Building an Industry with Architectural Designer, Bonnie Kyle

Building an Industry with Architectural Designer, Bonnie Kyle

Building an Industry with Architectural Designer, Bonnie Kyle 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman
Bonnie Kyle

Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Chute Gerdeman?

I am the Director of the Architectural Design Studio here at CG. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years and I know what it takes to lead, inspire, and propel our clients and designers forward.  Fostering the technical abilities of each individual within my department is something I’m very passionate about, instilling the sense of forward-thinking design and concept translation to every project.

In the design industry, processes seem to constantly evolve and streamline. How is your department able to pivot in order to adapt?

The exceptional skillset my team brings to the table is the very bedrock to the solutions we provide to an ever-evolving consumer base. It’s because of the unique talent, flexibility, and a genuine interest in technical problem solving, we are able to champion the design throughout the entirety of any project.

Our process has been meticulously designed to address client and consumer issues, taking the concepts designed to tackle those issues, and translating them to a variety of architects, fixture fabricators, consultants, and clients. We have the fundamental ability to recognize what a brand needs to stay relevant and profitable for years to come.

What is one project you thought was the most groundbreaking?

Our work with Verizon was a game changer for both the client and Chute Gerdeman; it established a new process for how we, as strategists and designers, work together. At the time [2015], our competitors were only just beginning to take note of the importance related to an experiential journey. Being the innovator we are, already addressed that very notion–designing a revolutionary space that redefined the typical in-store experience.

I enjoyed directing the implementation of our designs in the Verizon Destination and Smart stores, driving the very essence of our solutions into each space was both a challenge and rewarding endeavor.


What do you believe to be the biggest challenges you face within a project?

In the beginning our ideas flourish, making waves of change and innovation to both the industry and the brand; however, the biggest challenge comes into play later on. Budget and time constraints act as the catalyst to our creativity, pushing past the limitations to deliver our ideas is the real success of every story. Our clients strive to be at the forefront of innovation and want to be the first ones to implement it–challenging our firm to creatively push a design forward in the most-efficient way possible.

It’s about the end solution. Our work here at Chute Gerdeman does not cower to the challenges presented by a project; instead, the concepts we initially provide are driven by the difficult aspects, ultimately providing tailored designs that ensure beneficial results.

What do you feel your position adds to the Chute Gerdeman team and the services it provides?

My experience within the Fine Arts field has given me an exclusive sense of where the design world is now and where it is headed. I utilize this skill to act as the base to my technical mindset, offering recommendations and even limitations to every project I oversee. It’s my job to stay on task and on budget in regard to the concept. This integral part of the process allows us to push brands forward in the most cost-efficient way we can.

We begin every design with a strategic foundation of storytelling. Our differentiator is the fact that we are a design agency, first and foremost. For every brand, we align architectural and brand elements within a space to tell a cohesive story.

Because of your industry expertise, where do you think retail and restaurant design is headed?

There is a definite need for more experience. Consumers have become immune to traditional signage and advertising ploys, making our jobs more exciting. Industry naysayers continue to tell us that brick and mortar stores are dying out, but I believe the future is an interesting period of transition. Physical stores have made the move to online, and the predominantly online stores are focused on the physical. The transformation of traditional roles has introduced a totally new need for brand positioning and awareness.

The integration of mobile is also worth noting. In many cases, what was once an associate-driven experience, now lies within control of the consumer. While it may shift the power, it also opens the door for a more personalized shopping experience.

Head over to our Architectural Design Studio


A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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