Art works: spotlight on Deustche Bank’s corporate art collection

With nearly 60,000 artworks spread across 40 countries and 900 offices, Deutsche Bank's Art Works is the biggest collection of corporate art in the world.

The German investment bank's global art program was launched in the late 1970s and has since become an integral part of Deutsche Bank's values.

The bank's 'Art Works' collection includes works on paper, photographs, canvases, sculptures and video installations displayed in several bank offices. In addition, Deutsche Bank also enables access to contemporary art in five permanent exhibition spaces in Frankfurt, London, New York, Tokyo and Milan, each with its own philosophy.

But what is the driving force behind this artistic enterprise? Why are Deutsche Bank and other industry titans like J.P. Morgan or UBS (according to a 2016 Forbes magazine article, the UBS art collection amounts to 35,000 works) putting such an emphasis on corporate art?

Cashflow installation in Deutsche Bank
Cashflow by Olaf Metzel, Deutsche Bank Collection in Frankfurt. Image courtesy of Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank said it: Art works. Art fosters innovation. Art is an intellectual asset which has a positive influence on employees. Art sparks conversations and promotes critical thinking. Art helps support local and emerging artists.

When located in high-traffic common areas like lift lobbies and reception areas, art can also convey a message and give businesses a competitive advantage. It can impress customers and boost sales all the while bringing something new to the table.

Deutsche Bank even has an interactive app which gives employees more information about the works they are looking as well as an “Arthothek”, a place where people can seek expert advice on choosing artwork for the workplace. The bank also hosts talks by artists and curates an online contemporary art magazine, ArtMag.

floral wallpaper inside Deutsche Bank in Taipei
Michael Lin, Untitled, 2010. Deutsche Bank Collection. © Michael Lin/Eslite Gallery, Taipei 2010

To further support the art economy and promote contemporary artists, Deutsche Bank also elects an "Artist of the Year". The award is given on the recommendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council which consists of renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Victoria Noorthoorn.

This year, South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere is Deutsche Bank's new "Artist of the Year" 2017. He will present his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin in spring 2017.

Kemang Wa Lehulere Artist of the year 2017
Kemang Wa Lehulere, Deutsche Bank 

Aside from its aesthetic appeal, corporate art makes sounds business sense too. To quote Alex Heath, managing director at International Art Consultants:

“A momentary distraction is definitely not a bad thing in the workplace. Art has historically always been about escape, and we all need is an escape sometimes.”

12 harmonics in deutsche bank reception
12 Harmonics by Keith Tyson in Deutsche Bank London. Photograph: Deutsche Bank
conceptual art at work
The Gates, Project for Central Park, NYC, 2003 by Christo. All works Deutsche Bank Collection.
Collection of artwork inside Deutsche Bank
Shirakami #1, #3, #5, #7, 2008 by Tokihiro Sato. All works Deutsche Bank Collection
Deutsche Bank London reception art by Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst
Art by Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst in Deutsche Bank London's reception area. Deutsche Bank

Coloured concrete in public spaces: a tale of warmth and character

Coloured concrete exudes warmth and character, both essential qualities to consider when designing public spaces.


Dick Bruna House, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Photo by Douglas Johnston

Concrete doesn't always imply gray and cold. It can in fact take on a wide range of chromatic, textural and emotional complexions that elevate the aesthetic qualities of a building. From pastel hues to vibrant tones, we take a look at several public buildings that have used coloured concrete to brighten up the space.

Coloured concrete offers the same durable characteristics associated with normal concrete but with the added vibrancy and character of colour. It is a great way to make a statement, whether it be inside or out, and can be used to highlight the monolithic character of a building or draw attention to a striking office reception.

From accent walls to floor treatment, dyed concrete is sure to make a great impression. But how exactly does it work?

International accommodation centre for the oceanological observatory in Banyuls-sur-Mer, France. By Atelier Fernandez & Serres 

Perhaps the most subtle way to colour concrete is to blend various aggregates into it - natural stones like bazalt or lava, glass, broken brick or slag can all be used as aggregates.

