This client came to us with the challenge of housing the traditionally offsite R&D team within the executive floor of their new regional headquarters. Imagine google moving into an insurance company. Two worlds colliding. But approached with intention, the idea was a purposeful contrast that could spark collaboration, inspire discovery and resonate with clients and employees throughout the region. The space was designed to harness creativity and be a workshop for forward-thinking and people “breaking it till they made it”. Solving complex problems in ways that have not been done before and being the difference needed to compete in today’s market would be the focus of this Experience Center.
To differentiate the Experience Center from the rest of the floor there needed to be a clear demarcation that something extraordinary was happening on the other side of these glass walls. When researching artists for the project we wanted an artist who would push the boundaries, pivot at a moment’s notice and collaborate with some of the nation’s brightest innovators. Painting on glass is not an easy task. The artist would have to go through trial and error to get it right.
We came to the artist, Mike Johnston, with the concept of exploring. How could what was happening in the space be translated to a wide audience, inspire creativity, and represent all the states of the region (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas) inside the overall concept. We collaborated to present several images of explorers: the backpacker, looking into the future, an interactive astronaut discovering new worlds, and divers combing the deep seas.
The Experience Center is enclosed by 88′ of glass walls and sliding doors. We tied in the four main focal points with images and patterns that supported this idea of exploration and constant movement. The sliding doors create excitement and bring the characters to life whenever employees open or shut a door. The hidden ‘Easter eggs’ representing each state are placed throughout and include a Broad-winged hawk for OK, the Magnolia flower for LA, Longhorn for TX, and the Apple blossom flower for AR. It is impossible to deny the creative energy that encloses this space and sets the tone for what happens inside its walls.