When I joined Dolby two years ago, one of the projects my team and I were most excited to work on was the renovation of our new headquarters in downtown San Francisco. We partnered with our facilities team to plan the building’s visual and physical touchpoints, from the floors to the ceiling finishes to the Carrera marble in the lobby.
Designing all these traditional features and debating which floors got the magenta paint and carpet was a blast. The biggest challenge, though, wasn’t choosing paint colors or staircase designs. It was finding a way to create moments of inspiration for employees and visitors on every floor of our 16-story corporate headquarters. We had three guiding principles: these moments needed to celebrate our past, look toward the future, and reflect our company’s globally diverse culture.
We wanted our new headquarters to embody the spirit and DNA of our company. As Dolby’s first Executive Creative Director, I took the task very seriously. My goal was to produce an environment that would put smiles on the faces of my colleagues when they came to work and make them proud to escort visitors through our new corporate home. I also wanted the finished product to remind us all of why we come to work each day by reinforcing the passion that Dolby employees share—a passion for advancing the science of sight and sound through creativity, innovation, and invention.
Partnering with artists
Throughout our history, we’ve applied our innovations to help creative artists produce extraordinary experiences. From the orchestras that produced hiss-free recordings with our original noise reduction technology to the filmmakers who produce amazing images and audio with Dolby Vision™ and Dolby Atmos®, our closest partners have always been musicians, moviemakers, and other artists.
So it only made sense to turn to artists to help us capture the spirit and values of Dolby in our new building. We’ve commissioned celebrated artists from around the world to create 36 art installations that will live in our new headquarters.
Each of the art installations in our new headquarters is informed by Dolby’s history and our culture. In some cases, the connection is literal, as in a piece based on one of Ray Dolby’s first circuit boards. In other cases, the connection is more allusive, as in a piece in which the artist layers color in the same way musicians layer sound.
We chose artists who are innovative in their own right. Many are using novel technologies to create their projects. Others are making art that engages the viewer in unique and unexpected ways.
This is a very exciting time for our artist collaboration project. All the artists are working hard on their pieces. As we get closer to the official opening of our headquarters this fall, the artists will be leaving their studios to install their final pieces on the walls of our new building. And we’ll be sharing the process with you.
We’ll introduce many of the artists to you through profiles on this blog and through video interviews. You’ll get to see their works take shape through time-lapse and still photography on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram channels. And you can follow updates from the artists themselves by searching for the hashtag #DolbyArt.
I can’t wait to see all the art come alive at our new corporate home—and to see our employees’ reactions to the installations. For the first few weeks, we may all get a little lost in our new surroundings, but I believe that because of the work of these talented artists, we’ll always feel like we’re in the right place.