As an established energy provider, Ausgrid sought to create a workplace environment that would be a benchmark for future ways of working. Infusing authentic indigenous representation was an important factor and embodies the company’s core values of diversity and inclusion. To align with the business’ sustainable and inclusive objectives, inspiration was taken from how energy manifests itself within nature and a story of ‘Lighting Storms across Rural Australia’ became the driving theme throughout the interior.
Indigenous artist, Lucy Simpson was commissioned to provide unique imagery and art that was incorporated as part of the textiles, murals and built environments within the workspace. With a clear focus on lightning, spark and renewal as conceptual anchors, Lucy provided original artwork, which the design team then translated into the built space through site-wide environmental graphics, soft furnishings and a large-scale painted wall by renowned muralist Meg Minkley. Ongoing collaborative design workshops between Lucy and the team allowed for a constant exchange of ideas and ways her artwork could be brought to life without losing cultural significance. The collaboration was founded around mutual respect, understanding and clear communication to ensure that the delicate balance of project and cultural outcomes were achieved. Through delicate collaborative reworking, Lucy’s bold patterns were adapted to suit the various zones within the workplace.
With a total of 19 floors to adorn it was necessary to allocate specific themes to grouped levels to meet project timelines. Fortunately, the artwork allowed for a variety of patterns within each theme to be explored to provide more opportunity within the storytelling. Green walls on every level including the ground floor arrival space and energy-efficient circadian lighting allow staff to gently transition from morning light to evening light cues.
Infusing authentic indigenous representation was an important success factor for Ausgrid. It also created an opportunity for the sustainable components to sit comfortably within the natural palette of finishes. The inspired graphics were applied throughout the levels to the boardroom and meeting room glazing panels, staff locker banks and connective walls.
At project completion, Ausgrid achieved a 5 Star Greenstar Rating.
Ant Newman (project director), Barbara Beckmann (graphic design lead), John Dobie (graphic designer), Lucy Simpson (indigenous artist), Meg Minkley (mural artist)