Architecture and design brands introducing new ideas in urban development, sustainability and virtual reality earned top honors on Fast Company’s list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2018. Released last month, the annual grouping recognizes leading enterprises and emerging newcomers among 36 business categories, including Architecture, Design, Retail and Social Good.
Named the Most Innovative Company in Architecture, Seattle-based firm NBBJ was recognized for its focus on creating meaningful, health-centered environments for institutional clients like Cleveland Clinic, Amazon and Harvard University. Leading architecture and design firm Perkins+Will was named the runner-up for its dedication to ecological transparency. And Chicago-based firm Studio Gang placed third for reimagining Southwest Philadelphia’s overlooked urban developments into contemporary spaces—a model that’s already being replicated in other cities.
Fast Company editors also took note of the interior design industry’s shift to tech, with home brands winning big in the Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality category. Lowe’s took home the top honor for its debut of augmented reality app Envisioned, which it launched via The Mine late last year. Houzz, Wayfair and Artefact were among the other brands recognized in the category for their augmented and virtual reality capabilities.
Other notable honorees from the home space include IKEA, recognized in the Design category for its expanded efforts in the connect-home space and for thinking modularly, as with its new collection with British designer Tom Dixon.
In the Retail category, Amazon and Walmart took home first and second place, respectively, for their ever-growing presences in the on- and off-line marketplaces. Rounding out the Retail list is Burrow, the direct-to-consumer sofa brand offering shoppers a custom experience.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2018 in Architecture:
3. Studio Gang
5. People’s Architecture Office
8. MASS Design Group
10. Rapt Studio
To see the winners in all 36 categories, check out Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2018.