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The best stands at Salone Ufficio – Workplace 3.0.

As usual the Salone stands out for the excellent quality standard of companies and exhibits and the refined and original installations full of charm.
Each stand is a temporary architecture carefully designed and it’s really hard to sort out the finest ones, that share bright and fascinating atmospheres, the use of plants and rich drapes.

WOW! has selected at Salone Ufficio – Workplace 3.0 edition 2017 those stands expressing the key words of the new ways of working in the best possible way.

Dieffebi: IOT, Wellness and “smart plants”.

 

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The stand designed by 967 is focused on wellness and biophilic design, key concepts of the Workplace 3.0.
On the occasion of the 2017 edition of Workplace 3.0, a new element is added to the minimalist design and clean lines that characterize the DotBox series, an element capable of making the workplace healthier and more pleasant: each storage module can be customized with a built-in flower box, with the dual functionality of purifying the air and giving a touch of style to the environment.

Inside the DotBox there is a ‘smart vase’ that uses Itair® technology, an innovative system of natural air purification for indoor environments. Thanks to this, the plants not only have the function of furnishing the space and making it more visually pleasing, but their natural purification properties are also amplified by a technological core inside the ‘smart vase’. The plant thus becomes an actual filter capable of metabolising the harmful agents in the air, and, thanks to the Itair® technology, which has a forced mechanical ventilation, the system increases the air flow inside the plant and amplifies its effectiveness exponentially.

Estel: 80 years of expertise for Italian Smart Office.

 

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Estel celebrates its 80th anniversary. The claim Italian Smart Office inspired the 400 sqm exhibiting space designed by Progetto CMR characterized by an elegant mood and a perfect lighting. The stand was organized around the main environments of the Smart Office:

“Personal Workstation”; “Comfort & Relax” with lounge and reception and informal meeting areas; coffeeshop and shared workstation entitled COffice; and last but not least executive desks and meeting-teleconference tables for the “Common Area”. Some Collaborative Rooms in different sizes – from phone booth to meeting room- offer solutions for acoustic comfort

Universal Selecta: Inner Sound and privacy oasis.

 

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The design of the stand by AMA – Albera Monti & Associati was inspired by the claim “The Inner Sound” and display the features of Chakra, the innovative prefabricated modular system for interiors that delimits areas of privacy and ideal conditions of acoustic comfort.

At the center of the stand a bed, expressing silence and calm, around it four different Chakras able to offer the same calm and silence in open plan offices and public areas.Outside the stand a smallest Chakra was available as phone booth for visitors.

Caimi Brevetti: acoustic comfort and artworks by Gillo Dorfles.

 

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In view of the 107th anniversary of Gillo Dorfles, Caimi Brevetti pays homage to the Master. The Snowsound panels made precious with some graphic works, designed by Dorfles from 1937 to 2017 are a perfect example of  how to combine art and industrial production can merge.

This evocative “art gallery” was the core of the installation organized in different sets partitioned by Snowsound Fiber curtains were new products for workplace and in-between areas were displayed.
Another amazing set was the sculptural suit designed and made by Moreno Ferrari.

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The Workplace Events at Fuorisalone (Milan Design Week).

Outside Salone del Mobile – Workplace 3.0, heart of concepts and furnishings solutions for office, some other events related to new ways of working will be organized Fuorisalone during Milano Design Week: to present a new product, to share new visions or for a “Prosecco Party” together.
WOW! has selected some of them.

Important! The events are by invitation only. For accreditation please contact the organizers.

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Tram Way to the Future (Progetto CMR).
The most original event is the city tour by tram organized by Progetto CMR: a journey around some of the new buildings and skyscrapers in Milan with a program of nomadic talks about a new sustainable approach to architecture. From 4 to 9 April at 5/6 pm.
info: presspcmr@progettocmr.com

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Spazio Necessario (Lombardini22).
Opening of a new area of the office to celebrate the 10th anniversary, Lombardini 22: a “Necessary Space” to host , the growth, the evolution and the moviment.
Lighting installation by Massimo Uberti, live painting by Ivan Tresoldi, jazz … and passion! April 6th
info: eventi@lombardini22.it

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Party Dieffebi.
An informal toast among colored drawers and design oriented storage furnishings at Dieffebi showroom in Brera District via Milazzo.
info: afardin@dieffebi.com

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Smart Office (Alias).
A new office collection and products designed by Sou Fujimoto at Alias showroom, corso Monforte 19.
info: press@alias.design

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Undecided sofa (Manerba).
The sost and magic sofa designed by Raffaella Mangiarotti and Illka Suppanen for  Manerba will be presented at Palazzo Litta inside  the installation “Linking The South and The North/ Unire Nord e Sud” and also at Jannelli&Volpi in via Melzo, where the Manerba’s showroom is based.
info: info@robertaeusebio.it

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La Fabbrica del Progetto (Tecno).
An exhibition of iconic masterpieces, new products and photos at i Caselli di Porta Garibaldi: presentation of the book “Tecno: the project” the evolution and the history of this brand of the Made in Italy design. Tecno Showroom, Caselli di Porta Garibaldi, Piazza XXV Aprile.
info: pressoffice@umbrella.it

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Acoustic cocoons and meadows (Ares Line/Fonology, hall 24 stand D15/E12).

