there.

Throughout the year, this microsite served as the campaign’s de facto headquarters—hosting everything from video retrospectives and archival photography to historical timelines and event schedules.

75th Anniversary Videos

Perkins+Will’s approach considers more than just architecture; it also integrates client needs around sustainability, financial metrics, branding and business strategy. In this video, President and CEO Phil Harrison elaborates on the important role that business-to-business collaboration with plays in the firm’s process.

In this simple, 2-minute portrait, Global Design Director Ralph Johnson discusses not only the company’s modernist roots, but the personality and philosophy behind them. By the end, the viewer understands not only the what of Perkins + Will but also the who and why.

Far from a fringe discipline, sustainable design (through decades of innovation and leadership by Perkins+Will) has fully entered the mainstream. Here, Managing Director Peter Busby discusses how sustainability is helping major cities like Vancouver actually decrease their carbon footprint—even as their populations grow.

One of the newest disciplines in the world of architecture and interior design, Branded Environments extend the experience of an organization’s brand into three-dimensional space. This spot follows 30-year veterans Eileen Jones and Eva Maddox through some of their pioneering work in NYC.

Every story has a beginning. Narrated by an archival recording of founder Lawrence “Larry” Perkins, this retrospective takes us back to the firm’s inaugural commission: the Crow Island School.

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