Creative collaboration finds new routes at Meta Open Arts

By Sujata Burman

“Building community through creativity” is what Meta Open Arts is all about. The collaboration platform started life as a residency programme, and is now championing the design community by partnering up similar cultural forces.

The initiative commissions artists and designers to create new work, inviting them to bring their own unique voice to each project. “We provide a place for artists and designers to bring their authentic selves and have the freedom to be creative,” says Jae-eun Chung, design lead at Meta Open Arts. What’s in it for the audience? “To learn about different cultures and understand diverse perspectives.”

Here, Chung shares more about how this creative collaboration is taking shape at Meta Open Arts.
How does Meta Open Arts work across the company on design and creative thinking?

Meta Open Arts’ history started with an artist-in-residence programme and Analog Research Lab in 2010, which played a huge role in creating a poster culture at Meta. Within the company, posters act as a critical and thought-provoking vehicle for voice, carrying different messages from our values to employee voices.

Meta Open Arts is a core driver of communication design at Meta, delivering creative strategy, problem-solving, storytelling and design system-building. We create inspiring and thought- provoking designs about ourselves, our community and the world at large. We also partner with organisations, including LDF and The World Around, to champion great design, and support designers globally who are working across mediums to build community through creativity.

Meta believes that creativity is at the core of all progress society makes, and that artists and designers are in a unique position to address some of the world’s most critical issues.

Artwork by Meta Open Artss

Where does Meta Open Arts sit within the Metaverse?

While posters were historically our primary focus, following the pandemic and company focus on the Metaverse, we’ve pivoted to expand to other forms of design executions. We now create different touch points and experiences, both in the digital and physical space, aligning with Meta’s product vision and shifting hybrid work environment. For example, a single design solution may apply to a diverse range of assets. Our main executions include digital assets (motion graphics, Spark AR filters, animated stickers), physical installations (wheatpasted poster grids, large-scale environmental graphics), and physical materials (riso prints, sticker sheets, buttons in the Open Arts Labs).

We’ve helped designers build fluency around AR creation – working on projects such as an Earth Day AR filter commission with Studio Hik, a ‘Return to Work’ campaign and Global Partner Centres for our Business teams.

We are also starting to map out some new opportunities to bring our expertise into the VR space. In 2021, we worked with the Engineering team to build a prototype VR gallery in our main headquarters in Menlo Park, California, for their VR events.

How is Meta building a culture of creativity?

Meta has a unique company culture that translates to how we build global communities within Meta and through our products. Everyone at Meta contributes to building the culture. Meta Open Arts is positioned as a cultural steward of the company, and this is a critical mission to us.

As a Design team, we have a commitment to be a source of inspiration and set high design standards, while deliberately empowering people to bring creativity and criticality to work and build the culture.