Mahdi Albart's Vibrant Touch: Transforming MODENA Indonesia's Office Space

The once-white walls at MODENA Indonesia's office have now transformed into a vibrant space of expression. Mahdi Albart, a visual artist and graphic designer from Bogor, is the creative mind behind the lively murals at MODENA Indonesia's office in Kuningan, South Jakarta. These murals contribute to a more lively and non-monotonous working atmosphere. Employees are delighted with a creation that brings their workspace to life. The colors painted on the office walls serve as fresh inspiration for the employees in designing and producing their best products.

After the office's interior rejuvenation, the household electronic equipment company selected several artists to infuse a new artistic touch into the workspace. Mahdi Albart emerged as the final choice after internal discussions concluded that his works were suitable for enhancing seven walls of the MODENA Indonesia's headquarters. His playful characters, geometric shapes, dynamic and repetitive patterns, and pop-style illustrations were deemed in alignment with the company's vision.

Mahdi Albart's mural project aims to convey the core values of the company to its employees in a non-verbal manner. According to Mahdi Albart, each of the seven painted walls on floors one through three tells a unique story related to the company. "Each wall from the first to the third floor has its own story that is still connected to MODENA Indonesia itself," said Mahdi Albart. The mural process began on the ground floor near the employee lockers, intended to function as an expression space. This area, eventually dubbed the "selfie spot", became a place for employees to take photos and express themselves.

Supporting this concept, Mahdi Albart introduced various characters on the walls, including a dynamically moving camera, peace sign poses, love symbols commonly found on social media, and, of course, the Lemon character that has become Mahdi Albart's signature.

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Another focus of Mahdi Albart's mural work was on the walls around the staircase area. One wall was designated to briefly narrate MODENA Indonesia's journey from its inception to its vision and goals for the future. On this wall, Mahdi Albart illustrated household products introduced by the brand over the years, ranging from rice cookers and washing machines to dryers and vacuum cleaners. Additionally, Mahdi Albart translated the company's brand statement and the company's internal work culture spirit known as CAN.

CAN stands for three work values believed and applied daily by MODENA Indonesia's employees: Customer obsessed, Agile, and Innovative. Mahdi Albart explained that each letter has a personality that he found interesting to explore in his character designs. "The 'C' has a compassionate, empathetic, passionate, and attentive personality. 'A' is energetic, adaptable, a problem solver, and dynamic. 'N' is more towards a creative genius and imaginative," described Mahdi Albart. Visually, each letter also has distinctive features that align with their personalities and functions within the values embedded.

Initially, MODENA Indonesia requested Mahdi Albart to create human-like illustrations of the CAN characters. As an artist, Mahdi complied and designed human-like characters to represent the three company values. However, upon reviewing the illustrations, they felt that the mural designs were missing Mahdi Albart's artistic character. "They realized that when working on human-shaped characters, I, as an artist, don't stand out," Mahdi shared. Consequently, the company asked Mahdi to infuse his unique style, described by him as abstract and absurd.

Interestingly, Mahdi Albart saw this process as a new and enjoyable challenge. MODENA Indonesia's mural project was Mahdi Albart's first office mural project throughout his career as a visual artist. Aware that he was working for a company, Mahdi initially intended to leave his artistic style at the office entrance. In the initial stages, Mahdi tended to follow what the company wanted, providing more versatile visual proposals. In his creative process, Mahdi always started with a strong vision. However, Mahdi was also able to compromise with the imagination of others. After presenting design after design, MODENA Indonesia realized that Mahdi Albart was holding back with a "safe" approach. The artist's character seemed to disappear. The company's understanding of the creative process allowed Mahdi Albart to be more free and flexible in exploring according to his artistic style.

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"This is the opposite. Usually, with companies, I give them something safe, and that's what they do. But they (MODENA Indonesia) wanted me to bring out my character as an artist. It became a fun challenge and a new exciting experience for me," Mahdi remarked.

The presence of Mahdi Albart's murals excited MODENA Indonesia employees even during the creative process. According to Mahdi, the experience at the office was enjoyable as he engaged in various conversations and hangouts with MODENA Indonesia's creative division employees. This involvement allowed Mahdi Albart to better understand the company's work culture and values. The mural creation process usually took place on weekends, leaving visual puzzles for employees to discover and enjoy during workdays. Many couldn't wait and started posing with the incomplete mural backdrop. This response made Mahdi Albart feel that the company that collaborated with him had artistic awareness.

Closing the conversation, Mahdi Albart added that this mural project was enjoyable because of the artistic awareness possessed by the MODENA Indonesia team. This is quite important for companies when collaborating with artists, especially when the company aims to bring forth new, more creative, and expressive experiences, both internally and externally.

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About the Author

Alessandra Langit

Alessandra Langit is a writer with seven years of diverse media experience. She loves exploring the quirks of girlhood through her visual art and reposting Kafka’s diary entries at night.