Cadillac House

By The One Club on Feb 03, 2017

The team at Gensler is a multidisciplinary design firm making waves in the responsive environment space. Their latest project "Cadillac House," revolutionizes the traditional showroom experience to not only show off the latest Cadillacs, but also incorporates art, design and a coffee shop directly in the space. We spoke with John Bricker, Creative Director, Principle at Gensler to get the details on where the firm is headed and some unique insights into Cadillac House.

Gensler is suddenly everywhere with some very high-profile projects including Cadillac House and Shanghai Tower and a number of corporate headquarters. Is this due to a recent change in strategy or something else?

At Gensler, we are a multidisciplinary design firm. We design everything from a wine bottle label to skyscrapers, and everything in between. Our clients know us through their point of entry, but quickly come to learn we provide services that expand beyond architecture – from design, retail strategy, brand identity, product design and more. Our services have evolved into new spaces and our ability to work together across offices is part of our DNA. We offer the industry’s deepest bench of expertise, matched with experience gained by working with our clients across the global economy. Our success can be accredited to the fact that we are set up to deliver seamlessly around the world. This is not a change in strategy, rather, our people and resources have expanded across the globe.

Responsive environments is becoming more commonplace where people get to interact with their environment. Talk about what makes a good responsive environment.

In today’s retail landscape, we are seeing more than just a transaction. We have to reach consumers through meaningful experiences. Our research finds that a truly engaging shopping experience brings to life the soul of a brand through a heightened engagement of the senses. The strongest responsive environments are those in which every element along the user’s journey has been carefully considered. From point of entry, to virtual reality, to exit, retailers must consider all touchpoints.

What are some of the unique elements at Cadillac House and how does it tie into the brand?

Cadillac House is called "House" because it isn’t about a shop or a showroom, it’s a place for people to socialize as one would in a house. Serving as more than just a place to display Cadillac’s newest models, it can also transform to suit various types of events, fashion shows, exhibits and collaborations. Past the runway and the coffee shop are a Retail Lab run with the CFDA and a gallery curated by Visionaire World. The Retail Lab gives fashion designers a chance to open their own store. In Cadillac’s gallery, creativity will be on display. The space is utilized for a multitude of events ranging from rotating exhibitions from local artists, designers and filmmakers, to intimate dinners, product launches and movie screenings. A partnership with Visionaire World brought an acclaimed artist's work to New York for the first time. New artists and installations cycle in and out on a quarterly basis.

Upon walking into Cadillac House, consumers enter the "Runway," a space designed to showcase the latest Cadillac models with integrated technology displays. The presence of a vintage Cadillac on the patio is a nod to the brand’s long history, but placed in a very modern setting. Video screens imbedded on the columns inferring what lies inside isn’t about what used to be. We’ve interrupted the façade of this industrial manufacturing building from turn-of-the-(20th) century and punched it out with modern sensibility with this great street presence. Opening the door to the space you notice leather wrapped handles, another signature element, much like the leather-wrapping handles of a steering wheel. This bold, sophisticated, optimistic space is textured with precision and ingenuity in craftsmanship—the same manner the company manufactures a Cadillac.

Gensler created not just the architecture and interiors for the project but also curated the content for the digital displays. All is based on a generative system that allows for easy updates through preset templates. There are also meeting rooms and a space that will soon include a VR lab. Cadillac House proves to be an integrated experience, incorporating the right balance of detail to connect with customers at every turn.




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2017 One Show Jury Preview It’s awards season. Entry deadlines are being announced (The One Show’s final extended deadline is February 17, 2017) and awards managers are working late to get amazing work entered in the hopes of taking home a coveted One Show Pencil. We sat down with a few of the 2017 One Show judges to get an inside scoop — from what they look for in a winning piece to work that they would like to be seen in this year's show. What do you look for in a winning piece? Jenny Tsai: A piece that is authentic, heartfelt, original and builds strong connection with the audience! Albert Shum: I’m looking for insights. Insights can be information or observations. Strong insights can create an emotional connection with an audience by demonstrating understanding of what that audience needs. Insights also inform solutions that help the audience achieve a goal. For example, how do you create technology that not only engages people but helps them achieve something meaningful? 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There’s no one way to get there but, generally speaking, a winning piece will be something that causes the judges’ collective hearts to skip a beat. What interesting project are you currently working on? JT: We are planning on a project that leverages a large group of influencers to change consumer behaviour and create social impact. It's early days so stay tuned! AS: One project that’s been inspiring teams across Microsoft is Inclusive Design. It began as we explored how we scale our design work to truly create for each of the 7.4 billion people in the world. 7.4 billion people includes a lot of diversity. If our ambition is to create products that are physically, cognitively, and emotionally appropriate for everyone, we need methodologies and practices that help us learn from people with a range of perspectives. It starts with seeing diversity differently: as an inspiration for better design. We still have a lot of work to do, and we’ve published our Inclusive methodology online with principles, activities, a film, and an open-source toolkit, to share what we’ve learned. Check it out, and we’d love to hear your feedback: . GRJ: So many, but one in particular am excited about. We are working with a charity in South Africa to make a portable address printing machine that will tour townships to give women physical 3 word address house signs that they can use immediately so they can get emergency care. Many die due to complications in childbirth when ambulances can’t find them. KS: We’re making second version of Lyrical School music video. I believe it’ll again be a widely shared piece. JA: We just launched a piece of content for Love Has No Labels for the Ad Council called Meet John Smith . We met dozens of people who shared the name John Smith which is one of the most common names in America. We then documented their diverse backgrounds and stories of how they’ve been “labeled” in an effort to challenge the audiences’ assumptions and make them aware of their own implicit bias. Are there any great pieces you have seen this year that you would love to see submitted to The One Show? JT: The space is continuously involving with lots of great and new talent emerging — look forward to seeing the submissions! AS: An Inclusive approach starts with learning from a diverse range people, not just retrofitting a solution at the end of a design process. A great example is how the company Pillpack has done this. From interacting with patients as a pharmacist, CEO TJ Parker saw how complicated and frustrating it was for people to manage large quantities of medications. Listening to patients and incorporating those insights informed the design of Pillpack's service: delivery of discrete pre-sorted prescriptions by dose. I’d like to see pieces that demonstrate that approach. GRJ: I want to see more start-ups apply. It is amazing to see large brands doing amazing work but truly smart, innovative, and conscious work often comes from the smaller folk. It is great to see more IP based categories in awards and start-ups shouldn't be intimidated by the process or lack of budgets. what3words is proof that the idea can shine through and win. KS: “Dreams of Dali” was such a wonderful work. It gives a new way to experience classic art pieces. JA: Ally Bank “Lucky Penny” has people reconsidering the value of their money. Lockheed Martin took kids on a mystery bus ride to Mars using group VR. Motorola showed how a shattered screen feels from the emojis’ point of view. I look forward to the long, impassioned debate in the jury room.   To enter the 2017 One Show visit .
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