Rogier VAN EST

Sr Concept Design Manager | STARBUCKS

Rogier van Est heads up Starbucks EMEA Concept Design, a team of Concept Designers that is part of the Starbucks store design team. With his team he focuses on the constant evolution and innovation of store design and the brand experience. Touching all parts of the customer journey. Rogier and his team deliver new store concepts and store design programs to elevate the Starbucks Brand Experience in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East & Africa).

Rogier is trained as interior architect. A creative and business oriented professional with over 20 years of experience in architecture, interior design, retail and brand design.

Prior to Starbucks Rogier worked at several (architectural) agencies, like OMA, ASWA/Merkx & Girod and EGM. Rogier has a degree in Interior Architecture, by the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam.

questionnaire

What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now? 
My first actual job was selling fries in what now would be considered a food truck, my first experience with customer interaction. My first real design job was at Koolhaas/OMA, looking back I loved the creative vibe of the place, the conceptual thinking that was happening. And it made realize that I am not particularly suited to work for Star-architects.

Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
I head up the Starbucks EMEA Concept Design team. We enable the design team by constantly evolving all elements to make up the fabric of our stores: furniture, fixtures, finishes and artwork. We create store design programs like kiosks and drive thru formats that help propel the brand experience and the team focusses on innovation in store design. Creating new formats, new elements and concept stores that support innovation in store and brand design.

How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?
I always loved to draw and design (wanted to be a car designer when I was 12) but at age 17 for some weird reason I decided to try and become an airline pilot. And much to my own surprise I managed to survive several rounds of the strict application procedure.  Did all the test, simulators and all, until I spoke with the occupational psychologist who told me: “who do you think you’re  kidding – you don’t want to be an airline pilot you are a designer” and he was right and the rest is history.

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
Reading books that are NON-design related, walking around in cities and nature and listening to music…

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, especially for the creative work and innovation it required rather than its recognition or industry success, what would it be?
The work we did with Starbucks to try and solve paper-cup recycling for the UK market. Challenging the internal status quo and working with other functions and external agency’s to land this. A simple product that re-set the minds of people.

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