Over our recent shift towards an experience economy, the importance of cultivating healthy working atmospheres has been gradually acknowledged among corporations. Exit the boring, dull, and standardized cubicles of the Fordist era: our office culture is now aimed to cultivate spaces of emotional well-being. The attention given to how colors, logo design, office layout, and architecture are displayed at the workplace is greater than ever before.
Crowning the whole, art, aesthetic object per excellence comes as the cherry on the top of a beautiful cake. Essentially, art alters the surrounding office atmosphere it is embedded in, as much as the people who dwell in it — that is to say, wherein an organization’s identity and values first come into existence.
Today, a sheer number of successful companies have developed a set of visuals that ought to reflect their values and identity. As such, these symbols are being increasingly used for creating custom-made art pieces.
Companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google each have branded their working environment with a set of customized art pieces that skillfully incorporate their logos and corporate colors. But such initiative is far from being constrained to Silicon Valley’s edgy and hip corporate cultures.
Surprisingly, it is also prominent in a sphere seemingly alien to the workings of artistry: the financial sector. Indeed, Angela Bargenda, associate professor of marketing and communication at ESCE International Business School, investigated the role of art within the main branches of global corporate banking institutions such as Société Générale, Deutsche Bank, and Banca Monte del Paschi di Siena (MPS).
There, she observed that art collections have long been integrated within the office buildings and actively contribute to these institutions' "sustainable, socially relevant, and meaning-generating values."
The presence of artworks at the office tends to enhance the creation of social identity. A corporate identity takes shape in the very mundane interlocks of office life — through the interaction between employees and their way to relate and attach meaning, purpose, and dedication to their tasks. More research comes to show that it is precisely in these deeper layers that art operates.
Accordingly, Copenhagen Business School scholars Daved Barry and Stefan Meieisk coined the term 'workarts'. The term refers to the use of arts to create values of sensemaking and collective mindfulness at work. Addressing the rise of office art in a vast landscape of businesses, they identified artworks' ability to provide employees with a richer imaginative display by serving as an open window onto the world.
Art establishes transversal links with historical, political, and societal matters, allowing the company's own values to shine in a novel and non-habitual light. It can tell, expand and put in perspective the story of your organization. But it does not stop here.
Art can either re-affirm or provoke the long-held beliefs of the company members. It is a direct way to re-actualize a corporate identity while endowing it with more robustness and flexibility amid context-shifting environments.
In the fast-paced society we live in today, it is hard to foresee how office space design will develop in the next few years. Nevertheless, the benefits of placing the right kind of art in the office space are timeless. Art makes the office life more dynamic, boosts your company culture, and invigorates your corporate ethos. So while trends may come and go, we know that the very concept of having art at work works and is here to stay.
It’s up to you to select the perfect artwork for your company’s needs, and our mission is to accompany you in making the right choice.