Acoustics, ergonomics and proxemics, offer suggestions for new design approaches presented by Ares Line and Fonology at Salone del Mobile inside the Contract Design Network shared stand (hall 24, stand D15 / E12) designed as a “parliament” to display the different brands, by the claim “Space to your time”.

Base, Ares Line, by Frigerio Design.

A modular sound proofing screens system to create protected individual or relational spaces; places to meet up, focus, relax or participate; affording privacy when necessary, or room for interaction and sharing as needed.
It can be used as a simple sound screen, as a seat or a meeting space, since it is versatile by vocation.

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Prà, Fonology, design by Sandro Rai.

Prà is inspired by the iconic Pratone by Gufram (design Ceretti / Derossi / Rosso 1971) and offers new acoustic performances.
The blades of grass, covered with soundproofing fabric, have a metal structure that makes them flexible and allows twists 360 °.The base is designed to be a closed container or a library.

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Snowsound Fiber: the future of acoustic design (Caimi Brevetti, hall 22, stand B29/C20).

After more than three years of research, Caimi Brevetti – a company with a 68-year heritage in experimenting with and processing products and materials – has developed and is now launching Snowsound Fiber. The new technology will be launched at Salone del Mobile (hall 16 stand E31) and Workplace 3.0 (hall 22, stand B29/C20) among many other new products designed by very important designers.

This product is the result of research and acoustic design that Caimi Brevetti pursued since 2011, targeted in particular at public venues and the workplace, where the greatest reverberation-related issues have always been found.
Caimi Brevetti’s Snowsound® Technology is a game-changer in acoustic design correction. It is a flexible solution for correcting both new-buildings and existing environments, simply and rapidly.
Caimi Brevetti’s research is today at a step change with Snowsound Fiber: a range of sound-absorbing acoustic fabrics with measurable results combined with tactile and visual qualities.

Each material has its own specific texture that conveys different perceptions. The acoustic performance depends not just on the qualities of each material but on how it is laid (its position in space, distance from the walls, etc.) based on specific calculation systems that Caimi Brevetti has developed.
Unlike normal sound absorbing panels, these acoustic fabrics represent custom design solutions.

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All Snowsound Fiber acoustic fabrics are made out of 100% polyester, using inherently flame-retardant, 100% recyclable fibers. The fabric may be washed and ironed without losing its fire retardant and acoustic properties.
Snowsound-Fiber products won Greenguard-Gold certification, validating their low emissions specifications and their contribution to environmental quality. Greenguard standards are amongst the strictest standards in the world. Earning this certificate helps to acquire credits within the framework of the Indoor Environmental Quality section in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings assessment system.

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A Joyful Work in a Liquid Society: A Joyful Sense at Work (Workplace 3.0, hall 24)

Our attention is focused on the relationship between Work and Happiness. We are living in a liquid society, where social relationships and the individual experience are constantly composing and recomposing, and there is an individual who manages to achieve his aims in a nourishing and fecund work environment will be Joyful. “We have to ask ourselves the Workplace’s Sense, prior to redefining the shape” quoted Cristiana Cutrona, curator of “A Joyful Sense at Work”, the cultural installation we can enjoy at Salone del Mobile – Workplace 3.0, hall 24.

“Liquid organisations correspond to a way of working that pushes us to be more and more fast, efficient, flexible, nomadic, ubiquitous, synchronous, connected: a new era in which the technological evolution is no longer merely a scientific issue, but one that also impinges on the realms of biology, psychology and cognition. This change has altered our relationship with technology, space and time: 4-dimensional chronotopical reality is the stage for the unforeseeable phenomena of the universe, all of them.
It’s time to compose the dialectic between the inherent stiffness of form and the temporary nature of needs, which you define in its particular declination of adaptability.

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Let us define the spatial model of the new WorkPlace “Adaptive”, as in adaptability to the creative possibility of managing unexpected and unforeseeable situations (serendipity) both in the long term and at a moment’s notice and to the intrinsic ability to evolve and devolve, to adapt to the need to recreate a space that can at once be open, fostering coworking, and a place for concentration and individual working.
The building needs to free itself from constraints, meshes and grids, office products need to go back to their essential and archetypal forms, simple and modular, capable of offering innumerable options for aggregation and reconfiguration, part Lego, part the cardboard box that every child looks at and imagines a world, which he builds in the space/time of the imagination.
The office shakes off its static image and enters the era of the stage, of creativity and imagination.” Cristiana Cutrona explains.

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(The upper sketchs of A Joyful Sense at Work are by Consuline Architetti Associati lighting designer of the installation).