Another way to dye concrete is through glazing. Coloured glazing lends concrete a transparent hue and, depending on the level of dilution, colours can become particularly intense. Unlike aggregates, the glaze remains on the surface layer and even though it has to be renewed after some time, it still acts as a protective barrier from the elements.

If you want colour throughout the full depth of the concrete, not just on the surface, you need to add a pigment. The most common hues, as conveyed in our selection, are red and ochre tones, but violet, brown, black and green are all possible, albeit more expensive due to the nature of the pigments needed.

Covolo di Pederobba Nursery School Building, Treviso, Italy. By C+S ASSOCIATI

Architects use coloured concrete to express metaphorical concepts or convey certain emotions through colour and rich textures. This is why we think dyed concrete would also be a great strategic tool in commercial real estate where first impressions need to be curated.

Take a look at our selection and imagine... Where in your office could you use coloured concrete? What part of your office reception could be brought to life with colour? Let us know on Twitter.

Wine-cellars in Picon, Ciudad Real. By S-M.A.O

MSCP — Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. By BOB Design

Coloured concrete lintel bar in Nando’s Sauchiehall Street, Scotland. By STAC Architecture

Pigmented concrete bar for Scroll Ice Cream's flagship store in Melbourne shopping centre. By One Design Office and Studio Twocan


Image Credit: Robert Orchardson, Endless façade, installation views, Courtesy of Contemporary Art Gallery. Photo: Scott Massey

10-Cal-Tower-The-Labyrinth -Photographer-Wison-Tungthunya .jpg
10 Cal Tower - The Labyrinth, a red concrete public installation in Bangasen, Thailand. By Supermachine studio. Photo by Wison Tungthunya

Northern Lighting: minimalist lamps for the common areas of your office

The lighting scheme you choose in the common areas of your office, be it the reception or the waiting room, can make a world of difference for your tenants.

scandinavian style floor lamp for the common areas of your office
Oslo Wood, designed by Ove Rogne. Photography: Chris Tonnesen

Lighting in commons areas can be flexible, adjustable, direct or indirect; it can be subtle just as much as it can be the centrepiece of a space. It all depends on the activities and needs you will be catering to.

Does your reception include a waiting area? Could you turn this into a micro-living room, complete with an inviting sofa and a striking floor lamp? Could your breakout space benefit from a well-lit reading nook or a set of informal meeting spaces?

Curating what goes into the common areas of your workspace can make a world of difference for your tenants. 

How do you decide on what lighting scheme to go for?

minimalist ceiling light
Above, the light you can look up to. Designed Morten & Jonas. Photograph: Chris Tonnesen

The key to curating an office reception, breakout area or even a lift lobby, is to have a leitmotif, an cohesive overarching theme that will tie everything together. In this article, our theme is minimalism – Scandinavian style.

As their name indicates, Northern Lighting products draw inspiration from the functional minimalism ingrained in Scandinavian design. Smart, elegant and easy on the eyes, Northern Lighting lamps bridge the gap between aesthetics and functionality and bring something new to every space they sit in.

From pendant lights, through floor lamps, to wall lights and even table lamps, they are designed to enhance the quality of ambient light. No harsh, neon lights to repel prospects off. Northern Lighting is all about soft, diffused lighting that creates a soothing yet striking environment, perfect for those who wish to make a statement from the onset.

Diva floor oak lamp
Diva, designed by Peter Natedal & Thomas Kalvatn Egset. Photograph: Colin Eick

Northern Lighting came to life in Oslo in 2005, and its products are crafted in collaboration with designers from all corners of the world. This diversity is well reflected in the range of forms and styles they offer yet somehow, every single design is guided by the same Scandinavian minimalism.

Whether you want to illuminate your reception area with elegance and style, uplift the dull corridors of your office or class up your breakout spaces, we believe Northern Lighting will help you achieve that minimalist high-end look.

We're definitely inspired. Are you?

Opening photo: Dokka, designed by Birger Dahl. Photograph: Colin Eick

Why should your office reception feature a living wall?

