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    Art Marks the Spot

    Landmark Artwork at Expedia

    Art Marks the Spot

    In any environment, landmarks play a key role in navigation and establishing a sense of place. These distinct features - like murals, fountains, scenic walkways, street markets, and public installations - go beyond things like buildings, roads, and signage as anchors. They help mark your location while also expressing the identity, culture, and story of the place.  

    Expedia Group’s new Seattle campus is similar to a city in many ways, organized using geographical and urban features. As part of a new wayfinding system for the campus, we incorporated mural artwork – custom, crowdsourced, and commissioned – into architectural features at key decision making points. Across grand staircases and main walkways, these memorable and identifiable graphics serve as landmarks, aiding in wayfinding and expressing the company’s culture.

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    Landmark murals at the facility’s south entry and at two spiral staircases along Main Street – the primary spine of the interior workspace – examine how travel changes our perspectives highlighting both our shared and unique experiences. Travel photography taken by Expedia Group employees was used as the base for each design, highlighting the value of exploration within Expedia’s teams and the diverse experiences of each person on them.

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    Working with Expedia Group’s marketing team, the criteria for this artwork was set: be memorable, unique, and recognizable, while reinforcing the company’s mission to “bring the world within reach.”  

    Three multi-story landmark murals are also located along the Art Walk – a pathway through three of the main buildings connected by a series of bridges. Ethan Murrow, an artist specializing in drawings and site-specific projects, was hired to create three unique murals at each of the central staircases, spanning the staircases’ three floors. Because the interiors of the connected buildings are very similar, the murals help the staircases stand out, further aiding navigation, identifying the individual buildings, and enriching placemaking.

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    At the campus’s Market Hall, artwork is integrated into signage and graphic elements throughout the dining space. Working with hospitality firm AvroKO and Seattle-based illustrator and tattoo artist Kyler Martz, we developed icon designs to represent each food stall alongside a Market Hall entry identification piece. Each icon is a mash-up of an animal and an object existing in a different “horizon,” and both pull from same inspiration of “shifting perspectives” found in the mural art.

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    The result: traversing the Expedia Group campus feels natural and engaging. Artwork creates a sense of place, working in tandem with wayfinding, but it also celebrates the company’s culture of travel. Each piece of art is globally-minded and inspires perspective, even from within one place.