How Art Can Reflect Your Company Culture

Muros client Allsteel, a company that designs premium furnishings and architectural products for a wide range of environments, including workplaces, recently completed an exciting mural project in the company’s New York City showroom. Natalie Murray, Director of Marketing at Allsteel, talks about the project and what it means to the brand and its customers in this edition of Sketchpad. 

Allsteel has been around for more than a hundred years, and over that time, we’ve continuously evolved to meet changing customer needs. As workplace planners rethink their spaces for the post-pandemic future, we’re there for them, helping customers not just get back to work but to work inspired.  

To spark that inspiration, Allsteel has showrooms nationwide that are designed to activate workplace planning in a physical way through touch, feel and visual elements. Today, company culture is front and center as people redesign workplaces to deliver a better experience. So, what does that look like?

Allsteel gutted and renovated our New York City showroom this year, giving us an opportunity to use art in a new way that would reflect changing company cultures. The art in the old space was understated and didn’t inspire conversation. Post-renovation, we made a conscious choice to go bold and create a space that would spark dialogue. 

Art that Creates a Permission Structure for Necessary Conversations
The Allsteel team worked with Muros to define the statement we wanted to make with art in the new showroom space and found an artist to create the vision. Like many workplaces, we have a heightened awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion, and envisioned a mural that would express our company’s values.

Another objective was to reflect our New York City location, a natural melting pot for culture. We wanted to celebrate diverse voices and opinions and create a permission structure for necessary conversations. We applied our tagline, don’t just work — work inspired, to the project, asking artists to demonstrate what inspires them.

New York City muralist OGMillie won us over with her inspirational vision that captures the city’s grit, vibrancy and fierce determination. OGMillie is the street name for Kamille Ejerta, an incredibly talented Street-Pop artist who is visually impaired and whose work can be found throughout the Tri-State area. 

The mural OGMillie created in our New York showroom brought a different lens into the space, offering an alternative view. It’s not only bold, but also provocative and inspiring. The art creates a focal point that brings new ideas and energy into the showroom while sparking conversation, just as we’d hoped. 

Art that Inspires Can Bring Us Back Together
As we reimagine what it means to work inspired going forward, one thing won’t change: an environment that inspires, pushes us forward together. Every business experienced the pandemic in a unique way. We shared loss and hardship, but it didn’t fall evenly, which is part of the conversation we need to have. 

When we return to workplaces and transition to new hybrid configurations, art can help us put our company cultures back together by carving out spaces for those important conversations. If that feels risky, maybe it’s time to ask why, because silence and returning to old habits is the greater risk. 

Thinking about workplace design and how to bring out the best in people can inspire us to appreciate how interrelated that potential is. That’s one lesson 2020 taught us as it emptied office and school buildings and converted kitchen tables into makeshift workstations and school desks. 

Art in all of its forms has the potential to bring us back together, reflect our company culture and create the experiences that drive inspiration. Furnishings, textiles and architectural elements can combine with art to create spaces that feel personal — more like home. And that can be inspiring! 

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