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3 Ways Burberry's CEO Will Impact Apple's New Spaceship-Style Headquarters

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Symbolic layout design is a common theme in Silicon Valley that has become a corporate cliché. Tech giants ranging from Microsoft to Google talk about the importance of sitting engineers near designers--of providing staircases and centralized pathways that force interaction between disparate groups. Apple's chief designer Jony Ive and top engineer Craig Federighi, for example, supposedly sit just one minute apart from another. Ahrendts took this idea a step further at Burberry.

"We strategically took the entire top floor and made it all design," she said. "Because we said that everyone has to know that design is at the top. We're a design-driven company, and that will set the stage. And then we put the merchants right below them and the marketers."

Such a hierarchy is likely not necessary at Apple, where design is so embedded in the culture at all levels. But it's another signal that Ahrendts and Apple are on the same page.

She also has an obsession with making everything look the same:

Ahrendts felt it was critical for the company to maintain a consistent identity worldwide--not just through aesthetics but also in how the offices function together. "They're all connected; you can connect [with] every office at every facility," she explained. "When we have conference calls, it looks like we're all in the same room--the table just literally extends."

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