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Facebook Artist in Residence

YEAR & TIMELINE
2019 | 3 months

CLIENT
Facebook

ROLE
Art Direction | Illustration |Ceramics | Environmental Graphics

COLLABORATORS
Solo Project

TOOLS
Ceramics | Photoshop 

MEDIUM
Ceramic & Paint

DIMENSIONS
11'x80'x6"

Facebook’s Artist in Residence Program invites artists to create unique work for their various campuses.

CHALLENGE

Facebook’s Artist in Residence Program aims to curate pieces that activate their corporate offices, stoke creativity, and encourage innovation.

SOLUTION

This mural offers workers an imagination vacation where anything is possible and creates an identity for this hallway to help visitors navigate the building.

AUDIENCE

The audiences are the employees of the Facebook office and visitors to the office. This range includes tech workers, building staff, teams visiting from other offices, and clients working with Facebook. Since screen-centered work is the focus of Facebook's offices, this design is a way to escape from devices and engage with the physical environment.

Facebook AIR head 1
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The mural responds to the built environment, framing doors and ducts. By giving the figures dimension, they come off the wall and enter real life. The arms weave through each figure, joining through complicated knots expressing our persistent desire to connect.

Facebook AIR head 5
Facebook AIR head 2
Facebook AIR head 6
Facebook AIR head 3
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PROCESS

Facebook gave me the time, space, and funding to make large scale ceramics for the first time. Early on, I discovered an architectural clay designed for the artist Akio Takamori that was suited to large scale work. I scanned paint chips and collected online samples of all the glazes I could potentially use. I wanted to make the heads as big as possible so I designed them to fit the exact size of the kiln shelf while taking into account the shrinkage rate of the clay as it dries and goes through multiple firings.

INSTALLATION

I consulted with a sculpture lab technician and a ceramist/museum installer who helped me come up with the hanging system. Each head has two holes to attach the bolts. They were attached to the wall with snap togglers that held 400 lb of weight (10x more than the heads), along with stainless steel bolts flanked by aluminum and rubber fender washers. Rubber tubing was secured around the bolt so the ceramic was buffered against the metal. The bolts were concealed with lightweight ceramic caps that were adhered with liquid nails silicone that matched the gloss of the glaze.

For the head with a large bun, I made a larger cap that slid onto a single bolt and concealed the two bolts that held the main part of the head in place.

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THANK YOU!

This was my first large scale ceramics project so there was a lot to learn about materials and mounting. I’m grateful to Ryan Astheimer, Rob Lutz, Tamar Benzikry, and Dom Nieri who shared valuable information and gave me the support needed to make this project a successful experience for Facebook employees and visitors to their office space.

Facebook AIR head 2
Eroyn Franklin