Ford Experience Center Art Program - CODAworx

Ford Experience Center Art Program

Submitted by Gabrielle Poshadlo

Client: Ford Motor Co.

Location: Dearborn, MI, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team

Global Design & Brand Director

Jennifer Kolstad

Ford Motor Co.

Founder and CEO

Todd Towers


VP, Lead Creative Strategist

Ariel Grue Lee


Fine Art

Robert Moreland


Fine Art

Beverly Fishman


Fine Art

Douglas Coupland


Fine Art

Tiff Massey


Creative Lead

Laurenn Machin



Featuring 28 fine art pieces, 70 unique artworks, and a permanent commemorative exhibition, Ford Experience Center (FXC) is the first application of Ford Motor Company’s global art strategy that brings to life the themes of “Mobility, Sustainability, and Human.”

The global art narrative explores the following questions:
How can we speak about the future of mobility through art?
How can art be a catalyst for meaningful environmental and social impact?
How can art create powerful human connection?

Considered the front door to Ford’s 600-acre HQ campus, FXC is the brand’s main event facility and serves as the first impression to visitors and staff. The art program features commissions and acquisitions from local and internationally renowned artists whose works tell an immersive story of the brand and its historic legacy, connects Ford to Detroit’s local artist community, and fosters deeper human connections.

The beauty of the art program is the diversity and expansiveness of the artworks within it. A variety of mediums are featured, ranging from an 18-foot mirrored acrylic installation to framed originals and archival prints. Each piece uniquely reflects a different aspect of Ford’s identity while providing space for the artists’ own narratives, perspectives, and experiences.


The fine art commissions and acquisitions are crucial to the art program at FXC. Having pieces from local and international artists alike brings an irreplaceable richness to the brand storytelling and guest experience while also creating invaluable ties and relationships to Detroit’s artistic community. The uniqueness of each piece offers visitors and employees to find their own meaning and connection that furthers the efforts of community building and belonging.

For example, Douglas Coupland’s bold sculptures feature detached hoods of Ford muscle cars that are covered with painted patterns simulating the look and colors of Fordite, the hardened build-up of automotive paint removed from car spray-painting booths of the 1960s and 1970s.

Robert Moreland’s commissions represent Ford’s sweep from the iconic 1966 Le Mans race. Moreland’s mid-century sensibility and colors pay homage to the design of the three cars that finished in first, second and third place.

Tiff Massey’s colossal, reflective installation draws inspiration from traditional Kente, drawing the viewer in with intricate detail of over 2,000 cut acrylic pieces and can see a part of themselves in the work. The diversity of the color and pattern speak to Ford’s global perspective and the human element of the company.


Developing the art program for FXC was a deeply collaborative process, with all key stakeholders having a strong influence at every stage of the decision-making process. Farmboy acted as the independent advisor and strategist to first build out the global art strategy at large with Ford, engaging with stakeholders to determine an adaptable framework to guide specific art programs across corporate offices, warehouse and manufacturing facilities, presentation spaces, and retail environments. Farmboy worked closely with Ford’s global design team to develop an artwork and brand experience strategy. These strategies were then applied specifically to FXC in concert with the architecture and interior design teams at Ghafari.

Farmboy provided art inspiration at every turn for multiple design collaborators on the project, working closely with Ford in support of their vision for the space. Farmboy also put together an independent art advisory made up of local and national arts professionals and curators. This group helped jury the final artist for the large-scale commissions, offering added perspective and ensuring a balanced review of the process.

Additional Information

In addition to the 70 individual art pieces, an environmental graphic design system was designed for the global art program that expands on Ford’s iconic oval logo into a scalable wallcovering application. From communal spaces to focus rooms, the EGD system was designed to foster the best atmosphere for each use case. This patternwork was expanded across wallcovering, 3D MDF wall applications, and even integrated into custom carpet and lighting design. Art was also used to tell the brand’s story of innovation and commitment to its people through the creation of the Apollo Exhibition. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford recognized a dire personal protective equipment for their manufacturing teams, which was facing a sharp spike in demand with little global supply available. In response, the company expanded its resources and infrastructure to design innovative PPE products in collaboration with the product innovation giant 3M. These prototypes have since spurred the company’s expansion to design and produce medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders, and patients fighting respiratory illnesses. Farmboy artfully curated and designed the commemorative Apollo Exhibition to help tell this impressive story of innovation and community service.