Walk into the headquarters of Facebook and you'll quickly realize a few key facts.
1. Mark Zuckerberg is a huge fan of David Choe's art.
2. Ren Magritte's The Son of Man image is everywhere.
3. Facebook workers (and visitors) are encouraged to write on walls.
4. Pop culture and internet memes have infiltrated their offices.
On our recent trip up to northern California, to cover the SF International Film Festival, we were invited to come to Facebook to tour the facilities and write about the art inside one of the most influential companies in the modern world. We walked around one of two offices in Palo Alto, their temporary home until they move into their new space – the old Sun Microsystems' headquarters at Menlo Park. With more than 2,000 employees, Facebook has doubled in headcount since last year and over the next six years, they're projecting that they will grow nearly five times their current size or employ almost 10,000 people.
Before they move to their sprawling new digs, we wanted to give you a glimpse at what Facebook looks like right now. As mentioned above (fact #1), notice all the David Choe paintings. The artist has had a long-standing relationship with Mark Zuckerberg with Choe painting the walls for Zuckerberg when their Palo Alto office first opened in 2006. Choe was also just recently commissioned to create a beautiful new piece for the Facebook CEO. Talk about a huge fan. (Note to self: buy David Choe's art.)
Outside of the art, you'll find some really cool and inspirational quote posters (by Ben Barry) all around the office in addition to some hilariously named rooms. One of the most authentic and inspiring moments for us was when we walked into a room where all new employees must write on a huge whiteboard. Notice the sheer enthusiasm in those scribbles. (I loved, “Possibly the biggest opportunity in the history of the universe.”) There's also a huge wall in a hallway where visitors (celebrities, etc) can leave their mark.
For a site like ours, a visit to Facebook HQ was not just an inspiring few hours, it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime event. We saw it as a great honor that a company like theirs would ask us to cover their art and show people what it was really like walking their halls and eating in their cafeteria (three words: free gourmet food).
If anything, we hope this gives you a glimpse into the art and culture of a site most of us visit every day. Go Facebook!
FUNNY OFFICE NAMES
WRITING ON THE WALL
Photo credit: Alice Yoo (My Modern Met)