Member Profile: Brad Lukanic, CEO, CannonDesign

Brad believes design is more than merely what one makes; rather a larger vision of the positive impact design has on the lives of those who engage.

About Bloomberg Breakaway Membership


Brad grew up in a house with a Lego-filled room; and with a father in the construction industry, where he spent summers learning how things were constructed. He knew from the earliest moments he wanted to be an architect – shaping the built environment.

As CEO of CannonDesign, a 1,100-person design firm, he realizes how critical design is in shaping and setting experiences in motion where people flourish, and businesses thrive. His curiosity doesn’t view architecture and design as a singular moment, but a continuous focus on impactful and ongoing experiences.

Today, Brad leads a firm with a rich 102-year legacy focused on integrated and diverse design solutions that impact the environment. CannonDesign combines over a century of experience with emerging technology and research methods to generate impactful solutions. The firm’s evolution has launched new business lines such as ModularDesign+, developing software for facility assessments, acquiring an integrated construction delivery company, and advancing a 50-person strategic consulting firm on change, operational and transitional services for the built environment.


What defines a successful leader?

Leaders shouldn’t let gravity limit us when there is great potential, even when others can’t immediately see your vision. Leaders don’t reflect on what they have achieved, they reflect on what their people have achieved and celebrate others success.

Culture and talent are important to any company’s success. How do you engage and inspire your workforce?

Our employees engage in CannonDesign, in so many ways – by strengthening platforms to differentiate us within the evolving A/E/C landscape; getting involved and giving back during our Community Service Day; redefining and expanding the design continuum; having honest voices in diversity and inclusion conversations; sharing unique talents across our firm; and identifying new opportunities to build upon our strong foundation.

Innovation and disruption are reshaping industries every day. What do you see as the number one game-changer facing businesses today?

The intersection of the built and virtual environments creates tremendous opportunities to improve the human condition; from healthcare delivery to education and learning. CannonDesign listens for signals of change within and outside our industry, and thinks about where we’re going. We’re still a design firm – and always will be – but where are we headed as a living-centered design firm?

Challenges abound in today’s fast-changing business environment. What keeps you up at night?

Leaders are stronger when they listen; all leaders should hear the strong signals of change and industry undercurrents. While some worry about the disruption to obsolesce, I worry if we have the depth and breadth of resources (talent and equity) to be at the forefront of disruption at the speed it needs to occur. We can’t predict what opportunity will be next. Not all ideas are going to launch – but if we say we’re an innovative company that wants to lead, what are we doing to get there? That’s what we leaders need to do; and that’s what we, at CannonDesign, are doing.

Why did you join Bloomberg Breakaway?
To hear from leaders outside the design industry, and what signals they are seeing in their industries.

Even CEOs need downtime. How do you recharge?

Running in Central Park, summer vacations to Martha’s Vineyard, and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

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Brad Lukanic

Cannon Design

About Bloomberg Breakaway

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