When Seattle software giant Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011, the company committed to create a contemporary working environment to house the service. Consulting with Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid and others, Jason Thomas Faulkner from the Skype UX Design Team recently completed finishing touches to the Skype complex, located in two buildings on Microsoft's sprawling suburban campus. Last week Faulkner gave Reid and Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds a guided tour of the stunning new facility.
One building features lyrical graphics related to Seattle's celebrated music history, with rows of oversized Charles Burns portraits from Black Hole defining conference rooms intended to facilitate creative communication. In addition to the Burns installations, the building includes important works by Jini Dellaccio, Victoria Haven, and Ron English, among others.
The adjacent building explores the architecture of communication using breathtaking floor-to-ceiling Chris Ware imagery as a backdrop. The glass partitions in both buildings double as white boards, (though Faulkner was quick to observe that staff had so far been reluctant to blemish the pristine spaces with unsightly scribbling).
Alternative comix add an element of casual creativity and culture to any edifice devoted to innovative communication. Bring some comix to work. You'll see!