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How does "Art Program" work with branding concept?

ICA has been involved in many art consulting projects working with both domestic and international designers. Art consulting means drawing out the story of spatial presentation from the interior design concept, branding, and location, creating a unique “art program” for each project. In recent years, we have been receiving many inquiries from hotel brands and designers, especially from overseas. It has become essential to consider art from a branding and marketing standpoint.

Art program meets branding
With the expansion of luxury hotels into Japan in recent years, we recognize the need to redefine the significance of the existence of art. Art is not simply a decoration but a spatial presentation. At ICA, we believe that a work of art is something that is based on the aesthetic value of motifs, mediums, and techniques and that an art program is a script that tells the story of art from a branding and marketing perspective. It can be art that narrates the core value of a property as part of branding.

Scripting a story of art 1
For the W Osaka project, which opened in March this year, we started with the art program concept and worked with three artists throughout the process of contract signing, production, procurement, and construction.

The design concept of Concrete Architectural Associates, an interior design firm based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was “the true spirit of Osaka – extravagant simplicity”, and to express the spirit of Osaka by drawing inspiration from both the luxurious and modern aspect and the wabi-sabi and traditional simplicity.

Scripting a story of art 2
What is the true essence of Osaka? Beyond its vibrant cityscape of neon lights, Osaka is also home to Sen no Rikyu and the tea ceremony, and on the contrary, the mecca of comedy. Above all, there is the entrepreneurial spirit and assertiveness of the people, inherited straight from the merchant culture and history. Upon realizing that such creative disruptors resonate with W’s target audience, we began writing the script for the art.

The art of the guestrooms was created by eBoy, the godfather of pixel art who has attracted fans from all over the world. At first sight, the art is nowhere to be found. Until the guest opens the wardrobe door…

By hiding a unique piece of art behind a door with an overwhelming density of more than 1,000,000 pixels, Concrete Architectural Associates blows our minds with their playfulness and ideas tailored for W Osaka.

Art Program
To start the production process, we created art guidelines that extracted the DNA of Osaka to discuss them with eBoy. At the same time, with Marriott and the designers, we discussed how to incorporate the W Hotels branding elements of BOLD, WITTY, and INSIDER into the art context. The act of hiding exceptional art becomes the “spine” of the art, the compilation of commercial and cultural local icons the “muscle”, and the sensibility and intellectual laughter of the disruptor the “blood”. This is the art program precisely drawn to embody the DNA of W Osaka.

Design Fabrication
Simultaneously, we studied the layout of the wardrobe and proposed it to the designer. To accommodate the different shapes of wardrobes depending on room types, we adjusted the pixel design so that the left and right sides would be connected and spread out panoramically.

Branding Application
This art is the DNA that embodies the core values of W Hotels and the identity of the city of Osaka. Exactly why it can also be seen on coasters, cushions, and various amenities of the hotel, and is making the rounds on social media. Art is not simply decoration but a spatial presentation, and an important marketing strategy that enhances the brand value. We will apply this valuable lesson from this project to future projects and continue to pursue the significance and potential of art.

Projects > W Osaka

Related > Adding a Dutch Twist to Japanese Traditional Crafts from W’s Perspective