That PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, and specialty materials is not a surprise to most folks. PPG is a well-known brand. What is more of a revelation, however, is all the thoughtful innovation PPG employees bring to their mission of protecting and beautifying the world. It’s that spirit of wonder that EEI brought to the Customer Experience Center project. The design is anchored by a unifying visual concept that combines airy structure with touches of color. It’s borne out in installations that look behind the scenes of key business units and their remarkable products. And it’s brought full circle with a focus on the culture and people of PPG.
When you walk onto the 40th floor in Pittsburgh, you’ll notice the glow. It comes from halo lighting atop two white canopy structures, divided by a blue-tiled walkway. Bright pops of color – made possible by PPG paints of course — peek out from cutout sections within the canopy top and sides. Inside the structures are focus areas devoted to business units and their products. Each station gives the visitor something colorful and tactile to explore, with an interactive touch screen nearby to learn more through digital content.
The focus areas delve into subjects like Aerospace and the Ambient Reactive Extrusion (ARE) Additive Manufacturing (AM) 3D printing technology used in the military, aerospace, and commerce. And Industrial Coatings, which produces coatings such as a retroreflective coating used on bikes, and high-performance coatings found on consumer goods. The Packaging Coatings section features an oversized soda can finished with variations of the iSense coatings product. You can see (and feel) the difference between iSense Gloss, iSense Matte, iSense Satin, iSense Touch and iSense Sparkle, literally experiencing how the coating helps a humble soda can stand out on the shelf. (They’re all durable, too.)
But PPG is about much more than products. That’s why a key part of the story focuses on people and culture. Visitors entering the space from the elevator lobby are greeted by large, bright, halo-lit Colorful Communities graphics. Together with digital media, the graphics help describe this global program, which brings PPG volunteers and the local community together. They’ve created lively murals for libraries, and re-painted dull hospital corridors with uplifting colors, for example. The area dedicated to The PPG Way, Culture and Leadership Characteristics is anchored by a large, halo-lit fabric graphic that uses a whimsical, hand-drawn style to highlight the human-centered pillars of PPG’s vision.
Opening officially in Summer 2023, the PPG Customer Experience Center has been a hit with both employees and guests. According to Global Workplace Manager Tejal Shah, “The response has been great!” EEI was honored to help design and build a space that provides an immersive introduction to the fascinating work of the PPG team, while giving it a welcoming feel of vibrance.