Acrylicize MAWD Editorial Interview Design Art Interiors

Acrylicize is an art and design studio that uniquely tells the story of a space through a combination of fine art and branding. With studios located in London and New York, Acrylicize's creative process continues to drive the organization's work, even 20 years after its founding.

Who are your typical clients? What are their goals? How do they see art and creative installations as a means to achieve these goals?

Our clients are wide ranging and can include architects and interior designers, developers, public councils, city organizations, or healthcare and hospitality providers. Our work has transformed public squares, corporate offices, bars, restaurants, hotels and stadiums.

Often, our clients are looking to activate a space, to infuse it with identity and personality, and to tell a story. They’re looking to connect people to a particular space or location, but more importantly, connect individuals with each other.

As an example, we’ve worked with a broad range of organizations to transform their office spaces, particularly in response to changes to traditional ways of working post-COVID. What Acrylicize can provide is that visual and experiential connection between employees, brand, and company heritage. In our experience, art is one of the most successful conduits in the sense that it supports creativity among employees in a way that is not easily replicated. Art allows us to be more abstract and tap into the emotional and visceral experience.

Art has an incredible capacity to connect, while breaking down the traditional boundaries that divide us.
Acrylicize MAWD Editorial Interview Design Art Interiors Spotify
Acrylicize for Spotify's Stockholm Office. Installation image courtesy of Acrylicize.

Referring specifically to the workplace, how has the office landscape changed in the past 5, 10, 20 years? Can you describe any major transformations that you have seen?

Within the past 20 years, things have undoubtedly become more design-centric. This shift became visible when tech companies (such as Google) broke away from the traditional office model, leaned into company branding, and personalized the office experience for employees.

More emphasis was placed on making people feel comfortable at their place of work. In offices where individuals could execute their best work, and where exceptional facilities provided the infrastructure for employees to thrive.

In the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to re-evaluate the office. What we’ve learned is that the office is essential. As social beings, offices are fertile grounds through which everything grows. Social spaces cannot always be replicated online. The physical office sets the tone for how we treat each other, how we are inspired by each other, and how we collaborate with one another.

Many of our clients used the pandemic as an opportunity to re-imagine what their offices might look like. In addition to removing endless rows of desks and adding more collaborative spaces, Acrylicize is brought in to transform an office into a full-on articulation of a brand. We use installations to foster real experiences, branding to foster identity, and lay the groundwork for collaboration.

This forever changed what it meant to ‘go into work.’ It was suddenly about community, a branded experience, and having fun.
Acrylicize MAWD Editorial Interview Design Art Interiors Microsoft
Acrylicize for Microsoft's Office. Installation image courtesy of Acrylicize.

Based on your research and insights, what do people want out of their offices? What do you see as the successful markers of an office space?

I believe that the most successful office spaces are those that put their people first. One of the positive impacts that COVID had on work culture was that we said goodbye to the “clock-in, clock-out" standard, and replaced continual monitoring with greater trust and generosity towards staff.

A good office is a space where people feel welcomed and comfortable. It has taken some time for society to accept this, but everyone works differently. Therefore, it’s advantageous when employers diversify workspaces. Some examples include a mix of collaborative desks, Zoom pods, meeting rooms, casual seating, and everything in between.

The office is without a doubt the most apparent manifestation of a company and its culture. This is something that Acrylicize takes pride in. True to our company's ethos, each of our office buildings hosts artist residencies, galleries, and workshops facilities.

Acrylicize MAWD Editorial Interview Design Spotify Art Interiors
Acrylicize for Spotify. Installation image courtesy of Acrylicize.

How does art impact workers, bolster creativity and mood, and strengthen employee connection to the physical office space?

At the most basic level, we are all inherently creative. When we are surrounded by art, we’re in an environment that not only encourages creativity, but provides a different perspective.

When a client decides to work with us, it sends a certain message to their staff. It’s a clear message from leadership that the office matters, and that your company is investing in culture, investing in the team.

Many of the installation projects we work on are either tied to education, or community building. Within a public setting, our team often works with local artists and community groups to build connections to a particular place.

There are numerous studies that show how looking at art can improve problem solving. A similar effect has been documented with color, which can change mood and impact both energy and atmosphere.
Acrylicize MAWD Editorial Interview Design Art Interiors NYC
Acrylicize for Spotify's New York Office. Installation image courtesy of Acrylicize.

This leads in our last question: How does Acrylicize use artwork to connect and bridge communities? Can you provide one example of a project that blends the local with the global?

Our work for Spotify exemplifies this concept well. For the past few years, we have been investigating how Spotify offices worldwide can feel more connected. While each office has been built by a different architect, furnished by local vendors, and separated by vast distances, Acrylicize worked to unite each office through a combination of branding, art and installation.

Each Spotify office received a sculptural installation of drum sticks with a unique audio immersion customized to the office’s location. To complement the installation, Acrylicize created a magazine for Spotify’s staff to share what was happening at each office, whether it be New York, Milan, or Tokyo. In this sense, our team was able to successfully connect offices worldwide, while strengthening branding, and highlighting that local connection.