Wood-panelled office reception features living wall

An office receptions that features a green wall will not only set your space apart, it will also speak to the green tenant.

It is a well-known fact that being around nature reduces stress. Ironically, it is also a well-known fact that an overwhelming majority of us spend most of our days stuck inside, bathed in the wonderful blue light of our computers.

But what if you could get the best of both worlds by bringing the outside in to liven up the common spaces of your office?

office reception with living wall
A vertical garden serves as backdrop to the reception. Photo by jingdianjiaju2

Living walls are not new, in fact, variations of them have existed for centuries, from the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the ‘climbing plants’ phenomenon in the beginning of the twentieth century.

Today, they are also known as green walls, vertical gardens or Vegetated Complex Walls (VCW) and they have been growing in popularity ever since renowned French botanist Patrick Blanc invented the modern concept of the vertical garden (Mur Végétal).

office lobby with green walls
Dynamic green wall in the office reception of high-tech company Verint. Settler Architects

Green walls have been around for a while. But what about indoor living walls? Far from ubiquitous in the workplace, living walls remain on the rise and are guaranteed to liven up your office reception, lift lobby or or breakout area. 

And the benefits don't stop there. A green wall at the office makes for a healthier environment by regulating humidity levels and improving air quality. Not only that, it can also increase the property value of your office by conveying a modern and forward-thinking image.

That's not all.

office lobby boasts green wall
A touch of nature in Microsoft's Vienna HQ. INNOCAD Architekur

Vertical gardens can also improve the acoustics of a room. Just like exterior living walls dampen the noise pollution in busy cities, indoor living walls have significant sound insulation potential.

Of course, living walls can also be great marketing tools to promote a sustainable image that will speak directly to the green customer.

The impact of vertical gardens in your office reception is significant, but what if you were to introduce some greenery in your office washroom?

Living walls and restrooms are an almost unheard of combination and yet, commercial washrooms could benefit a lot from improved air quality and regulated humidity levels. Such progressive, ecological feature is also bound to increase the property value of an office space.

Think about it.

Washroom countertops: top 4 surface materials for your high-end office

From marble, through Corian, all the way to concrete, washroom countertops are an essential ingredient for a high-end office washroom that wants to impress.

Choosing the right countertop for your office washroom can be daunting and the abundance of choice doesn't help matters.

How do you stand out in a sea of options? What surface will best tell your story? Is Corian tougher than natural stone? And what about concrete?

Before we go into detail about which surface materials are best suited to your commercial washroom, ask yourself why? Why do you want to upgrade your current washroom? What needs to be improved and what is the end-goal? Are you looking to increase the property value of your office? Is your objective to impress prospects and stand out from the crowd? What are your aesthetic aspirations and practical needs?

luxury washroom in Melbourne office
High-end washroom inside PDG's Melbourne head office, by Studio Tate

Now that you have your 'why', let's find your 'how'. How is upgrading your office washroom going to help your business? If it's about property value, how can you turn your office into a Class A office space, complete with top notch fixtures and amenities? How can you convey luxury?

When designing a commercial bathroom, functionality and style go hand in hand. And although there is a lot more to a washroom than the countertop, the latter remains an integral component that will often tie the various elements together.

Here's a closer look at the top 4 surface materials for your office washroom countertops.

1. Marble

marble countertops in New York washroom
Marble countertops at 222 East 41st Offices, New York City. Photographer: Ricardo Parra

Long-associated with wealth and elegance, marble is a top choice for premium office washrooms. With its hard, crystalline surface and characteristic swirls and veins, marble will certainly meet both your functional and aesthetic needs.


  • Long-lasting and resistant to most dents.
  • The abundance of colours and varieties make it a very adaptable material.
  • Can be polished or honed, depending on the desired look. Bare in mind honed marble resists scratches better because it lacks the gloss that polished marble has.


  • A high price to pay for luxury.
  • Higher maintenance.
  • Marble is more porous than other surfaces which makes it prone to stains and scratches from acidic substances.

