Building Brands:
Corporations and Modern Architecture

Tue, May 11, 2021
Book cover of "Building Brands: Corporations and Modern Architecture" by Grace Ong Yan
Lund Humphries

As the first in-depth book to explore the role of branding in the design of corporate modernism, Building Brands re-tells the stories of four corporate headquarters in the context of both business and architectural histories: the PSFS Building by Howe and Lescaze, the Johnson Wax Building by Frank Lloyd Wright, Lever House by SOM, and The Röhm & Haas Building by Pietro Belluschi and George M. Ewing Co. In this illustrated talk on her new book, Grace Ong Yan describes how clients and architects together crafted buildings to reflect the company’s brand, focusing on carefully considering consumers’ perception and their emotions towards the architecture and the messages they communicated.

Grace Ong Yan

Grace Ong Yan is Assistant Professor in the College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. As an architectural historian, educator, and architect, her scholarship explores alternate theories of modernism, intersections of media and environment, and interdisciplinary collaborations. The author of Architect: The Pritzker Prize Laureates in their own Words, 1st and 2nd editions, she has also contributed to Companion to the History of Architecture, Vol. IV, Twentieth-Century and the journal Design and Culture. She earned her B.Arch. at the University of Texas at Austin, her M.Arch. at Yale University, and her Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

The video begins with Grace Ong Yan's lecture, followed by Q&A with Museum Director Carol Willis, whose introduction to the webinar is included after the discussion.