Origin StoriesThe Grateful Dead had their breakthrough at Ken Kesey’s acid test parties. Superman was raised by George and Martha Kent. Hewlett Packard started in a garage. We hear origin stories all the time. They’re magnetic enough that we write books and make movies about them. Here’s the thing: The only thing they have in common is that they are all different. You can’t reverse engineer success by researching origin stories. You can’t follow the same path as those you admire and expect you’ll end up in the same place. Everything worthwhile has an origin, but those origins aren’t the reason that they are worthwhile. – Posted by Seth Godin on May 04, 2014 In fact, sometimes the origin story has no bearing at all on the current business. But in the case of architects, as with Engineers, you are only as good as your last project, and your name will stay good so long as your buildings or structures stand up. Mining Engineers build mines that have lives that are sometimes longer than the careers of those who designed and built them. Architects’ projects stand as visible testaments to their style and skill – or lack thereof – until they get demolished or rebuilt.
Leon Krüger, owner of the eponymous architecture firm had been so busy for so long he had given no thought to documenting his projects, until the market crash of 2008. All of a sudden, he had to bid for work, compete against other, larger firms. We had to bring his past work into the present. The solution was to undertake to research, curate and tell the story of 30 years’ worth of work, designing more than 120 medical, scientific, commercial and hi-tech facilities. Not surprisingly, his designs over the decades matched global Architectural design phases. The worry was that his portfolio might be like “the curate’s egg” – good and bad in parts. Fortunately, it was all good, even amazing, and beautiful too. The re-identification process started with an updated logo, and included new stationery, presentations, news releases and website.
The main product was a presentation overview of his thirty-year career. Everything worthwhile has an origin, Leon Krüger Architects too. But those origins aren’t the reason that his work is worthwhile. It is worthwhile because it is good – because it is a testament to functional elegance in design.
Client comment – Leon Krüger, owner
“I had a lot of fun, and learnt a lot about myself and my business during the process. I also managed to structure my past work history, and now possess a tool to maintain it properly.”