2. Corian

white washroom with corian countertops
Glacier White Corian® counters inside the White Grotto washroom, designed by Ida & Billy

Solid-surface materials such as Corian are made of minerals and acrylic which creates a stone-hard surface, designed to last a lifetime. What's more, despite its hard nature, Corian can be formed into almost any shape.


  • Extreme durability and great resistance to water and bacteria.
  • Virtually seamless.
  • Its realistic flecks and streaks can be highlighted with colour inlays and lighting effects.


  • You will need to seek professional help to install.
  • Darker colours reveal wear and tear more than lighter shades.
  • Intense heat or dropped objects can damage the surface, although neither of these this should not be an issue in commercial washrooms.

3. Concrete

concrete washroom basin
Customised concrete countertop with embedded copper flakes, by Lampe Concrete Studio in CA, United States

No longer synonymous with industrial, cold looks, concrete countertops can be moulded in one seamless piece, making your bathroom countertop a visually striking feature.


  • Appealing organic material that can mimic the look of natural stone achieved through acid staining.
  • Ceramic, glass or stone tiles can be embedded in the concrete and the surface can be etched to give it a pattern or texture. Customised colours and decorative inlays are also in store.
  • Can be cast in any shape and virtually any size.
  • Extremely durable.


  • Just like Corian, professional installation is recommended.
  • If not waxed and sealed regularly, concrete counters will be prone to stains. Avoid this by sealing your countertop at the beginning, then every 1-3 years.

4. Glass

office washroom with glass countertops
Minimalist glass countertop set against a concrete wall. Photo credit: Iconoclassst

Sleek, modern and well-suited to high-end corporate businesses, glass countertops come in all shapes and forms and boast a range of textures, finishes and colours.


  • Design flexibility. Bespoke applications are almost limitless.
  • Since glass is non-porous, it will not harbour germs and bacteria.
  • The ability to light up glass makes it a distinctive advantage for those who wish to impress. The translucency of glass also helps make a small bathroom look larger.


  • Less resistant that natural stone or granite, although it is useful to remember, the thicker the glass, the stronger it is. For a stronger surface, you can also opt for tempered glass.
  • Just like marble, acidic substances can damage the glass surface.

Republic interviews Ted Jefferis

Built on a desire to display the natural beauty of wood, Ted Jefferis' furniture imparts organic, artisanal beauty.

Ted's family history is ingrained with design and woodwork heritage. The son of a classic boat builder, Ted took up studying at Oxford Brookes University, where he began to explore the concept of furniture as a scaled down form of architecture. His collection continues the appreciation of the fundamental relationship between furniture and the surrounding interior.

Furniture designer maker Ted Jefferis is fastidious in his selection of wood, and using sustainably grown British wood is a simple yet elegant solution to locking away carbon for generations to come. It is Ted's fond hope that, through his work. He will emphasise and encourage sustainability, permanency and narrative, creating a counterbalance to the throwaway culture of modern society.

We reached out to Ted who shared a thing or two about his creative process and professed his love for British Hardwoods.

I genuinely think British Hardwoods are some of the most beautiful in the world.

BoltUp side tables, TedWood

Republic (Re): Can you start by telling us a little bit about your background and talk us through your creative process?

Ted Jefferis (TJ): I grew up surrounded by woodlands and my dad was a carpenter. This has undoubtedly affected my love for timber as a natural material. I often design things at the workbench, through prototyping. This doesn't mean I don’t use pencil and paper or CAD, but I just like to see things take shape in physical materials.

tiptoe table designed by Ted Jefferis
TipToe table, TedWood

Re: You only use sustainable British hardwoods – clearly, sustainability is at the crux of your work. What else are you interested in or inspired by and how is it feeding into your designs?

TJ: Sustainability is key, however, I genuinely think British Hardwoods are some of the most beautiful in the world, so it makes a lot of sense to use them. I'm also interested in CNC manufacture, I think that as a craftsman I need to embrace this technology in order to enrich my process. It also enables my relatively small workshop to produce a higher volume of furniture.

