We recently created an art wall for Microsoft, helping the company tell their stories. Once the event was complete, Microsoft decided to have the installation shipped back to their headquarter campus to feature it permanently. A few weeks ago, we erected a wall at SXSW for ADP, and they made a similar decision—to bring the wall back to the main office and preserve what had been created. I understand that impulse; in fact, I still have the first wall we did—it is stored in my garage. The second, unbeknownst to us, had been kept by the Hyatt Lost Pines Hotel in Austin. Years later, their manager walked a few of us back to their employee training classroom to show us that an entire wall of the room had been transformed with our work and had become part of the hotel’s training program. It is always a stirring moment for our team to learn that a company has decided to keep an art wall we created as a temporary exhibit. These decisions speak to the power of community storytelling.
Every brand has an entire storytelling ecosystem made up of the oral, written, and visual opinions of its stakeholders: customer stories, employee stories, media stories, vendor stories, investor stories, and all the narratives that touch and interact with a brand. What is rare is to have those stories crowdsourced and then reflected back for everyone to see. It’s a powerful moment for an organization and its tribe to see what makes it special. Brilliant even. No wonder people want to save these creations—they capture a moment in time. By saving that moment and bringing it home, the company allows the story to continue every time people see it.
When we build these walls, we start with a box. We invite stakeholders to answer one question in written form and submit those answers anonymously. Once people answer a question—“What scares you?” or “What are you most proud of?”—or some other important question, our artists create an art installation to capture those answers in beautiful, tangible art that can be enjoyed and can be used to spark conversations.
Often, those conversations end up taking brands in new directions or end up lasting much longer than we anticipate.
One of our recent walls at an office space was used to set the organization’s intentions for 2019. Some walls are used to celebrate what a company is doing well. Others reflect back to a community both their hopes and fears for the future. And some get profoundly vulnerable in an effort to tightly bond a community in their humanity. Whatever the approach, we always feel honored to be the artists capturing the individual stories that make up the mosaic of each community.
Are you ready to make your brand’s storytelling ecosystem manifest? Are you prepared to take the needed step to start having transformative conversations with your team? Contact us at RTC to find out how to electrify your next event with an art installation.