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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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What Apple's and Google's Headquarters Plans Reveal About Their Cultures




The very different designs for Apple's and Google's planned headquarters buildings are a reflection of their corporate personalities, argues a professor of architecture at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

In an interview with Professor Brian Schermer by digital news site Quartz (via Business Insider), the workplace design expert comments on the two companies' respective plans for their new headquarter buildings.

Quote:
Apple is ... inscrutable. We don't see the interiors. I have no idea how Apple would organize the building into different work groups. [It] is very tightly controlled. Maybe the Apple employee is somebody who's attracted to that pure, shared vision -- the Jony Ive aesthetic. [It is] an architecture that [one] is meant to behold. The company is shooting for timeless beauty.
Quote:
Google's business is somewhat sprawling and disheveled. They started off with search, and now they are getting into hardware, like Pixel and Google Glass. Similarly, their next campus is a thicket of ideas and places to be. The Google vision is perhaps to recruit people who are attracted to the serendipity of messiness. Architecture can be a very abstract language, but Google is wearing its heart on its sleeve. It's trying to say that you can really inhabit this space.
Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned Apple's new campus at yesterday's shareholders meeting, reiterating that Apple plans to move into the facility in 2016, with construction potentially beginning later this year.

Article Link: What Apple's and Google's Headquarters Plans Reveal About Their Cultures
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:34 AM   #2
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Well, you can analyze everything I guess..
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:38 AM   #3
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The OCD professional adult in me likes Apple's campus more because it's organized and clean. The crazy rambunctious kid in me, however likes Google's campus more.

Honestly, depending on my mood i'd like to work at both campuses.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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This says a lot

Apple - Connected ecosystem
Google - Fragmented (even their ideas are this and that)

Both look stunning in their own ways, I think.

Last edited by Eugene-DL; Feb 28, 2013 at 03:50 PM.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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Odd thing to analyze. But looking at Apple's design it is very "Get lost and don't look in here".
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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This is worthy of the front page over so many other posts lol
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene-DL View Post
Apple - Connected ecosystem
Google - Fragmented (even their ideas are this and that)
I agree. Apple's is like a Closed system, but looks awesome and is more functional. Google's is more open, but yes, fragmented.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:48 AM   #8
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What a silly article. No wonder it came from Business Insider.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by shartypants View Post
I agree. Apple's is like a Closed system, but looks awesome and is more functional. Google's is more open, but yes, fragmented.
Apple seems to be a very top-down, driven company. The people at the top have a very precise idea of exactly what they want -- Steve Jobs was the penultimate example -- and the rest of the company strives to make it happen.

Google strikes me as the opposite. They have some general goals, but employees are encouraged to experiment. "Hey, I have an idea that could be great!" And they're willing to try lots of things, hoping to stumble upon something great.

Both approaches have different strengths and weaknesses. The Google approach means they try lots of things that don't really work, possibly wasting time and money, but the employees at least feel like their time and input are valued.

With the Apple approach, if they get it right, it works beautifully and it really helps their image as this magical company that churns out hit after hit and can do no wrong (because we don't get to see the ones that didn't make it out of their labs), but then you get all these comments about how they're "not innovating" because we don't see, and don't know, what's going on in there. Also, if/when Ives & Cook guess something wrong, once the market isn't quick to embrace their latest and greatest, that could be the beginning of a slippery slope.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shartypants View Post
I agree. Apple's is like a Closed system, but looks awesome and is more functional. Google's is more open, but yes, fragmented.
Definitely! Google's Headquarters look like a high-end commercial centre IMHO.

Last edited by Eugene-DL; Feb 28, 2013 at 03:54 PM.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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I think Apples building design reflects more on their address rather than culture. Their campus is on Infinite Loop (St. Rd.?) A circle is a representation of an infinite loop.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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It would have been funny if the new Google headquarters was a single long, phallic shaped building, then we could have seen much better how the two companies interrelate
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by UnfetteredMind View Post
It would have been funny if the new Google headquarters was a single long, phallic shaped building, then we could have seen much better how the two companies interrelate
*insert obligatory Samsung reference*
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:13 AM   #14
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That Google campus? ****ing mess.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:27 AM   #15
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I knew I'd seen this before! Yeah, they blew this place up after the 96 Olympics in ATL.

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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
What a silly article. No wonder it came from Business Insider.
No, it's not.

Almost all our choices are based on some inner personality, this is also true for organisations, and especially in relation to architecture...

Last edited by OllyW; Feb 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM. Reason: removed insult
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:48 AM   #17
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google could not have a similar campus to apple's; too many lawsuits at hand to add another
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:50 AM   #18
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Apple has style.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JM-Prod View Post
No, it's not.

Almost all our choices are based on some inner personality, this is also true for organisations, and especially in relation to architecture...
Agreed.

Googles campus looks like *****. I mean its neat and all; I do see the appeal and it would be an awesome thing to visit in person, let alone work there. But it just reminds me of a high school art project, not a serious architectural design.

I guess that why I like apple so much? The cold, calculated design aesthetic, the "pure" vision. Ruthless perfection.
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Last edited by OllyW; Feb 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM. Reason: clean up to quoted post
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:56 AM   #20
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Google´s campus looks like a Disneyworld Resort, not that that is a bad thing. But Apple´s building is beautiful and iconic, just like everything else they make.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:58 AM   #21
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Not open?

Doesn't the Apple design feature continuous glass around the entire perimeter?




Analyzing architecture like this is akin to phrenology.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 12:02 PM   #22
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Analyzing architecture like this is akin to phrenology.
Props for the phrenology mention...
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 12:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene-DL View Post
Apple - Connected ecosystem
Google - Fragmented (even their ideas are this and that)
I was thinking the word "fragmented" also.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 12:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Architecture can be a very abstract language, but Google is wearing its heart on its sleeve.
"The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste."
- Steve Jobs, 1995

This is also Google's problem.

You're either born with an aesthetic sense or you're not.
Sorry Google. You weren't.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 12:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by vmachiel View Post
Well, you can analyze everything I guess..
Architecture has been an important part of human culture for millennia. So yes, you can analyze it.
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