Tipetoe table in the making in TedWood workshops
BoltUp stool in the making, TedWood

Re: Timber is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to traditional steel and concrete construction. I imagine this must be as exciting for you as it is for us. How do you think can furniture be used to promote sustainability on a smaller scale?

TJ: In the construction industry, cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a driving force behind the resurgence in timber as a load bearing material. CLT is the same technology that we use in the legs of our TipToe collection. People often mistake the legs for metal: it just shows how strong wood can be.

Story coffee cafe in Clapham
TipToe collection quietly sitting in Story Coffee café, Clapham. TedWood 

Re: Your furniture is so versatile it would fit in almost any interior but is there a sector you feel particularly drawn to? Or a sector you would like to explore further?

TJ: The collection from TedWood was defiantly intended for residential homes. However, over the past three and a half years, I have changed my attitude to this. We have fitted out an entire coffee shop with our furniture (Story Coffee - Clapham) and have just finished our first office interior. I like the scale of projects like this, somehow the furniture makes more sense when it is multiplied across a whole interior.

hangup lamp made from leather
HangUp lamp close up, TedWood

Re: We know your mother does the leather work. Did you create the leather lighting collection together? Will you tell us a little more about your collaboration and how it began?

TJ: Mum is an excellent leatherworker, and can hand stitch with incredible accuracy. She makes our ToolBags, BoatBuckets and some leatherwork for bespoke projects. The lights are made in my workshop and are defiantly inspired by Mum’s work but are made in a way that avoids this time-consuming hand stitching process. Because I am trained as a carpenter, working with leather is very satisfying, for me there are no rules with leather (because I am not traditionally trained) so I am free to just mess around!

Tiptoe desk by Ted Jefferis
TipToe desk, BoltUp side table and HangUp lamp, TedWood

Re: What are you working on right now and what are your plans for 2017?

TJ: We are just finishing a very interesting interiors project for a private client that includes a staircase, a lot of furniture and even some door handles! I am also working on a new furniture collection that we will be launching at Design Junction during the London Design Festival. This is alongside a new leather lighting collection, so just a couple of things going on!

Ted Jefferis in his workshop
Ted & Humphrey. Credit: creative CoOp

Artists like Ted Jefferis are the reason why we love collaborating with makers and artisans. If you would like Ted's exquisite furniture to feature in your next Republic project, get in touch - we'll be glad to meet over coffee.

In the meantime, take a peek into his workshop in Sussex by following his instagram page. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter

Opening photo: TedWood Workshop, Ted Jefferis 

The world’s happiest offices: 5 secrets for a cool office

An office is so much more than four walls and an array of desks – for many of us, it is a second home.

In honour of International Day of Happiness, we take a look at the world's happiest offices and ask ourselves – what makes a cool office? Does location matter? Is office furniture as important as the space it inhabits?  

Although it can be argued that the concept of "cool" can be very subjective, there remain several features you can incorporate into your office to make it a fun place to work in. So where do you start?

1. Vibrant colours

Bright colours have always been synonymous with fun but the key to a cool office is, of course, balance. Opt for accent walls or colourful furniture to highlight a certain area, aspect or piece of furniture of your office. From your office reception, through a metal staircase, to design furniture, a pop of colour can go a long way.

Capital One Bank office in San Francisco, by Studio O+A
Colourful café space at advertising agency 22squared in Tampa, Florida. By ASD|SKY 
Prezi office with a breakout space
Prezi's office in San Francisco features a fun breakout area with stadium-like seating. By Gensler

2. Green walls

living wall inside Facebook's Tel Aviv office
Facebook offices in Tel Aviv, by Setter Architects

Being around nature is soothing. Working in an office, not always. That's why more and more offices are bringing the outside in by incorporating living walls in your office.  Businesses who embrace vertical gardens in common areas such as office receptions and breakout areas are likely to increase productivity and wellbeing. 

