1 Merchant Place, RMB’s home HQ in Sandton, is shining brightly with the colours of national unity in a gesture of solidarity and solutionist thinking. For a few nights a week, between 7 and 8pm, the building lights up on two sides in the colours of the South African flag, carrying the message: “Solutions need us all.”
“The illumination of our building celebrates South African resilience and courage,” says RMB CEO James Formby. “Every day I am inspired by ordinary South Africans doing extraordinary things – often at great personal cost – to ensure the health, safety and best service of fellow citizens. Through the luminous building billboards of Merchant Place, RMB hopes to honour South Africans’ ability to stand together as optimistic problem-solvers in the face of adversity, as we navigate the journey to a new normal.”
The low-voltage LED/event lighting display, which was put together by Gearhouse (a leading technical supplier to the event industry), cost-effectively expresses the power of creativity to overcome obstacles and harness the possibility of collaboration to unleash solutions to any situation.
“Finding solutions ignites positivity and inspires possibility. Solutions exist throughout the creative economy and they are very rarely achieved by standing alone,” says RMB creative counsel, Carolynne Waterhouse. “We can all learn more from the power of creativity, which is fuelled by the reality of limitations. Creative people – including bankers and business leaders – are forced to work within constraints to communicate, build and share their work. That’s what sparks creative solutions, and that’s what we’re aiming to communicate through our lighting display.”
Says Formby: “In this instance, the universal language of light represents optimism and recognises that South Africans in general can provide solutions, specifically in our current season of uncertainty. It also shows that iconic buildings can become cost-effective billboards; flagships can become flagpoles.
“Furthermore, it stands for unity. Some of the best solutions come from multi-disciplinary teams, all with contrasting and complementary contributions. We need to ensure that innovation is allowed to flourish in the context of traditional values and social responsibility. That’s what solutionist thinking is all about.”
The installation appears on two sides of RMB’s “Think Precinct”. The Fredman Drive frontage features the South African flag in full furl, topped with RMB’s existing blue air traffic safety lights, which in this time can also be interpreted as a tribute to our essential service workers.
The Rivonia Road façade features the colours of our national flag (in the style of “Cyril’s scarf”) representing the component nature of South African-centric solutionist thinking.
The display will run a few days a week from 7-8pm for the rest of the month of May.