Boston’s 2015 Vertical Structure was a bust. Or was it?
Integrated Design Group's Fun Committee members stayed well past quitting time yesterday to create the 2015 Vertical Structure. In 2011, fueled by the holiday spirit and our annual Rosie’s Place holiday drive, our employees requested permission to put a Christmas tree in the lobby but ultimately decided that a Christmas tree didn’t represent what we were trying to achieve. We decided instead to design and create something from recycled materials to use as a gift collection point for our holiday drive; this became affectionately known as our Vertical Structure.
The Vertical Structure has become a beloved holiday tradition, with planning and construction beginning months ahead. 2015 was no exception, with plans to transform our lobby with a cloud-like sculpture of white balloons. Armed with tanks of helium, dozens of balloons, a carefully rendered model of the desired result, and pizza, the team got to work.
Unfortunately, our enthusiasm and planning was trumped by problem after problem. Leaky balloons, mysterious sharp objects in our cement ceiling that popped whichever balloons came in contact, and tanks that did not fill as many balloons as advertised brought the project to its knees. Contingency plans failed as well.
And on the day before Thanksgiving, which was supposed to be our Vertical Structure reveal day, all we are left with is a jumbled pile of rapidly deflating balloons and dashed hopes. Or is it? Our “failed” Vertical Structure has been the source of many laughs this morning and I’d say that the installation party was a success. Our team bonded, had fun, and got creative. The pile of gifts and donations for Rosie’s Place is piling up (currently in my office). The holiday season will continue, with or without a Vertical Structure. What more can one ask for?
With some lessons learned under our belts and a never-ending supply of enthusiasm, we are already brainstorming ideas for next year. I think it’s going to be our best ever, but I can guarantee it won’t involve balloons.