Is it a Store? Is it a Place of Worship? Apple Cube store in Manhattan, designed by Peter Bohlin

Is it a Store? Is it a Place of Worship? Apple Cube store in Manhattan, designed by Peter Bohlin

A couple weeks back I was fascinated to read that some Cornell students had determined — based on an analysis of 35 million Flickr images — that the Apple Cube on 5th Avenue  is the fifth most photographed landmark in New York–beating out the Statue of Liberty!–and the 28th most popular worldwide.  Around the same time, the iPad went on sale, selling a reported 300,000 units on the first day!  Apple products are clearly more than just gadgets; the entire Apple brand is a phenomenon. So today’s show is an attempt to understand this phenomenon. Why are people drawn to the Cube? Is it architect Peter Bohlin’s (of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Pennsylvannia, and this year’s AIA Gold Medalist) exquisitely refined glass box that’s the attraction? Or is it something more? Is the Cube a sublime extension of a brand that attracts an almost cultish worship? And is there something we can learn about branding in general, from understanding Apple? That’s our topic today and we have some great guests to talk about it: Andrew Blum, WIRED correspondent, and author of a forthcoming book about the physical infrastructure of the internet; and Sasha Strauss, Managing Director of Innovation Protocol, a strategic  branding company in downtown Los Angeles.

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