The installation is a poetic representation of the new WorkPlace: a landscape ready to change, simple to understand and use, the backdrop for theatre of improvisation, a stage set ripe for appropriation.
A luminous sculpture, suspended like a ribbon of clouds, represents the man-technology-space-time relationship and serves as a metaphor for a particular new sphere bound up with well-being: we need to take stock of the meteorology of the emotions (as Francesco Schianchi says).
The areas devoted to needs (Concentration, Sharing, Creativity) converge in a large central piazza, four closed structures contain projects by the 4 international architectural firms invited to interpret “A Joyful Sense at Work”.
From sotto the Italian firm 5+1AA founded by Alfonso Femia and Gianluca Peluffo; from east Ahmadi Studio by the Iranian architect Arash Ahmadi; from north the Dutch UnStudio and Scape founded by Ben van Berkel and Jeff Povlo; from west the American studio O+A baed in San Francisco and founded by f Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander.

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Chronotopic System, design by 5+1AA (Italy)
One spends a great deal of his lifetime at work. That is why our commitment and duty should be to transform working time into lifetime.
When we think of the definition “A Joyful Sense at Work”, we immediately think of life and the desire to live our lives to the fullest and sincerely.
We can do this by making the workspace into a chronotopic place, a space that changes according to time and location, a lively place, that is created and modified according to its use and according to the needs and the desires of the people that “live” there.
The workplace of the future will reverse the percentage of static spaces that are fixed and don’t change, towards a majority of changing, dynamic spaces. It is the radicalization of a complex and ever-changing place, that leans or declines on one or more basic elements that are anchoring at the site.

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Ham-Dasti, design by Ahmadi Studio (Iran)
This symbolic space enriched with fabrics, carpets, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy want to enclose the essence of different cultures and traditions of this vast geographic area through emotional and symbolic references.
Ahmadi Studio sees the Workplace3.0 as an area in which everyone can find themselves in harmony with nature. The vortex which dynamically surrounds the tree and rises high recall both the movement of the arcades of bazaars and the waterways of Persian gardens. An open space, easily editable according to the needs of those who work. The walls are made of traditional oriental fabrics. The Iranian word that gave the title to the project is Ham-dasti, complicity.
Architect Arash AhmadiI gave through this word, which literally means “Hand in Hand”, a message of harmony, belonging and sharing for the work space of the future.

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Reset, design by UNstudio and Scape (The Nederlands)
Reset is a fully immersive, modular structure that features six scientifically proven stress reduction methods in a playful and interactive way. It is designed to empower people to deal with stress more effectively—especially aimed at the workplace. Two protoypes, housing the stress reduction methods ‘Intimacy’ and ‘Sound’, are featured in this exhibition.
The ‘Sound’ pod is built on sound therapy principles, while the ‘Intimacy’ pod is all about inspiring calm. Prior to experiencing the active versus passive experience, visitors register their names and are fitted for both an EMOTIV Insight EEG brain sensor and an ECG heart monitor watch. Once the sensors are reading, they are ready to go.
RESET serves dual goals. In line with the quantified self (self-tracking with technology for self-knowledge), the sensors inform the pod which in turn adapts its physical environment to the user’s state. And using a special algorithm, it generates a Reset Index, personalised feedback that recommends the most appropriate stress relief methods for the visitor.

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The Water Cooler, design by O+A (USA)
For over 25 years O+A has been at the forefront of a revolution in workplace design. Drawing on a West Coast culture that makes core values of experimentation and innovation, O+A dives into the aesthetics of space design with a playfulness and irreverence that has changed the way we think about work. The future of workplace is now.
This exhibit posits a radical re-thinking of the work environment, an entryway to space, both physical and mental, that releases us to think creatively and provides a respite from the stresses of the day.
Like water changing properties according to its form, the new office will change to meet a user’s need. O+A envisions that need in four postures, four ways to interact with space, four ways to interact with work.

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Storage systems, plants and air quality (Dieffebi, hall 24, B19 / B23 stand).

At Salone del Mobile (hall 24, stand B19 / B23) Dieffebi will show new features for DotBox for a Workplace 3.0 devoted to wellbeing. The flexible storage system able to configure workspaces, today integrates planters equipped with air purification system.

Plants and vegetation inside workplace help to improve air quality, contributing to wellbeing and productivity.This is why DotBox integrates now a “smart pot” with Itair® technology, an innovative natural air purification system for indoor environments.
Plants make more pleasant the workspace and make a better air quality, too.
The plant becomes a real filter able to metabolize harmful agents present in the air and, thanks to Itair® technology, provides for a forced mechanical ventilation.

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DotBox is a multifunctional modular storage system made of sheet steel laser-cut, fully recyclable. It can also be customized with pillows and panels in different shapes, colors and fabrics, including fireproof and sound absorbing. It allows to efficiently organize the space with a unique personality.

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Many faces of Italian Smart Working (Estel (hall 24, stand C21/D14).

