VHA knits away into their new LEED certified headquarters.
What are referred to as “yarn bombs,” are a type of graffiti art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn. The term “bombing” is said to be used as a street art term that portrays “something explosive you do really fast.”
The original Lone Star State knitters are believed to have engaged in this tradition after trying to find a way to creatively use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but has since, spread worldwide.
Sandra Lindstrom, Senior Director, Conference and Meeting Planning at VHA, states that there seems to be some confusion as to where it all started. She explains that some sites say it started in Europe and some say it started in Austin, Texas. But nevertheless, in the past year and a half there were two very high profile yarn bombings in Dallas.
“The first was at the Winspear Opera House during the 60s musical, Hair, Lindstrom continues. Trees were wrapped in psychedelic colors, peace signs were hanging in trees and it was wonderful reminiscent of the hippie generation. Then, last October Dallas opened a fabulous deck park connecting downtown to uptown, the Klye Warren Deck Park. A local yarn shop, the Shabby Sheep, yarn bombed the deck park for the opening.”
So who, what, when, where and why did they decide to volunteer their time to “yarn bombing” their property?
Collectively, VHA and Novation have a core group of knitters and as seasoned knitters they had all heard of and seen examples of yarn bombing.
They were inspired to take part in this creative and eye-capturing tradition and found it to be the perfect activity to christen their new headquarters building and celebrate their new chapter. They worked from April to November to complete their creation and every last thread was worth it in the end, judging by the mass amounts of positive and supportive feedback.
Here are a few reactions employees wrote after arriving to work on Monday morning to see the yarn bombing:
“Hello all you “Yarn Bombers”, Thank you so much for taking the time to brighten up our new digs. It was a wonderful surprise to come in this morning and be greeted by all the color and creativity!”
“It is so festive and just makes me smile.”
“Love. Love. Love.”
“I love the “yarn bombing” that greeted me when I walked into the building today. What a colorful and joyful way to start a Monday. Too bad it couldn’t stay up longer…but a big SHOUT OUT to all the volunteers who worked on it. BRAVO!!!It really brought a smile to my face.”
VHA brought character to their new space, company and community. It was a talk of the town; people were constantly looking at it, talking about it and taking pictures of the bright and colorful décor. Not only did they capitalize on commemorating their new space, but they also found a fun and exciting way to promote employee engagement.
The installation continued to receive lots of great comments. People were really excited about it. However, soon enough, Typhoon Haiyan hit. Nevertheless, VHA took the sustainable route and had an auction of the 170 vases of pompom flowers. As of right now, they have raised about $1300 through the sale of yarniments and vases.
“This is the first time that all VHA companies have been in one headquarters location, says Lindstrom. The new office space is very open with low cubes and fewer private offices than we had before to promote a collaborative environment. We have a big conference center and other new building amenities that are designed to bring employees in our family of companies together.”
Overall, this unique and creative expression of art may be temporary but will leave a lasting impression within their company, and employees.
Lindstrom concludes with a brief description of their “yarn bombing” success. “This was a very fun project to work on, all done with employees volunteering their time. The feedback was immediate and positive which reinforces the ideas of why we wanted to bring all the companies together in one location. It’s a convenience but it’s also a culture change for the better.”
By Niki Vala, Senior Administrative Assistant