In the latest issue of The Metropolis Observed, Andrew Blum compares the similarities between Apple’s retail stores and its products. “If the new Apple store in San Francisco looks like a Powerbook computer, it wasn’t deliberate. According to Ron Johnson, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, the store’s design was simply a result of a consistent ‘internal logic’ that seeks ‘to get everything out of the way and create the most pure thing possible.’ The result is a branding koan: Apple’s corporate philosophy is design, so its store design is a philosophy. “‘There’s no design aesthetic for our stores,’ Johnson says. ‘We tried to just make them what we love.’ Here is a Zen guide to the San Francisco Apple store. Any similarity to their computers can’t be helped — because who is Apple to question essential truths?”