People point at a large touch screen.

NBBJ acquires interactive experience firm ESI Design

Global architecture and design firm NBBJ announced its acquisition of experience design studio ESI Design today. Founded in New York by Edwin Schlossberg, ESI Design has been a leader in interactive design for over forty years, dating back to their work on the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in 1977.

Schlossberg will become a partner at NBBJ and continue to lead the studio in New York.

“NBBJ and ESI Design share a vision that well-designed spaces can bring ideas and brands to life in ways that inform, inspire, and delight,” Schlossberg said in a press release. “Through our partnership, we will push the boundaries of what a building can be and help our clients bring people closer together through shared experiences—by seeking to design in ways that enable the environment to learn from its users so that it, and them get better with use.”

Known for weaving digital interventions into physical environs, ESI Design is now the 18th studio within NBBJ, and its acquisition is the largest ever of an experience design firm by an architecture firm. The deal brings NBBJ to over 800 employees worldwide, and six ESI leaders will become principals at NBBJ.

The two firms have collaborated before on corporate and commercial projects in New York and Boston, but will now be able to streamline services by incorporating digital experiences earlier in the design process.

ESI Design’s recent projects include the interactive exhibitions at the Statue of Liberty Museum that opened in May 2019 and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The partnership between ESI Design and NBBJ will likely lead to more immersive digital experiences in spaces such as commercial high rises, sports stadiums, and hospitals, as well as museums.

NBBJ is one of the world’s largest architecture firms and has completed corporate office, civic, healthcare, commercial real estate, education, science, and sports projects. The studio is headquartered in Seattle, and NBBJA has won accolades for their recent glassy, high-profile corporate projects for Amazon and Samsung.