A part of every neighborhood’s story: Exploring the Starbucks third place experience through local art in Asia

Each Starbucks store tells a story through its own unique art and design, created in collaboration with artists from nearby communities. From thoughtfully working with local artists who share similar values, to ideating designs and finding creative new ways to bring Starbucks mission and values to life, Starbucks designs stores to reflect the distinct personality of surrounding neighborhoods.

Local communities are a constant source of inspiration for Starbucks and the artists we collaborate with. Each artwork plays an important role in creating a warm third place and a special customer experience. When creating artwork for our stores, we partner with artists to explore the stories behind local neighborhoods as a first step. Harnessing their creativity and expressive styles, the result is unique artworks that genuinely reflect and honor local communities, their customs, and traditions. This deepens the connection our customers and partners have with Starbucks, making all those who step foot in our stores feel right at home.

Here we explore the creative process behind three incredible store artworks from across Asia.

A mural celebrating the community
Changwon Baseball Stadium, Changwon, South Korea

The Changwon store is in a distinct location, overlooking a baseball stadium and housing a community gym. Customers can visit the kiosk on the ground floor to order their favorite beverages to-go or ascend a grand staircase to visit Starbucks Reserve which overlooks the stadium. Given the store’s significance in the neighborhood, its artwork showcases a distinct sense of community and its many uses to those living in the area – whether it’s to watch a game or socialize in the off-season with friends. Having grown up in the neighborhood herself, creating the artwork was a proud moment for artist Eunjoo Lee, as it gave her the opportunity to represent her neighborhood and push the boundaries of her creativity.

“I drew inspiration from my hometown friends,” Lee says. “I sketched them as customers of Starbucks, representing a baseball fan, a parent, and an office worker. I also sketched a student, as it evoked memories of my teenage days in the city.”

“I am really happy to see my hometown friends and family visit the store, enjoy Starbucks, and take pictures in front of my illustrations,” she added. “Many Starbucks stores have opened in the community since I was in high school, so it’s meaningful for me to be a part of the growing coffee culture by reflecting members of the local community through these illustrations.”

A vibrant painting depicting the iconic Siren
Magsons Tower, Goa, India

We opened our first store in Goa in the Miramar neighborhood, home to a vibrant artistic community. Commissioning the store’s artwork gave us an exciting opportunity to welcome customers and introduce them to our world of coffee, whilst paying homage to Goan heritage.

Osheen Siva, the artist, who created the artwork in this store, is known for creating vivid murals all around Goa. She is driven by a personal mission to express women’s empowerment – a value that is closely aligned with Starbucks, particularly in India, where we continue to advance gender equity through a range of initiatives, such as all-women stores. In a celebration of women, Osheen was tasked to create a bold, colorful Siren. The mural pays homage to Portuguese influences in Goa, as well the neighborhood's artistic community and famous craftsmanship.

“I had a lot of fun representing my version of the iconic Starbucks Siren,” Siva says. “My practice revolves around narratives of strong characters from diverse backgrounds representing their unique voices. The Siren is also infused by my own Tamil background with the help of elements such as the traditional South Indian vintage jewelry and Kolam tattoos.”

The mural pays homage to Portuguese influences in Goa, as well the neighborhood's artistic community and famous craftsmanship: “The composition of the mural was inspired by the vibrant and dynamic Goan culture. The rich pastel color palette was influenced by Panjim's Latin quarter called Fontainhas, known for its colorful Portuguese architecture. The geometric border design in the mural is inspired by the Portuguese azulejos tiles commonly seen in Goan homes. Lastly, the sea and the cosmos motif give a nod to the coffee trade and heritage.”

A stained-glass installation that celebrates Indonesia’s rich coffee heritage
Dewata Coffee Sanctuary, Bali, Indonesia

The Starbucks Dewata Coffee Experience Center in Bali offers a one-of-a-kind Starbucks Experience for customers wanting to explore the coffee journey from seed-to-cup. On discovering local artist Abenk Alter’s distinctive Indonesian style and his love for depicting communities coming together, Starbucks partnered with him to create bespoke art for the space.

The center celebrates Indonesia’s rich coffee heritage through a variety of interactive, community-led activities such as interactive coffee workshops. In celebration of Bali’s vibrant coffee culture and Indonesia’s coffee origins, Abenk envisioned a unique stained-glass artwork that celebrates the power of shared connections.

“The artwork essentially represents my vision and things that I believe in, which I consistently wish to convey,” Abenk says. “It’s about people coming together, fellowship, and tolerance. In a social context, these are the values that are embraced as part of a concept that the Indonesian people call ‘gotong royong’ or collaboration.”

Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of the island, the store is designed using locally sourced materials crafted by local artists and artisans. Abenk’s artwork brings a sense of dynamism to the space through playful use of natural light. Depicting coffee roasting and tasting processes, as well as the craftsmanship of our baristas, the artwork uses fluid movements and colors to celebrate intimate connections shared over a cup of coffee. The artwork adds to the stores experiential format, inviting customers to embark on the seed-to-cup journey through curated series of interactive experiences such as workshops and tours.

As we continue to explore new ways to celebrate local cultures and communities through our store art and design, we look forward to collaborating with more talented artists from across Asia, giving them a platform to share their art and stories about local neighborhoods.

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Coffee and Connections at the Starbucks Origin Experience 2024 in Sumatra