Important anniversary for Estel that celebrates 80 years of experience, experimentation and constant evolution. At Salone del Mobile the concept “Italian Working Smart” will be declined in all its aspects in a stand (hell 24, stand C21 / D14) which offers answers to all the business needs of Workplace 3.0.

There is no longer a single office identity and image.The workplace 3.0 is characterized by the variety and fluidity of space. Furniture design adapts to this reality with solutions to answer to different ways of working: from coworking to executive office, from informal collaborative room to break areas, from lounge areas to clerical workstations in open plan offices or closed by partition walls. Here are some of the many solutions Estel will present at Salone del Mobile.

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Coworking: Baobab.
Big rounded table (Ø 240) that can receive 8 people, a touch down workstation to replace the single workplace.

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Break area: COffice.
Equipped kitchen with counter, or Isola Party: like home with high-tech equipment.

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Meeting: Collaborative Room.
Places for informal meeting, concentration an creativity available in different dimensions.

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Workstation: I Pianeti.
Ergonomic and versatile composition of fixer or sit-stand desks.

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Contenitori: Lokers.
Personal storage, with Chairbox that follows you to the workplace or into common areas.

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Ufficio direzionale: Altagamma and Grand More.
Executive Sit&Stand Desk, with independent height adjustable tabletops, Workwall Storage composition and Grand More meeting table equipped for videoconference.

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Sound absorption and warm wood (Mascagni hall 22, stand C29/C35).

Mascagni will present at Salone del Mobile its vision of Workplace 3.0: the evolution of TrèS collection: furnishings and partitions wth high acoustic performances. The stand (hall 22, stand C29 / C35), designed by architect Pietro Mascagni and Alessio De Luca offers a path made of tactile sensations and sounds underlining the concept of natural wood for walls and screen to give the office a home-like mood.

 

Tres screen, Mascagni, design Antonio and Patrizia Mugnoz.

TrèS screen, is the third part of a complex furnishings project that has engaged the company in the last two years, it will be presented at the Salone del Mobile to complete the range of sound absorbing screens and partitions high aesthetic quality.
A balance between privacy and comfort, design and technology.
Sound-absorbing panels (in wood, fabric, glass or laminate) with aluminum structure, allowing a smart and intuitive way to reconfigure spaces and ways of working focusing on user’s needs.

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Space & (E)motion for a joyful workplace (Sedus, hall 24, stand E8/E10).

Under claim “Space & (E) motionSedus participates at Salone del Mobile (hall 24, E8 / stand E10) presenting a constantly moving space that invites people to experiment with new solutions and new ways of working, creating wellbeing and happiness.

The inspiring concept of the stand is linked to “A Joyful Sense at Work” vision. It designs fluid paths implementing the keywords of Workplace 3.0 “communication, concentration, collaboration and contemplation”.

Among the Sedus’s products it will be possible to see (photogallery from left): the elegant chair se: line, that recognizes the user’s weight and measures, the lounge modular system se: works and the table collections invitation and get together combined with modular storages, sound-absorbing panels and screens, allowing suitable configurations for both individual and teamworks.

Salone will be also the occasion for the world premiere se: joy, a multifunction seat for meetings, conferences, meetings and temporary use; It is characterized by colored mesh and a thin high tech structure.

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Chakra modular acoustic oasis (Universal Selecta (hall 24, stand D8/D10).

Universal Selecta takes part to Salone del Mobile (hall 24, stand D8/D10) to launch the unpublished features of Chakra, an architectural modular system for interiors supplied in kit which allows to create, quickly and easily, bespoke oasis of privacy. The philosophic concept of “The Inner Sound”, symbol of harmony and wellbeing now comes inside the Workplace 3.0.

How is it possible to transform a noisy open space in an acoustically perfect environment?Chakra is a new typology of prefabricated partition system, covered by 5 patents, freestanding and technologically evolved, it requires no anchors on the ceiling nor on the floor.


It defines areas of privacy and ensures ideal conditions of acoustic comfort in any collective environment and under all conditions: the noise does not prevent the concentration inside; animated meetings do not disturb the quiet outside environment.

Chakra uses a patented assembly system which ensures simplicity and speed in the assembly and flexibility for subsequent movements, extensions or configuration changes.
To create Chakra project team, Universal Selecta has chosen qualified technical partners for the various fields of expertise: Studio AMA-Albera Monti & Associati (art direction); Ezio Rendina-Viva Consulting (acoustic design); Eco Contract (surface finishings).

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A holistic approach to lighting design.

All the components of a room, that contribute to environmental wellbeing, such as exposure, architecture, furnishings, colors and natural sunlight, are taken into consideration in a holistic approach.
There is not only one kind of light; there are different lights: a light to see, a light to look at, a light to watch.

The barren lux concept is obsolete and should be widened to comfort, taking into account visual perception: the human eye doesn’t perceive the total wattage, but  the light distribution.
So, a qualitative rather than quantitative lighting design is requested.

