Workplace | Technology

LinkedIn

Sunnyvale, CA

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Designing with purpose and visualizing community connections

LinkedIn partnered with ArtLifting to activate company values at their office in Sunnyvale. To achieve the goal of integrating company values into the workplace, LinkedIn acquired 15 original artworks for display in common areas.

The artwork is accompanied by signage and plaques detailing the community connections and the artists' stories. Michael Banut, Creative Lead at LinkedIn, partnered with ArtLifting to create environmental graphics celebrating the artwork and alignment with the value “relationships matter.”

The display of original artwork, entitled “Connectivity: Networks Made Visible” draws attention to the intention behind the acquisitions to support artists impacted by disabilities and housing insecurity, many of whom are California residents. 

In designing the workplace environment, creating an art program featuring ArtLifting artwork provided meaningful connections to the local community of artists with disabilities, uniting the environment with LinkedIn’s people-centered ideals.

“If values are the foundation of a company, then why not use our values to create the company’s space”


-Mikhael Banut, Creative Lead, LinkedIn

“Selling to LinkedIn made me feel pride and validation. I often tell people that I have sold to LinkedIn. It allowed me to pay medical payments, dental work, and other necessities. It also allowed me to buy art supplies to keep creating.”


-Tim Strouss, former ArtLifting artist

Interview with Mikhael Banut

Mikhael Banut is the Creative Lead at LinkedIn who spearheaded the collaboration with ArtLifting at LinkedIn’s Sunnyvale office. ArtLifting co-founder and CEO, Liz Powers, spoke with Mikhael to learn about his work at LinkedIn, his design principles, and how ArtLifting supports his vision.

How did you get the role you have and what is your day-to-day like?


When I started at LinkedIn, I was designing applications for our spaces. I graduated with an art degree, so I had a real appreciation for the arts. Once I had the opportunity here at LinkedIn to start designing, they gave me another opportunity to start creating environmental graphics, and I now manage that program. I work with all the LinkedIn spaces around the world.

What inspires your design process?


What inspires me is making the connection with the local talent and showcasing them in our spaces. Part of that comes from my personal knowledge of how challenging it is to get your foot in the door as an artist and showcase your artwork.

What made you decide to work with ArtLifting?


I went through the website and saw the artwork, a lot of which was really amazing. I wanted to see how we could incorporate that into our space and showcase some of that work. Plus, I connected with the stories behind the art. 

That’s how we try to design our spaces; start with the story and grow from there. It’s tied into the foundation of design, as most of our designing is based on our culture and our values. With the art program, it’s a way for us to reach out locally and provide opportunities in different regions.

Do you see that as a growing trend right now?


I know that the values within a company are very important. If you could use art as some reminder of what our values are, then there’s a huge platform on every wall to showcase that. If values are the foundation of a company, then why not use our values to create the company’s space

What do you see as the benefit of having subtle designs showing values?


Thinking of it in that way, it gives us more flexibility. So for example, if our value is a specific phrase, without using that phrase directly, that shows how the value can blend into any situation. So it’s more of a way to align ourselves.

How does ArtLifting fit into your belief that values can be shown in a multitude of ways within a company environment?


At LinkedIn, ‘relationships matter’ is one of our values, so building relationships is important. LinkedIn is a platform for people to connect to opportunity. When we are providing that opportunity, it’s a device to build deeper relationships. When we find artists like yours and they are trying to make a living or do something that they are passionate about, I’m totally on board supporting that.

Why did you choose the works of ArtLifting artists for the LinkedIn office?


We’ve always wanted to showcase local artists in our spaces, and what better way to do that than with someone with an inspiring story who is still passionate about art after going through hardships. We purchased a series of artwork from local ArtLifting artists in the Bay Area for the new office in Sunnyvale.

What’s been the reaction from LinkedIn employees?


I do have people come up to me who are curious and want to know what ArtLifting is about. That’s why we have the plaque, to be able to show the story. It’s always about the story.

What value does ArtLifting bring to its clients?


I think you guys have a really great service going. There are plenty of walls out there and a lot of people who want to get involved in something like ArtLifting. We’re at work all the time and with ArtLifting art you can bring the gallery to that space. That’s powerful.

Images

  1. Seven paintings hang on walls in a hallway in an office.
  2. Three paintings hanging on white wall: Tim's Dream by Tim Strouss, Bright Eyes and Dancin Feet by Judi (JMW)
  3. Two paintings hanging on a white wall: Bubbly Creek 3 by William Douglas, Safari & Peacocks by Mia Brown

Let's talk about art!

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Artwork by Allen Chamberland as wallcoverings in a long hallway.

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Four people viewing a mural by artist Madison Elyse Rubenstein located at Harvard iLab in Boston.