etsy office green wall
Etsy offices in Brooklyn, New York boasts green walls and colourful art. By Gensler. Credit: Garrett Rowland
Breakout space inside Google Budapest office
Google offices in Budapest, by Graphasel Design Studio. Photography: Attila Balázs

3. Fun furniture

What better way to convey happiness than to opt for versatile furniture that is also functional and ergonomic? Office furniture is no longer solely focused on desks and swivelling chairs – on the contrary. It is now all about innovative, modular furniture items that embrace the idea of fun and blend it with the practical.

fun furniture for laptop workers
Airbnb's office in Portland, Oregon features custom-made furniture built for laptop users. By Bora Architects. Photography: Jeremy Bittermann
cool office storage space for stools
Design slot wall for storing stools in Ekimetrics office breakout area, Paris. By Vincent & Gloria Architects
cool pods inside the Google office in Sydney
Relaxing pods in Google's office in Sydney, by Futurespace

4. (Not so) corporate art

Art in the workplace often speaks to the company's values and personality. As such, the rule is simple: if you want to be perceived as a cool, young and vibrant company, start by introducing some fun art in your office. Office murals, art installations and even a lego wall can make the difference between a dull office and one that gives off positive vibes.

office mural inside WeWork Soho
Hustle Mural by Jeremiah Britton, inside WeWork Soho's office
cool office with decorative helmets
Inside Grupo CP offices in Mexico. By Space Arquitetura

5. Games

 Work hard, play harder. The presence of a game room is increasingly becoming necessary if an office is to be qualified as cool. A pool table, a foosball table, a swing and a pouffe or two wouldn't go amiss. More than breakout areas that are more synonymous of relaxed shared workspaces and impromptu meetings, game rooms are there to boost productivity by allowing for a little moment of fun-filled reprieve. If that doesn't make a happy office, then what does?

game room at TripAdvisor's office
TripAdvisor headquarters, by Baker Design Group. Photography: Robert Benson
Game room inside Prezi San Francisco office
Game room inside Prezi's office, San Francisco. By Gensler 
Cool office with a swing in Budapest
Fun swing inside Google Budapest' s office. By Graphasel Design Studio

A vertical garden to grow vegetables at work? Yes please.

grow vegetables at the office

Growing organic products at the office has never been so easy with wall-mounted Herbert, a mini vertical garden for your breakout area.

Herbert is an innovative product that will quickly revolutionise the breakout area of your office. More than a green wall, Herbert is a smart wall-mounted garden that can host up to 15 plants. 

This effortless gardening system lets you grow organic food from the comfort of your own office, be it fresh salad every 4-5 days, herbs or even strawberries.

Originally designed for the home, we think Herbert would also be a great fit for the breakout area of your cool office. 

Herbert mini vertical garden to grow your own vegetables

Simple, clean and efficient, Herbert is the brainchild of Ponix Systems and was funded on Kickstarter within 6 hours.

How does it work? Rather than cultivating plants in soil, the hydroponic gardening system uses a nutrient solution to grow your products. All you have to do is put a seed into one of the biodegradable sponges (also used by NASA), and place it in Herbert. Add water and bio mineral fertilizer to the tank and watch your food grow. As simple as putting a coffee capsule into your Nespresso machine.

instructions on how to grow your own vegetables at the office

From lettuce, through basil, to chilis, this mini-vertical garden allows you to grow organic vegetables, fruits and herbs at the office. Herbert is available in beechwood or poplar wood and is guaranteed to bring a splash of colour to your office.

What's more, there is a free app for Android and iOS that will guide you through the growing process and allow you to adjust your lighting settings to suit your needs.

watch your plants grow
vertical vegetable garden for the office
fresh vegetables at work

7 reasons why you should start a corporate art collection

There is a reason why larger businesses have a corporate art collection. From financial benefits to marketing opportunities, art in the workplace can go a long way. 

Corporate art collections are hardly a new concept. It all started with banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller, the father of modern corporate art collecting. In the late 1950s, Rockefeller decided that longtime family-associated Chase Manhattan Bank should start acquiring art. 

