Holding space for being human

McKinsey’s study, Culture for a Digital Age, said “Culture is the most significant self-reported barrier to digital effectiveness”. The business implications are clear.

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Anonymous

Like integrity, culture is reflected not in what people say — but in how they act. For companies, this differs between departments, offices and geography.

Building a healthy corporate culture, as any relationship, is complicated. Brand strategy provides a foundation of values and signposts. It can also frame a purposeful narrative. But building organizational alignment around vision is critical (and beyond complicated).

I recently joined Rapt Studio’s leadership team — attracted by their approach to space…the ultimate experiential medium. The steps applied to successful design are remarkably similar to tackling cultural change.

Observe. Listen. Question. Understand. Connect.

What separates wallpaper from substance is the strategy behind design. Probing deeply into an organization to turn abstract ideas (such as brand and business values) into “something you can touch, see, smell, sound and feel”. Then creating real-world ways to deepen human connection.



The permanence of space make the design brief just as important as the final build. Good design starts with asking the right questions, challenging assumptions and examining the elements which make human connection work. At a minimum the result should:

  1. Tell an authentic story
  2. Instill a sense of pride and belief
  3. Break down silos to enable diverse collaboration and communication

Key tenets for experiential design. And being human.


Rapt Studio Opens in New York

Rapt Studio, the interdisciplinary design and strategy studio with locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, is adding a new location to its operations: New York City. This expansion comes in response to the growth of the team’s portfolio and the increase in demand for the unique services they provide. A New York presence will better facilitate the studio’s increasing client base across the country as well as throughout Europe, capitalizing on opportunities for their existing relationships, while growing their network and experience at the same time.

The New York team will be led by Daniel Korn, Managing Director, NY. Daniel, who joined Rapt in February, has previously worked for some of the leading global creative agencies and brings with him considerable insight into how design-led strategy can be used to help brands win in the “post-digital” age. Daniel came to Rapt Studio to help clients who know that they can no longer rely on the traditional marketing playbook.

Teaming with Daniel are several existing Rapt employees who have transferred from the California studios, including Senior Designer, Lucas Martin, who joined Rapt San Francisco in 2009 and has led some of the studio’s most important relationships. Lucas and team bring experience and the distinct Rapt culture with them to New York as they design for existing clients such as PayPal, Turner Broadcasting, and Unity Technologies as well as new additions to the client roster.

“Across the studio and now in New York, we have an incredibly talented and diverse team working in an agile way. We want to partner with ambitious clients who seek a competitive advantage and who want to co-create meaningful, multi-dimensional experiences that will deliver business results. I’m thrilled to be a part of the next phase of growth for Rapt Studio and our clients.” Daniel Korn

Integrated Experiences

Rapt Studio’s portfolio is evolving as brands are waking up to the added value strategic design can bring in expressing a consistent and genuine personality across all touchpoints of the brand. Having carved a reputation in the last decade with innovative spatial and environmental designs for some of the world’s largest creative companies (Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn, and VF Corp) the studio has grown in breadth and depth of scope. Today, Rapt Studio bridges the gap between strategy and design, creating meaningful brands and genuine places that fuel connected experiences, the result of which is a holistically realized, category-defying, integrated solution.

Recent projects include the design of an integrated brand experience for IBM involving emerging technology and incorporating Watson’s cognitive computing power; a complete redesign of Turner Broadcasting’s Atlanta campus to better align with their evolving business strategies; and a full rebrand concept for J. Dawgs, a cult favorite restaurant in Utah. The growth in scope and expertise is supplemented by the global expansion of Rapt Studio’s portfolio. Alongside their growing client list in the United States, the studio is currently working on projects in Paris, Copenhagen, Dublin, Singapore, and Quingdao.

“Our clients, at the highest levels, know that to succeed in the future they will need to present a genuine, meaningful, and connected outward (and inward) expression of the brand across all touchpoints. We believe this is best delivered through fewer more strategically aligned agencies, and we are uniquely qualified to deliver on this promise.” David Galullo/CEO


One Studio Approach

With 75 people across 3 locations, Rapt Studio has pioneered the growth of strategic design as a vital tool for developing businesses in the 21st century, transforming them into brands that connect to people through experiences. Today Rapt Studio has a simple mission at its core: creating connected experiences through a belief in the power of what could be.