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Bob Greenberg: Design + Collaboration – the sum is greater than the parts

Last week Object: Australian Design Centre (associate member of the Australian Design Alliance) hosted a special early morning talk with digital visionary Bob Greenberg on his first visit to Australia. R/GA has recently opened a Sydney office http://www.rga.com/about/locations/sydney/

Greenberg spoke about how his company has transformed itself in nine year cycles over four decades to be what it is today an integrated marketing services company that creates everything from new products and digital services to social and mobile campaigns to broadcast commercials.  He says that they are proud to be blurring the lines between what was traditionally seen as advertising to now working with companies on software and product development and public relations to connect consumers with brands.

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From The Nike SB App, a collaboration with pro skateboard riders to create digital skating experiences to track progress and connect riders, to Beats Music combining a new streaming music service that combines human curation with technology to the R/GA Accelerator that calls for start-ups that are creating connected devices and applications providing them with access to agency expertise, these are just some of the digital collaborations R/GA is spearheading.  Quoting Saul Bass, Greenberg talked about design as a process for making ideas visible and he is doing just that in a world that is increasing in complexity and transforming constantly through technology.
In conversation with Jonathan Richards from Google’s Creative Lab, Greenberg spoke about connectivity and architecture and is currently thinking about connectivity and public spaces.  He has designed and built his own connected home but says that he is yet to see a great example of an architect dealing with the connected age.  Now there’s a challenge! 
Bob Greenberg—founder, chairman and CEO of R/GA—has been a pioneer in the advertising and communications industry for nearly four decades. He leads the vision for R/GA, an agency that serves as the digital partner for Fortune 500 companies and world-renowned brands, including Nike, Beats by Dr. Dre, Unilever, L’Oréal, MasterCard, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Ameriprise and Johnson & Johnson.
R/GA is one of the world’s most influential agencies, emphasizing the importance of business transformation, product/service innovation and breakthrough communications. The agency has offices in New York, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, and internationally in London, Bucharest, Stockholm, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Singapore.
Bob, along with his brother Richard, founded R/Greenberg Associates (R/GA) in 1977 with the idea of creating a company that valued design but also focused on developing leading-edge motion graphics and live-action film and video production. The company created groundbreaking visual effects for movies such as Alien, Predator, Se7en and Zelig. To date, R/GA’s body of work spans 400 feature films and 4,000 television commercials.

Photograph by Emma Thomson

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