Gensler’s New D.C. Office: Walls That Speak
Erica Williams in Gensler D.C.

“If you have a passion for something, do it.”—Gensler founder Arthur M. Gensler. Video © Gensler

A mural probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions an office, but that doesn’t mean a mural can’t play a significant role in enhancing an office environment. A well-placed and carefully designed mural can dramatically impact the overall feel of a workplace, adding a unique aesthetic identifier and creating a sense of shared space.

At Gensler’s new D.C. office, discussed in this Washington Post article, I was part of a team that designed two murals for the “Walls that Speak” program. Aimed at forging a distinct identity for our new and improved workplace, we used the program to bring our designers together in the creation of something that would highlight our office’s unique characteristics.

The idea of a Japanese wishing wall inspired the first mural, seen in the video above. To give it a designer's edge, we selected swatches that match Gensler’s signature colors and created all the drawings in our D.C. office.

Traditional wishing wall displays show what people hope for and aspire to. This mural modifies that paradigm by serving as a creative expression of our memories and passions. Equipped with over 300 paint samples, the wall serves as an expression of our favorite projects, experiences, and what we love most about our office. We also designed the wall to be a living installation, as it will continue to change and evolve as more passions are added.

Video © Gensler

The second mural is all about location: of the city, the office, the people, and the identity that comes with it. Our goal was to document these aspects through collaborative painting. In the end, these memories and features composed the whole map of the office location.

We hope these walls add to the creative environment we strive to foster in all our workplaces and that they inspire our designers to challenge themselves to find new design solutions for existing problems. Gensler's new D.C. office features an array of spaces that bring the design process to life, and we look forward to sharing these features with you in the coming weeks.

Image © Gensler

Erica Williams has a passion for innovation, environmental design, and architecture that truly impacts and influences people and communities. She is the Southeast Practice Area Co-Leader of Gensler Product Design and a member of Gensler’s Visualization Task Force. Contact her at
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