WHO IS THE CREATIVE/ARTIST individual/company that carried out this break-in action?

An international group of 12 artists with different backgrounds in filmmaking, sculpture, painting, photography, theatre and visual art sectors that were selected to take part in a one-week pilot session (22 – 28 January) and to work in teams of 3 people on the challenge under the supervision of expert facilitators.

WHO IS THE EMPLOYER who benefited from it?                                        

Nantes-Saint-Nazaire Development Agency, a public company based in Nantes with 25 employees. The mission of the company is to promote the Nantes Saint-Nazaire region both on a national and international level, to cultivate economic prospects and welcome and support companies, investors and talents across the region.


The priority for the forthcoming months was to prepare the company staff to move into a brand new building in April 2017, after they had been sharing their offices with another public administration. Moving premises in general represents an important change, which can be experienced very differently by individuals, with more or less ease, stress, excitement or worry.

It can also be seen as an opportunity for transformation, because it is literally the end of something and the beginning of something else.

Moving can be seen as changing, quitting, stepping away, fearing, discovering, forgetting, packing, throwing away, keeping, inviting, imagining, losing, conquering, and many other things.

Artists were invited to explore the way the employees of the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire Development Agency were getting ready for this move and how much it might impact their daily working life.

Artists were asked to propose a break-in-action highlighting these different points of view and feelings and to help the staff to get ready for their new workplace.                                               

WHAT was the GOAL?

The goal was to train artists on how to plan and present their artistic intervention proposal working on the Break – in methodology clearly explained in this handbook.

The pilot week gave artists the opportunity to test the process to plan and develop a break-in action and to analyse the impact of such a creative process on the organisation.

WHICH break-in action was presented?

Different proposals from each team were presented and discussed.

During the pilot week, teams worked to develop ideas and offer solutions, explored the company and presented their proposals through creative tools such as photos, murals, sculptures and performances showing the staff how they could feel more comfortable within the new workplace.

The following three Break-in actions proposals developed in one week were presented to the company employees:

  • 1. #ChillOutZone: where employees can relax during their working hours and have their own sensorial and private space;
  • 2. Mue, The Change: focused on the act of the move itself, on leaving any bad experiences or feelings behind in the old office, and starting anew and fresh in the new building. An object was created by the artists to help the staff become accustomed to the new open offices where they will move and which employees can have on their desk showing when they are busy or available to talk to their colleagues.
  • 3. The Line: based on the green line crossing the city centre that points out the main touristic attractions. Similarly, the line drawn on the wall of the workspace represented the continuous connection between the life of the employees and the city they belong to.

LESSONS learned

Artists learned how to plan and develop a Break-in Action in a public company.

The proposals had a strong impact on employees in terms of innovation and sense of belonging to the city and their work environment.

During the week, artists had the opportunity to work and brainstorm in a team to offer different solutions to the main challenge: “the Moving” .

Artists used their creativity and expressed themselves in front of the staff creating a deep connection with the employees who were highly inspired and emotionally affected.


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