Rockefeller began a trend where art transcended decoration and became a means of communication with the public. Today, the JPMorgan Chase Art collection is one of the oldest and largest corporate art collections in the world.

JP Morgan corporate art collection
J.P Morgan Chase Art Collection. Credit: Paris Photo

The list of financial institutions with an impressive corporate art collection also includes Deutsche Bank, UBS and Bank of America.

Why are such industry giants investing in corporate art? The reasons are manifold.

1. Investment in culture

Businesses may get involved in an art program by sponsoring or commissioning art. Companies can also organise art events to engage with new target audiences and get closer to customers and the community in general.

2. Strong company image

Art increases the corporate image among the public as well as its stakeholders. It conveys vision and drive. Having art, particularly modern art, implies a forward-thinking corporation with a positive attitude.

Duchy of Lancaster corporate art collection
Duchy of Lancaster, corporate art collection. Credit: Workplace Art

3. Boosting sales

 Companies that have art in the workplace are perceived as influential, sophisticated and trustworthy. To put it differently, a corporate art collection is bound to impress customers, which in turn, will lead to an increase in sales.

4. Business competitive advantage

Business companies, especially financial institutions like Deutsche Bank, can put their art knowledge to good use and offer art 'buy and sell' consultancy services to their customers.

microsoft art collection
Katz Frey, Microsoft Art Collection. Credit: Michael Klein Arts

5. Corporate hospitality

Art in the workplace lightens the mood. It creates a nice work environment, peppered with personality and, if the genre suits the business, humour.

6. Supporting the art community

By investing in art, whether it be local or international, companies are openly supporting the community. Businesses with limited budgets can start with the works of younger, less-established artists. Conversely, bigger companies can and should start big, then choose newer artists whose work points to the future.

Wall street company with corporate art collection
Sciame office, 14 Wall Street. Corporate art collection featuring artist Derek Fordjour. Photo via Real Art Muse

7. Enhanced productivity

Happier employees tend to be more productive and an increase in productivity can soon lead to an increase in profits. Having art in the workplace increases creativity and efficiency, making for an enhanced work environment.

According to a 2013 research by the British Council for Offices, 61% of workers agree that artwork inspires them to think and work more creatively.

Opening photo: Deutsche Bank, "Art Works"

How can beacons help you manage a smarter office?


Improved experiences and innovative navigation systems – the smarter office is underway thanks to tiny devices called beacons.

This post is the first of a three-part series on workplace innovations.

Beacons have already percolated into high-traffic spaces like airports, museums, stadiums and even retail stores. In recent years, this Bluetooth smart technology has also expanded to the workplace with many companies jumping on the bandwagon.

What are beacons?

Beacons are small, low-cost, low-powered devices that can be used to deliver location-aware, context-aware messages. They can be likened to small computers which broadcast radio signal. Those signal are, in turn, picked up and interpreted by your phone. Personalized content is then displayed as a notification on your screen. Nearby screens can also be used to display relevant information.

There are several major beacon hardware on the market: Estimote, Gimbal, Gelo, Glimworm, BlueSense, and Kontakt. Among these, Estimote is one of the most well-known manufacturers.

location beacons for a smart office

How can beacons help you manage a smarter office?


Larger office spaces are trickier to navigate and beacons can remedy to that by guiding new guests or prospects to a particular room, thus cutting a lot of wasted time.


Beacons can help identify high and low-traffic areas in your office. In large offices, in particular, gathering location data of all employees can help you determine which areas are more used than others. This information can be shared with, say, the lighting department to help you run a greener office.

proximity beacons estimote

Office layout

Based on the location data of employees, you could design a smarter office, tweak desk layouts based on where staff actually moves around at work.

Office management

Beacons can facilitate booking conference rooms in busy offices. For this application, beacons must be installed at the entrance of every conference room and employees need to install an app on their phones. Based on information from the beacons, employees can check if the room is free, and book accordingly, or, if already occupied, find out when the meeting will be over.

estimote beacon

Check out the next post on Workplace Innovations, featuring high-tech Ketra lighting.