Permanent Architectural Intallation

In 2005, JWT embarked on an office renovation with the renowned architect Clive Wilkinson. Mr. Wilkinson had designed several small meeting rooms throughout the agency that were sheathed in a vinyl fabric out of which he envisioned stamping text.

I was asked to conceive of words that would be appropriate, inspiring, and lasting to reflect JWTís belief that, at heart, JWTís business is storytelling.

Every great story starts with a great first sentence, so my thought was to use the first sentence from important works of literature to inspire the JWT troops as storytellers.


Once upon a time, a mouse, a bird, and a sausage, entered into partnership and set up house together.
Brothers Grimm

It was a face in which an excess of soul was laid bare, causing the onlooker to shrink from looking at it directly, as if it talked too openly of private things.
Yukio Mishima

Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; thereís a peep-hole in the door, and my keeperís eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.
Gunter Grass

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.
La Rouchefoucauld

It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.
Ray Bradbury

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
Muriel Rukeyser

Ships at a distance have every manís wish on board.
Zora Neale Hurston

At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.
Sue Monk Kidd

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing youíll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I donít feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
J.D. Salinger

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.
Maya Angelou

She was so deeply imbedded in my consciousness that for the first year of school I seem to have believed that each of my teachers was my mother in disguise.
Philip Roth

The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility.
Meg Wolitzer

Two things make a story. The net and the air that falls through the net.
Pablo Neruda

Tell me a fact and Iíll learn. Tell me a truth and Iíll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
Indian Proverb

When Joana Carda scratched the ground with the elm branch all the dogs of Cerbere began to bark, throwing the inhabitants into panic and terror, because from time immemorial it was believed that when these canine creatures, that had always been silent, started to bark, the entire universe was nearing its end.
Jose Aramago