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Kevin Ervin Kelley    

Co-Founder & Principal of Shook Kelley, Architect

Kevin Kelley, AIA is a co-founding partner and principal of Shook Kelley. Although he started in Charlotte, Kelley has headed up the Los Angeles office since 2002 and serves as the principal-in-charge of retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores and leisure-related projects. Kelley holds two degrees in architecture from the University of NC at Charlotte and has spent a large portion of his career developing a process that combines business, science and design into one integrated approach he calls perception design. Kelley’s specialty is getting inside the minds of consumers to determine how the physical environment affects consumer behavior and purchase decisions. He is also especially adept at helping consumer-based organizations re-think how they innovate their “go to market” strategies. Kelley has worked closely with the leaders of many well-known companies— such as Harley-Davidson, Whole Foods, Kraft, Cadbury, The J.M. Smucker Company and USAA —in their efforts to develop new kinds of immersive brand experiences.

As one of the more progressive thinkers in retail and food strategy, Kelley is a sought-after speaker on the topics of consumer behavior, store design and retail strategy. Kelley has taught courses and lectured at the University of North Carolina (6 years) and Harvard University (11 years). In addition to his professional work, Kelley was one of the original founders, visionaries and presidents of the South End Development Corp.—a very successful, non-profit urban district. He is currently serving his second term as an advisory board member of AIGA LA, which focuses on the development of the Southern California design community.

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Speech Topics


  • Innovation
  • Retail Strategy
  • Theater of Food Design
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Business
  • Career
  • Life Advice

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