In a working environment reduction in contrasts prevents fatigue.
Most important, through a differentiated light on vertical surfaces rooms look wider and brighter (vertical surfaces account for 80% of the perceived ones).
Also, it’s necessary to pay special attention to other important factors:  the colour rendering and constancy, flux and the thermal stability of LED,technology, now most widely used.

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Text by arch. Gianni Ronchetti, lighting designer.

The evolution of the office lighting design approach from the 70’s to the 90’s to the present holistic approach.

Left: workplace with traditional lighting design;
Right: restyling of the same workplace by a holistic lighting design.

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Home Sweet Office Home: Plantronics’ offices in Italy.

Plantronics will open on April 6th its new offices in Italy at the LEED Platinum Energy Park building -by Garretti Associati– in Vimercate, close to Milan: a 400 sqm space to experience smart-working now and into the future, where the concepts of “work elsewhere” and “work-life balance” lend greater comfort and harmonized mind-body ergonomics to the environment.

Plantronics, pioneer in Wearable technology, was one of the first firms to theorize and implement smart-working, but our work and life styles have changed a lot in the last few years.
I need an office, but I don’t want an office” Daniele Andriolo, Global Manager of Facilities and Workplace Services di Plantronics, asked to architect Daniela Carta, founder of MQA Metro Quadro Architetti and her team -Irene Pacioni and Marianna De Vivo architects. They accepted the challenge.

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The concepts in the lead just a few years ago are no longer relevant and the key words pinpoint the current trends of the creative jobs: Liquid Worklife, Café Co-Working, Pop-Up Workplace, Hacker Culture, Meetings Without Borders, fino a Fighting the Tech Fatigue and Wellness is the New Green.
The result is a non-office-office, designed as a welcoming and comfortable Great Place to Stay.


“We were fascinated with the idea of opening fluid spaces so that everyone feels right at home, welcome, thanks to a comfortable and flexible environment –quoted Ilaria Santambrogio, Country Manager Plantronics Italia– the Italian headquarter is today an open office, designed to host customers, partners, resellers, so that everyone feels at home, thanks to the comfort and flexibility of the spaces”.

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No more rooms specifically meant for concentration, communication, contemplation and collaboration, so the whole environment is suited to be lived in a free, at all times and in whatever manner.
The 80% of the office does not represent the standard office. There are spaces that can be experienced and exploited, in different way, with no fixed positions for the employees.
To encourage the conviviality and the welcoming atmosphere, the office includes several areas: an area with sit-stand desks, a kitchen area, a relaxation area with elegant couches of design and polished wood tables. A unique and innovative concept in the European and global context and not only, which allows to the Italian headquarter to improve the wellbeing of the team, encouraging greater productivity and pursuing its growth goals in the world of the headsets in more targeted manner.


Into the new offices there is not a strict division of the areas, so that employees, guests, partners, customers can experience the Smart Working space in a free way, choosing to work on the table of the kitchen, in the relaxation areas, on one of the tables , scattered in different areas, or in one of the meeting rooms.
During the planning phase, Plantronics highlighted primarily the need of ergonomics and acoustic comfort: each element is an expression of a different way, smart to work. The heigh-adjustable desks (by Sedus) can be changed from time to time.
This reflects the freedom to decide the workstation, depending on the type of activities: focusing, brainstorming, connecting to a conference call.
The whole office presents itself as an open space everywhere, with monitors in each room or blackboards glass on which to take notes during an informal meeting or during a coffee. At level of lighting design, maximum attention also to the use of natural light and use of LED 100% .


The architectural studio has used wood everywhere: in addition the use of sound-absorbing materials makes the environment already soundproofed.
In line with a sustainability choice, Plantronics has selected the Interface modular carpets, made with 100% recycled materials , it reclaims the typical pavement of the European roads.
The kitchen corner includes an authentic italian kitchen, which is also a meeting place, and point of connection thanks to the Watercooler videoconference system, an open window with the other Smart Working offices, with the purpose to favor the collaboration with the colleagues from various European Plantronics offices.
The use of natural materials and warm colors, the high acoustic comfort, the variety of furnishings of valuable finishes and the curved surfaces make the room pleasant and comfortable.
The criteria of environmental sustainability taken into consideration in the planning are most appreciated by employees and guests, whom are received in the central kitchen, where “But first… coffee!” is written in big letters.

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Corporate culture shapes the space.

Happiness at work is a key characteristic for the success of every organization. Its recipe is made up of social, behavioral, psychological intangible elements and tangible ones such as the workspace. Some of those elements are well defined and applicable in the same way on other organizational contexts rather than be adapted to the organization.

