The “B” Word

“If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But If you wisely invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Beauty. We often think of it as a shallow concept. Our society has taught us that beauty is a veneer, a gloss, a skin-deep, frivolous pursuit devoid of substance and should be relegated to a realm outside of real-life or more important matters. As stated by Tom Peters, we avoid the word ‘beauty,” and the concept of beauty, between nine and five. We avoid this word in our work because the majority of us have been taught that beauty is a superficial concept about what’s pretty, what’s decorative, or what’s pleasing to the eye. But what if we were to rethink what we believe beauty to be? For the Greek philosophers, beauty was a noble truth and the foundation for human excellence. For the great modern innovator Steve Jobs, beauty was a strategy that differentiated Apple from its competitors. In our work of designing vibrant cultures, beauty is the meaning that’s created through story structures.

Those who have visited our studio in Keystone know the beauty of the building comes from the meaning we have designed into every section, every structure, every room. The architecture of Starizon doesn’t just hold up the physical structures of the building, it also upholds the story structure of our “Explore Discover Transform” Experience. Each area throughout our studio may be pleasing to the eye but the true beauty of the brick and mortar is found in the meaning that lives within the story structures created. Take our room Aspire – the high walls, sweeping windows and illuminating star carved into the ceiling tell the story of the inspirational and transformational work being done in this place. We design this kind of meaning into every area of the building because we’ve seen the profound impact that these story structures have on the hearts and minds of those working within its walls.

By literally stepping into inspiration, connection and purpose (those very qualities we are trying to create in our cultures), our buildings turn into accelerators and incubators of cultural vibrance. By having our architecture be an expression of the Experience, we can reconnect with not just what we are doing but why we are doing it. In this way, our buildings become conduits of beauty, bringing us back to the meaning of our work and reminding us of an essential truth we may have forgotten – our work is not a job but a cause that we are invited to vibrantly live every day.

How can your organization use story structures to support a culture of vibrance? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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