VMSD - March 2013 - (Page 56)

CO CHECKING OUT Interview by Robin Donovan Brian Guze Starbucks’ director of store design, East, on mentoring, his PAVE Rising Star win and how the coffee giant is turning heads. Your PAVE Rising Star nomination mentions your work with students. What do you wish someone had told you as a young professional? To listen. School’s great because you explore the ends of what design can be. But most of the time, you’re not given limitations of budget, and sometimes even construction methods are off the table. Going into your first job with real-world constraints becomes a radical gear shift. Before you joined Starbucks, you had a design job at Tiffany & Co. What’s the most important thing you learned there? How precious light can be in a retail environment. If jewelry is not well-lit, or not lit appropriately, it may throw off how shoppers perceive it and whether or not they want to make that life purchase. These days, you’re leading the design of Starbucks’ third places. Two and a half years ago, we started relooking at stores – especially how they can be defined within the context of a specific neighborhood. We developed a few kits of parts that translate into three types of spaces: a more traditional, classical building; a modern, internationalstyle building; or a raw space, like a warehouse. Increasingly, that means designs with a local flair. We just finished a store in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center that hosts the Nets basketball team. We worked with a consultant who found an old high school basketball floor, and we built the entire store from it. Can that work in every store? No, but it’s perfect for that location. Starbucks has a look and feel consumers recognize. How can designers emulate this visibility? Branding is no longer about graphics on a door, signage or a certain color. It’s the actual space and how it envelopes you. Are there other examples? We’re designing a café right now that’s going to go into an auto mechanic’s garage from the 50s. We’re looking at light fixtures made from brake rotors and community tables made from the hood of a Chevy Suburban. How are stores like this changing Starbucks’ overall look? They’re becoming a lot more residential and a lot less corporate, a lot less expected. It’s reclamation stories, and all company-owned new stores that we do are LEED certified. It’s something that’s very important to us: to have the smallest carbon footprint possible and really make our design a fit for that space. What’s on the horizon? People have a preconceived notion of what a Starbucks looks like. We’re turning some heads, making people look again and say, “Wow, that’s a Starbucks?” x 56 MARCH 2013 | vmsd.com BILLIEJEAN CURVAN, NEW YORK Branding on a Bigger Scale http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - March 2013

VMSD - March 2013
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Sushi Stunner
Jump Start
American Dream
Balance Beam
Pills Plus
Showroom
Ad Index
Checking Out

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