David Gensler is co-CEO of Gensler and oversees its global platform. Additionally, he’s accountable for day-to-day operations as well as long-term strategic planning.
Gensler founded his firm in San Francisco with a small staff and an exclusive focus on interior design. Over time, he built it into an employee-owned, employee-managed organization while remaining humble no matter how successful his business became.
Early Life and Education
Gensler was raised in Brooklyn and attended Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. Following graduation he and his wife Drucilla “Drue” Cortell moved to New York then Jamaica before settling permanently in San Francisco.
He and his wife joined James Follett to form M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates in 1965. At that time, they operated out of a one-room storefront office on Clay Street with just $200 in the bank and three children under ten.
Nowadays, the firm operates in 50 countries and employs over 6,000 personnel worldwide. Its core principles revolve around collaboration, design education, career advancement opportunities and commitment to clients.
In 1965, Arthur Gensler Jr. founded M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates with his wife Drue and associate James Follett – with just $200 in the bank. Over the next four decades, Gensler experienced rapid growth and expanded its network globally, eventually opening offices around the world.
Gensler continues to serve over 3,300 active clients across a wide range of industries. Driven by optimism, they believe design can create positive change and foster equity, resilience, and wellbeing for all.
Gensler currently employs over 3,800 professionals across Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas. To guarantee its growing workforce has access to professional development opportunities they deserve, the firm has created a program called Gensler Exchange.
Achievements and Honors
He is the founder of Gensler, the world’s largest architecture firm. His designs have revolutionized people’s lives – from opening the first Apple store at Steve Jobs’ request to constructing Shanghai Tower – the second-tallest building in the world.
Gensler’s work is renowned for its imaginative designs and collaborative approach with clients. The firm excels in various disciplines such as airports, retail outlets, entertainment venues and sports facilities.
Gensler, a member of the American Institute of Architects, has earned numerous accolades. In 2011, he was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame and received the Star Award from the International Interior Design Association.
David Gensler is an renowned American entrepreneur and leader in the architectural industry. With more than two decades of experience under his belt, he boasts a vast knowledge base across business and financial matters.
He is an advocate for design education advancement and has endowed a scholarship at Cornell University, his alma mater. Additionally, he serves on the advisory council for the school’s architecture program as one of its founding members.
Gensler takes great joy in his family and friends, which includes his wife Lacey and daughter Julia Mimi Bella. In his free time he enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and cycling around town.
Established in 1965 in San Francisco, Gensler now has 50 offices around the world including Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. In 2019, their revenue totaled $1.5 billion.
The company specializes in virtual design and construction, material and product innovations, productivity enhancements through technological advances, as well as providing extensive training programs for its employees.
Gensler boasts an impressive team of talented employees. The firm is renowned for creating iconic buildings such as the Golden State Warriors’ futuristic arena and George R. Moscone Convention Center’s light-filled west wing in San Francisco.
Gensler has a longstanding interest in socially-conscious design and civic engagement. He served as trustee of the Buck Institute for Aging and is board chairman at California College of the Arts, while also volunteering his time to nonprofit Seawater Works which grows crops on Salton Sea.