The firm begins a new chapter spearheaded by Michael Graves’ protege that marries legacy with modern-age strategies and innovation
PRINCETON, NJ—October 30, 2023— Michael Graves Architecture (MG) is proud to announce that Robert Blaser, AIA, Principal, and Design Practice Leader, is propelling the nearly 60-year-old firm forward, driven by the inspirational style and career of its founder, Michael Graves. This initiative, spearheaded by Blaser, pays homage to the firm’s namesake. With over 25 years of experience, informed by his time observing MG’s evolution, this seasoned leader is set to nurture team growth and enhance the firm’s project portfolio through his impressive track record of execution, innovation, and experiential design.
“This marks a historic moment for our firm,” said Joe Furey, President and CEO of MG. “I’m eagerly anticipating the transformative impact that Robert, who has been an integral part of our team for many years under Michael’s mentorship, will bring to MG’s forthcoming chapter of growth and success. We’re all excited to witness how he will carry forward our legacy and maintain our status as a leading force in architecture and design across sectors.”
A major step toward the new age of design is achieved through the formation of an experiential design team under Robert’s leadership. This dynamic team, consisting of architects, interior designers, graphic designers, and artists, pays tribute to Michael Graves’ legacy of imagination and innovation –– rooted in the firm’s origins, all while remaining agile to adapt to the ever-changing industry. MG’s approach places storytelling and client engagement at the forefront, transcending traditional design boundaries. By prioritizing the pre-design phase and dedicating its efforts to the narrative element of design, the team forges connections with clients by aligning with the core purpose, values, and “voice” of their organization. Through this, the firm’s experiential design team is poised to create highly imaginative projects, redefining the future of architecture.
As the experiential design team continues to engage in projects across various sectors, their current emphasis lies on crafting immersive experiences. This is demonstrated through their work, ranging from community-based design for people experiencing homelessness in Trenton, to highly unique Caribbean Island club experiences, to aspirational hospitality destinations in the majestic mountains of NEOM in Saudi Arabia. Technology and nature are fundamental to ensuring the success of each project. With the introduction of this innovative design team, MG is extending its reach, expanding upon the firm’s legacy while staying true to its whimsical and imaginative core identity.
Michael Graves Architecture is championing a visionary approach to design that surpasses generational boundaries. MG believes that cross-generational design is critical to innovation by encouraging ideas to flow freely in all directions, not just from the top down. Through every project, the team recognizes that young talent is the future of the practice, allowing their voices to inform the way forward.
“We honor our firm’s history by distilling the essence of Michael’s stylistic approach. While we avoid replication of his work, we imbue our projects with the imaginative and playful ethos of his design philosophy, pushing the boundaries of architecture,” said Robert Blaser. “By spearheading initiatives such as experiential design, our firm demonstrates the ability to set new industry standards without losing sight of the identity that has come to define our work for nearly six decades.”
With a background in aerospace design, Blaser entered the field of architecture with an inspired and technology-forward outlook grounded in creating human-centric built environments. Guided by the work of his mentor, Michael Graves, whose expertise spanned from master planning to product design, Blaser brought that same spirit and philosophy with him when he started at the firm. This influence continues to resonate and is evident in MG’s projects to this day.
Blaser is deploying similar strategies across the firm’s series of recent acquisitions and other strategic initiatives, which include the addition of Waldon Studios, JCAG, PGN, Walter Robbs, and Parallax. In their design conversations with these accomplished leaders and design professionals, MG has cultivated a remarkable synergy. Each individual brings a distinct blend of experience and passion to the table. Robert, in particular, has personally benefited from mentorship by a world-renowned architect and designer, while their colleagues have charted their journey in other unique ways, many from the ground up. Together, they seamlessly blend start-up passion with imaginative design leadership to propel a shared vision forward.
About Michael Graves Architecture
Founded in 1964 by AIA Gold Medalist Michael Graves, Michael Graves Architecture (MG) has a unique multidisciplinary practice that offers strategic advantages to clients worldwide. MG’s work is a consequence of continually striving to learn and listen to their clients while aiming to deliver the highest level of service possible. The firm’s clients range from Fortune 100 companies and global manufacturers to start-ups, from government to cultural, educational, and healthcare institutions, and from real estate developers and retailers to homeowners and consumers. MG has one of the leading design practices in the world, offering services in architecture, product design, interior design, master planning, graphic design, and branding, and underpins clients’ success with design strategy consulting, feasibility studies, and research. For more information, visit www.michaelgraves.com.