BNIM's Identity: A Pattern of Building Positive

Reflection & Momentum

At BNIM we constantly seek to better ourselves and our world. For over 45 years we’ve been designing beautiful, integrated environments that inspire change and enhance the human condition. As our practice continues to evolve, we believe that each individual shapes who we are. When embarking on the yearlong process of “rebranding,” it was vital to uncover the insight of each person, each office, and our experiences as ONE BNIM. We engaged every office to articulate a process of discovery that questions what makes us who we are. Our new brand represents an energy and optimism that’s grounded in our work and our diversity. What we learned was insightful. While we each subscribe to common values that celebrate human experience in the work we do, we are a deeply diverse composition of cultures, locations, disciplines and points of view. Each of us are similar but not the same.

Remaining true to our core purpose and values, we wanted to express our evolution and highlight our expanding leadership. We learned that our new identity needed to do three things:

  • Strengthen awareness and recognition at local and national levels.
  • Reflect that our “brand” is our work and our people.
  • Give each person and each office a platform for expressing culture.

The resulting identity, anchored by a new logo, is fresh and approachable. The lowercase letters reflect that our practice has grown beyond an acronym of names and is now a pluralist practice, which trades a singular design voice for a mosaic of ideas and people that forms ONE BNIM.

Furthermore, the identity is mnemonic. Using both pictures and words, the identity is a device that makes the brand memorable and personal. And because the identity doesn’t communicate standards, but rather is a living thing that adapts to people and location, the brand became something else indicative of our practice. It became a pattern.

The same could be said of our projects: each design is unique, devoid of a standard formula or stylistic approach, each combining processes and qualities that center on human insights, instincts, and vitality.

As the identity began to take shape, we realized that the effort was much more than a “rebrand,” it was truly revealing who we are as a practice, and as practitioners. This realization necessitated a larger conversation about how we approached the work, which we recognized as the core of our brand.

BNIM is building positive. This notion describes how BNIM leverages its capacity for design thinking to solve local and global issues. We create designs that build positive change, projects that respond to the complex demands of our time by leveraging new ways to share and exchange.

But what makes a process or project “Building Positive?" 

We distilled this down to three elements found in our work that help us practice our core purpose: transformation, authenticity and delight.

  • Transformation: Our projects and processes convey that design is always grounded by context and informed by its connections. Our design process reflect systems thinking, addressing a network of relationships.

  • Authenticity: Our projects and processes have a refined understanding of fundamental languages and structure. To be authentic, we understand it must relate to the physical and immaterial nature of place and building.

  • Delight: Our project and processes inspire new ways of thinking, challenging us to look at our world in a new light. Good design should uplift us, opening us to new perspectives and to one another, and in turn, challenging us to wonder.

As ONE BNIM, we reimagine the relationships between people and place. While each discipline operates with their own inherent strengths, we leverage our shared knowledge to transform experience. We continue to practice and learn, designing environments that are as beautiful as they are performative and human. We remain committed to building research and rethinking the everyday. Fundamentally, we believe great design is born from the processes and people that bring it to reality.

Individual stories make up the story that is BNIM. Through this pattern of thinking we are building positive and realizing work that’s bigger than ourselves. Our identity strives to capture these aspirations as a living reflection of our work and our people, shifting as needed to reflect how we change and grow to express our culture. Because each of us are similar but not the same as one another.