The company culture is the most crucial element to make a better and happier work environment. It is the set of values, beliefs and behaviors within an organization that describes how people relate to each other, to achieve results, to interact with the space where they work.
Employees are more engaged in the workplace if they are supported by better company cultures.
The workplace is the physical element that contributes to happiness at work. It means design, amenities, colors, materiality and furniture selection.
Office space immediately signify if a company culture respects and values the comfort of its employees.
The company culture and office space work closely to create positive interactions within the workplace. They affect profoundly both the individual and the workforce. The workspace is a static and inanimate space in absence of a company culture that describes the behaviors within it. It also influences the relationship between people and office space utilization. The values of the company culture aggregate all different generations who work within the space.
The intangible aspects that company culture leads along with office space affect financial results.
Speaking of happiness at work, if the office space is the hardware the corporate culture is the software.

Companies like Facebook, Google and others have created amazing cultures and amenities to foster happiness at work and attract top talents.
Those amazing cultures need to be nurtured and the changes to achieve them can be expensive for companies but happier and more productive workers will pay off in the long run.
If employees are working in old furniture that signifies company is not valuing the employee experience.
Investing in the design of an office allows employees to understand where profits are being spent and creates a comfortable environment that helps to be happy at work.
Workplace amenities have become prevalent in office design as an indicator of exceptional company culture. A break room with some vending machines is not cutting it anymore as a nice place to which employees can retreat. A nap room can help employees to relax and disconnect from technology.

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At Zappos, company culture has given shape to the space in which employees work. Its office space doesn’t fit the usual design but shows values in which employees believe and create a comfortable environment for everyone.
These are four of the ten core values that have affected office spaces:
Create Fun and A Little Weirdnes.
Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded.
Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication.
Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit.
Zappos has traditionally used an open office design since its early startup stage. “We designed this office so that people can really customize the space to fit their team’s needs” said Rob Timoshuk, Director of Operations.

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In the offices of Spotify, the online music company in Stockholm, management delegated the design of the new offices to their employees, similarly to Zappos. The solution to separate open work spaces from corridors by using a mesh of wires, instead of using glass or walls expresses the value of transparency.

At InfoJobs’ offices in Barcelona the employees decided to give their meeting rooms names that correspond to the company’s values and decorate those rooms accordingly.
The room called “happiness” has nice pillows, blankets, flowers, books and yoga mats. It is the room where people can express themselves and experience a bit of happiness.
It’s easy to find, within a company, elements that express the corporate culture accidentally or on purpose. The orientation and shape of a table in a meeting room can signify cultural values: a rectangle table can mean a hierarchal structure whilst a circular table can mean a collaborative environment where collaboration is encouraged.

The best way to get 100% of the potentiality of a space and a company culture is to make them interact. At the center of everything there are always people who will live that space.

Text by Giovanni Battista Pozza, co-founder of Full Glass (Happiness Think Thank)

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Wellbeing and dynamic ergonomics in the workplace (Assufficio).

The document “Wellbeing in the Workplace” will be launched next April 5th at 2 pm inside the area “A Joyful Sense at Work” at Salone Ufficio-Workplace 3.0. It is an excerpt of one of the Assufficio Technical Commission’s research, that will be downloaded in the extended version, by the Assufficio website. The document explains the need of adaptability to the anthropometric dimensions, the problems of incorrect postures and also focuses on the new trend of sit-stand desks.
The conclusions? To reach wellness, it is important to change habits before changing the habitat.

The workers’ wellness depends on light, noise, temperature and, mainly, the right posture. The workstation should be adaptable to the user’s anthropometric size, through an ergonomic seat and a height adjustable desk. Working sitting in front of the computers, the correct posture is not enough for the worker’s health. He should have the opportunity to change position, to stand and move.

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For this reason smart working and activity based office are good for our work -life balance and our heath too.
The document suggests standards for chairs and analyzes the desks by classification based on heigh and adjustment type.

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Simply switching between seated and standing position, for ten minutes every hour, would allow us to minimize the negative effects of extended sitting, improving our work efficiency.

Pictures by Ettore Schioppa, member of Assufficio Technical Commission, from the booklet “Wellbeing in the Workplace” ´©`Assufficio.

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Happiness at work. Geico awarded by GPTW.

Last March 3rd Great Place to Work made the list of the best companies to work for in Italy public. The list –large, medium and small companies- was drawn up on the basis of a questionnaire about the perceived quality of the work experience handed out to the employees. The survey considered the relation between managers and collaborators, how they are involved in their job and the relation with their colleagues.
The company climate is strictly related with happiness: the three pillars of wellbeing: social, economic and environmental, cannot be separated, as they define together the global gross happiness, according to the UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon.

Those leaders who enforce such prerequisites make the principle that positive attitudes between managers, collaborators and colleagues come from individual commitment and economically successful companies effective. There are several studies supportino this thesis. In Italy, organizations recording the highest levels of wellbeing of their workers have increased their turnover by 12,61%, (over the Italian average of 2,28%) thus confirming a trend that has been going on now for five years.
The recent GPTW’s survey was especially focused on the physical environment of the workplaces.

Geico was awarded for its best work environments.

Geico, a world leader in the design and manufacture of automated turnkey vehicle body painting plants, was awarded by its employees the best work environment.
Great Place To Work analyses the workplace perception at Geico related with the availability of high levels of concentration and privacy, and the possibility to flexible adapt to different worker’s needs and to reflect the corporate image.

