Topping the list with American statistician, sabermetrician, psephologist and writer Nate Silver, Principal of FiveThirtyEight, Fast Company’s 2013 compilation of business’s 100 most creative people proves the undeniable value of creativity in business today. This year, a New York landscape architect whose floating islands in Manhattan may one day buffer the city from voracious storms made the list’s top ten, followed by one of the most influential artists of our time as well as an architect and concept designer who are both redefining commercial architecture. Find out who, after the break.
Coming in at #3, New York City landscape architect Diana Balmori of Balmori Associates was honored as one of the thirteen designers who is playing an increasingly crucial role in business today. Her work, often lauded for using landscape architecture to redefine the relationship between nature and structure, has long focused on the impact of storms. Taking lessons from her previous work addressing flooding issues in Minneapolis and Memphis, Balmori hopes to soften the impact of future storms and increase opportunities for urban farming by lining the edge of Manhattan with man-made islands.
“Landscape architecture,” says Balmori, “is an agile tool kit for dealing with the complexity of the city.”
Although she is not an architect, Liz Muller, Director of Concept Design at Starbucks, was selected as #12 on the list for playing a significant role in creating new interactive experiences for costumers in the commercial sector through design. By identifying how cultures interact with brands, she has successfully introduced the chain to foreign markets via “splashy flagship stores” who offer an experience that is just as addictive as their coffee.
The “avant-provocateur” Ai Weiwei made the list at #16 for “rechanneling his work and fame into a bravura series of life-as-art moments that have made political defiance in China cool rather than just dangerous.” His art has transcended into the architecture world, where he became well-known for collaborating with Herzog & de Meuron on the Beijing Bird’s Nest and the 2012 Serpentine Pavilion. His fascinating contributions to architecture continue to grow at an impressive rate (follow this link to see more Ai Weiwei projects).
At #60, architect Peter Marino of Peter Marino Architect was honored for creatively redefining the inner-workings of high-end retail stores. As described by Fast Company, Marino-designed stores work “like a Ouija board: customers float in a preordained direction--to a cash register.” His three main principles of high-end commercial design - “make an entrance, stairway to sales, point(s) of purchase” - have lead him to be one of the top go-to architects for high-end brands like Chanel, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton.