Parallel Design Group Parallel Design Group

Client Stories

Contemporary Arts and the Modern Workplace

SEI Investments is a forward-thinking global wealth management company that is on a mission to redefine their industry with continual innovation. After acquiring local Archway Technology Partners in July 2017, Parallel Design joined forces to provide a new Indianapolis office that communicated SEI’s mission and encouraged a shift in company culture to truly embrace the well-known global brand.

Upon initial observations, we identified primary workplace challenges, including poor office flow and cohesion. A new layout with a focus on collaboration was paramount. One of SEI’s core values is being open and transparent in business, so naturally, we planned open office benching systems for all, flexible collaboration spaces and semi-private internal spaces with glass fronts for light penetration and an open feel.

Another major priority of the client was properly incorporating SEI’s branding in the new space. SEI’s philosophy is that corporate culture should support and fit team members’ personalities. Consequently, we designed a space that was big, bright, open and artful, helping foster intelligence, creativity and confidence among team members. Vivid color pairings and strong trapezoidal shapes are also unique to SEI’s brand, so we carefully and thoughtfully planned the space to tell an intentional color story and used their shapes to inspire a wide range of angular design features throughout. Together, these shapes and colors prominently convey the presence and significance of the global brand, inspiring the forward-thinking innovations SEI is known for.

As a company that also values and rewards experimentation and risk-taking, SEI has unsurprisingly spent decades supporting the contemporary arts. In an attempt to share challenging and inventive work of emerging artists with the SEI audience and public, over 3,300 contemporary art installations have been exhibited in their offices worldwide. With devotion to continue this initiative in the Indy office, we partnered with West Collection to incorporate truly impactful and unique pieces right into the design. Prominently featured in the large, open Reception area is a 12’ tall cardboard sculpture of a plane crashing through the ceiling, an artistic portrayal of how symbolic objects from our contemporary society and history evoke personal stories and issues in a viewer’s mind. In total, 21 contemporary pieces are displayed throughout the Indianapolis office, including a custom mural called “Color Harmonies” by local muralist, Shawn Causey.

SEI’s new Indianapolis office, home to continual guests, is now a beautiful and functional space; one that honors a powerful international brand, supports it’s impactful and innovative culture and furthers the company’s commitment to making contemporary art accessible around the world.

Natalie Peters, SEI AFO comments to say, “We were very pleased with the outcome of the design. Parallel Design Group was able to hone in on the spirit of SEI – using unique art as inspiration to our staff combined with an open architecture floorplan – to deliver a space that encourages collaboration and transparency and is inviting to both employees and visitors alike.”

Parallel Design worked in collaboration with Marksmen Construction, Colliers International Project Management Team, Specified Lighting, Eye4 Group, Commercial Office Environments, and Custom Glass Tinting. Photos by Russ Richey.