Looking through recent, impactful projects completed by IA, we set out to ask the design minds behind these projects about art. More specifically – how art plays a role in the design of workplaces, and why including paintings, sculptures, murals, and other art mediums in these locations is so important.
“We say that Space + Spirit = Place”, and the right art pieces can contribute greatly to the “Spirit” part of that equation. Without “Spirit”, a space is simply just a space. It may function but it is not memorable and does not touch us in some way. While “PLACE” is often hard to describe, we definitely know it when we feel it. We feel its Spirit as we move and engage with the space. And when it is memorable, we know then that we have created a Place. For [this client], we salvaged neighborhood graffiti from buildings that were about to be torn down to make room for their new HQ buildings. We re-installed them as part of the new design of their offices and as it recalled the character of the old neighborhood, it also featured artists that now will continue to leave their mark and feature their craft as part of the Place-making efforts.”
“I like to look for art that stimulates thought and helps people to think bigger (or outside the box). Art helps us to challenge conventional thinking and reframe the way we look at the world. Placing art outside of meeting areas or areas of deep concentration can help individuals to get out of their head space just for a moment. Similar to meditation art can help people decompress. Have you ever got lost in a painting? Simple moments like that really do help people to change gears from task-to-task. Art can help to energize people, bring people together and even challenge their ideas. The placement of these pieces is important for dynamic interaction.”
“In order to decide which external art to feature in a space, I must first understand the client – not only what they do, but also what they want people to feel when walking their space. In the case of Virgin Voyages, the client is in the nautical industry so I wanted to incorporate a water element in the art that I chose. However, simple is not on-brand for this client – they wanted their employees and clients to feel bold, playful, and cheeky when touring the space. I felt like the bath tub fit perfectly within that category – and the client couldn’t agree more.”
-Gisselle Gema Amador
“The Leica concept is similar to Apple – create a gallery space that attracts people to photography, instruct them how to make it themselves, and sell them a camera. Create an interactive community. This sculpture and the photography that Leica placed in their Los Angeles location was very much about creating that interactive space where the retail location, educational space, and visitor destination all came together. This art played a huge role in creating that environment.”
“Art, plants, and accessories are all important to the finish out of a space…art can really make a space pop, or make it feel dated. Ideally, it’s nice to understand the client’s preferences for new and existing art from the beginning so we can incorporate that into the design and potential EGD (Experiential Graphic Design).”
“In Bacardi we really wanted to have a local reference and a big connection between the origin of Bacardi in Spain and the following history in Cuba. Art can play a huge part in helping a space to reflect certain cultural connections — It’s often hard to separate a piece of art from the influences of the local culture. So, we sought out local artists to work with in the creation of these murals to help create that connection, and ultimately, I think we were really successful.”