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The design of the new offices close to Milan is a 360° answer to to the workers’ needs: flexible layouts, activity settings spaces, shared areas and private ones.
Not only functional solutions but answers focused on wellness and work-life balance (gardens, bistrot, relax areas, kitchenettes, and so on).

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It is estimated that one percentage point of enhanced perception of workplaces brings about an increase of 0,6-0.8 points in the perception of a “great place to work”.
The workplace impact on “happiness” isn’t an end in itself, but rather something that is reflected in the best performances of the organizational structure and economic out-turns.

Text by Antonino Borgese, Director of Great Place to Work® research.

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Laura’s Garden of Thoughts is the physical place in which thought processes take place. It is the physical space that Chairman Arabnia wanted to dedicate to his wife Laura and to his extended family: his employees. This is the very heart of Geico. Here the right side of his brain has free reign. This is where the company’s soul is.
2,000 square metres of beauty and wellbeing, an essential prelude before accessing the Pardis Innovation Centre, the perfect synthesis of emotions and creativity.
A meditation space, corporate gym, bistro area and cultural and entertainment area comprising an amphitheatre and a photo gallery make up this wonderful Zen garden.
Ideal for the physical and mental wellbeing of all those employed by Geico.

 

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The LEED certified Green Buildings in Italy.

A book presenting sustainability in architecture from theory to practice, edited by Giuliano Dall’O “We are experiencing a quality change both in new construction sector and in deep renovation of buildings based on city regeneration” quoted the author. The book is published by Edizioni Ambiente.

Matching beauty and Sustainability, anticipating the change in the construction sector: this is the message of examples contained in the book.
Among the projects presented in the book: the Porta Nuova housing estate and the renovation of Palazzo Ricordi in Milan, the i.lab – Italcementi Research and Innovation Center in Bergamo, the new headquarters of Intesa San Paolo Bank in Turin, and the Science Museum MUSE in Trento (both designed by Renzo Piano).
Promoted in Italy since 2008, when the Green Building Council Italia – member of the World GBC Network – was founded, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) environmental certification protocol achieved in a few years a relevant role in the building sector.
Leadership in Green Building, shows a selection of the most significant LEED certified buildings in Italy. Not a simple collection of buildings, but rather a journey in the Italian Architecture of the last decade, an Architecture that has brought sustainability from theory to practice in the built environment.
Even though many of the buildings hereby described are well-known, their environmental features are often underestimated. at issues are at the core of the LEED certification protocols proposed in Italy and worldwide. In this volume, those values represent the fundamental parameters to describe the quality of that architecture.

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Giuliano Dall’O is Associate Professor in Buildings Physics at the ABC Department (Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering) of Milan Politecnico University.
He conducts research in energy conservation, energy efficiency, use of renewable energy sources. He is the author and co-author of over thirty technical books and around 200 technical articles, some of which deal with LEED certification and are relevant globally.

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What are the employees’s most desired benefits and services?

Is there a change of trend under way as far as benefits and services companies are offering to their employees? Let’s reflect upon the manager’s awareness of the staff’s actual wishes and the strategies of companies such as Microsoft Italia, now moving from the perfect, well-served campus outside the city to the new and beautiful offices downtown Milan, however with “no services”

So far, every company aspiring to the role of best workplace relied on benefits and services for the workers, becoming a sort of “mum-company” taking care of her babies: besides free organic food and the “butler” taking care of the staff’s mental and physical wellbeing, there is also a commitment to promoting a healthy life style.
The offices are wonderful sub urban architectures surrounded by nature (for instance Technogym, Tetrapak, Elica, Diesel, Loccioni), work-life balance oriented headquarters, micro-cities offering services such as day nursery, restaurant, fitness center, garden, theatre, doctor’s appointment and more.
Perfect workplaces, but…
However the survey by Oxford Economics and Plantronics studied what workers want from their office environments, and what managers need to do to enable the highest satisfaction and productivity from their people. First of all workers just want to work and sometimes managers don’t see the problems.
It raises doubts, which is more important than a supply of more “optional” services.

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Microsoft Italia seems to be taking this path by leaving the fully-equipped campus to take its employees downtown and to a beautiful architecture (by Herzog & De Meuron for Fondazione Feltrinelli) and working environment meant for the highest level of comfort.
There are several break rooms and a kitchenette and cafe machines on every floor, yet no restaurant, nursery or gym. However all services are available around here, downtown.
To make up for it, even the public can stop and try the new technologies, play and work on the ground floor, and a lab is available for schools.
An about-turn compared to the usual pattern: Microsoft entering the city is an entry in every respect, meaning relations, involvement and services not only for their workers but for all residents.
A new mission statement, an osmosis with the vibrant town, even the employees are certainly proud of.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine

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The pictures show the new Microsoft Italia headquarters in Milan.

