Why more startups need graffiti on their walls – and how I did it for VConnect

Art meets Tech. It is always interesting whenever there is a confluence in these two industry. This time it happened as Vconnect, the web based business location platform, decided to integrate some Africa inspired street art in its indoor office space. As part of the remodeling and reinvention of the Vconnect office a live graffiti art was integrated in the approximately 13 sq metres (4.8m by 2.7m) wall of the office environment.

The artwork was commissioned to me by Mr. Deepanker (chief executive and founder of VConnect). My name is Anthony Ezeokoye also known as Anth_insecta, the founder of INSECTA and a Lagos based designer with a wide range of art and design specialist skills. I have built something of a reputation of in the techie, digital art and animation community, which led to being nominated for the 2013 edition of The Future Awards Africa in Art and Culture. I also made the cut as being one of the selected artists that took part in the Absolut Open Canvas Lagos 2013 Art Contest.
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The graffiti integration in this technology-based business office space was meant to be a one-day task, so time management was of extreme importance. In order to get it done well and on time, I assembled a team of creative “goons” to assist in “marking” the office space.

The graffiti concept design was developed, centred on the brief, which allowed for freedom of artistic expression and that the graffiti should have some afro centric elements integrated. A concept sketch was developed and then translated on the office wall by the team. The team included myself – Anthony Ezeokoye (team lead), Uduak Akpan (aka Uduaq), Adesugba Adedapo (Collyde Prime), Tobhor Napoleonson (Shades), Udegbunam Tochukwu (TBJ) and Chidi Onah (Doskid). It took about 6 hour of continuous work (with the music of MI and other African hip-hop artistes playing in the background) to pull it off.

According to the team, the whole process was a lot of fun and they hope to get more offices and corporate environments marked with graffiti. They are also glad that Vconnect’s ‘Out of the box’ remodeling included this opportunity for creative expression in a corporate environment – quite uncommon in this part of the world.


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Importance of Art in the Tech Work Space

Notice the integration of disruptive art pieces in some contemporary corporate environments. It expresses in a rather subliminal way that the inhabitants of such environments are people with a creative inclination irrespective of the services offered.

Since art can be used to tell stories and express great emotions, this form of marriage can also be used to express the corporate philosophy and customer-centric values of the space in which it is placed.

Somerset House, Taikoo Place

This is becoming a common practice in business places around the world. Some note-worthy instances include the walls of the Somerset House, Taikoo Place (owned by Swire Properties and located in one of Hong Kong’s most high-priced office districts). It was adorned with splatters of yellow paint and a mural inspired by Hong Kong’s postwar architecture. It also includes the figure of a woman in headdress on the doors of a cargo lift, this graffiti was done by Cara To, alias Cat Time Biatch.

Somerset House, Taikoo Place 1

Another very media-popular interior graffiti-bombing is that on the walls of Facebook’s first office in Palo Alto, California done by David Choe (it earned him Facebook shares worth over $500 Million post IPO).

Facebook office1

This practice is also noticeable and appreciated locally, especially in tech based businesses. Some work spaces in Lagos where you can find such interior space art forms include the half-glass partition walls of the Co-creation Hub’s conference room in Sabo, Lagos; the Taxi Park open office space in Victoria Island Lagos; and also Capital Square, Lagos.

The one at the VConnect office is the most creatively disruptive at the moment, even if I say so myself! Rumour has it that there is soon going to be another commissioned. This will be even crazier graffiti bomb in the VConnect’s conference room.

Another good and creative practice – is work spaces at this office in CA.

You’re sure to get details of that – and pretty soon!
[All images sourced from Anth]

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