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Two prestigious prizes to celebrate Kinnarps’s 75th anniversary.

Moment of glory for Kinnarps, winner of two very prestigious prizes: its stand was appointed “Best Stand” by Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s award – Editors’ Choice.
And two Kinnarps’s products –Space and Fields– have been awarded by iF Product Design Award 2017. The best way to celebrate its 75th anniversary!

“Silhouettes of Kinnarps” is the title of the amazing blue installation created for Stockholm Furniture 2017, an architectural monument that celebrates the company’s 75-year history, its present and its future. The jury of “Editor’s Choice Award” concluded that it was the Best Stand at the fair.
“We are of course very happy for this award. Kinnarps celebrates 75 years this year, so we wanted to draw attention to our history, but also our present and future in the stand. We want to show our offer “Workspace Solutions” that lead to wellbeing and prosperity and offer our visitors an experience. We see this award as a proof that we have succeeded” says Elisabeth Slunge, Director Global Range & Communications.
The Creative Director for Kinnarps’ stand is Johan Ronnestam
– an innovator, entrepreneur and experienced brand expert. To create the stand, he teamed up with Björn Förstberg and Mikael Ling from Förstberg Ling, an architectural and design agency in Malmö experienced in both architecture and interior design.


“The construction is a space where people can meet, share ideas and be inspired. It’s a celebration of the Kinnarps history and future. A concept intended to celebrate 75 years by inviting the visitors to become part of the experience. The modern workspace solution is an open atmosphere where conversations between people, creativity and productivity leads to innovation. This were the key components we wanted to communicate when we created this transparent construction – says Björn Förstberg and Mikael Ling- For us, the concept “The Silhouettes of Kinnarps”, is a temple of transparency and sophisticated detailing that shares design principles with the company’s workspace philosophy.”

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Photo by Åke E:son Lindman. 

Space and Fields win iF Product Design Award 2017.

Inside its “Best Stand” Kinnarps displayed its products and concepts, among them two furniture systems -Space and Fields- were awarded by iF Product Design Award 2017.
“We are honoured that our products have received awards of this nature.- says Elisabeth Slunge, Director Global Range & Communications at Kinnarps– The iF Product Design Award is a highly prestigious award and proves that Kinnarps creates world class furniture. Both Space and Fields are a range of furniture for the modern day workplace, adapted to be flexible and meet the individual demands and requirements of today’s working life.”

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Space, designed by Stefan Brodbeck (Brodbeck design) is a furniture concept for today’s and tomorrow’s way of working, meeting and storing. The range is based on a large number of storage modules which are connected and combined depending on the functionality and look you want. The flexibility of the range enables both concentration and discussions as well as space for group and private areas.

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Fields, designed by Olle Gyllang (Propeller Design AB), is a range that works as a link between the traditional workplace and meeting rooms. With the furniture range it is possible to create shared environments, meeting areas, rooms within rooms, creative environments and spaces for concentrated work or private workplaces. The range also consists of a number of modules which can be combined, linked together and placed in a wide range of different ways. The range, contains sofas, easy chairs, tables, screens and accessories.

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Robert Petersson new CEO for Kinnarps.

Robert Petersson is the new CEO for Kinnarps AB from December 2016. He is 55 years old with a Master of Science degree and his professional career has allowed him to gain solid experience in holding managerial positions, both as managing director, sales director and production director in different companies.

Robert Petersson has previously worked within Kinnarps, between 2001 and 2005, as Production Director and now returns as CEO.
Henry Jarlsson, chairman of the board, quoted: “It gives me great pleasure to be able to say that Robert Petersson is back with us. Robert has extensive experience of change processes and corporate development. His task now is to develop the business to increase the competitiveness and to consolidate our position as Europe’s leading supplier of interior design solutions”.
“I am honored and delighted to return to Kinnarps and to be given the opportunity to lead the company forward. It is amazing to see what Kinnarps has achieved. I am now looking forward to work with the Board, the owners and the employees to further strengthen Kinnarps position and to increase the efficiency.” says Robert Petersson.

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The best workplaces in Italy awarded by GPTW (March 3rd)).

The winner companies -classificate into 3 lists: Large, Medium and Small Companies best workplaces- will be awarded next March 3rd, 2017 during the gala dinner organized by Great Place To Work Italia at the Unicredit Pavilion in Milan.

As usual, the ranking is based on the survey conducted among workers of the companies GPTW is collaborating with, to improve the business climate and the people satisfaction. The interviews are focused on various aspects in particular relate to the relationship between managers and employees, the collaboration between people and the quality of the work.
”The survey shows that managers of the best companies manifest in a special way their appreciation for the commitment of the people, not only through tangible benefits, but especially on an ongoing basis in the daily relationship”. Antonino Borgese, president of GPTW, quoted.
The best workplaces are characterized by the high level of wellbeing that people enjoy.
Among the multinationals are ranked Google, SAS Institute, W. L. Gore & Associates, high productive companies that implemented smart working.

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