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Venice Biennale Architecture 2018: Mario Cucinella curator of the Italian Pavilion.

Mario Cucinella
will be the curator of the Italian Pavilion for 16th Venice International Architecture Exhibition curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara (Grafton Architects) and promoted by the Biennale di Venezia Foundation.

The team led by the architect Mario Cucinella -winner of an invited competition by Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (MiBACT)- will propose “Archipelago Italy”: a great dynamic laboratory that focuses on the urban space formed by interior areas, which by extension and historical-cultural stratification, embodies the identity of our country.
Architect Cucinella explains: “Archipelago Italy is an opportunity to restore the centrality of expressions of quality in architecture, which can only emerge from empathy with sites, favoring the right measure over the grandiose gesture and accounting for the feasibility of the project. This reflection derives from a scientific reading of the territory based on four transversal themes: architecture and landscape, infrastructures, society and economy.

The opportunities that emerge from this research will be expressed in the meaningful selection of some thirty projects intended to promote a response to the needs of inhabiting, connecting, sharing and progressing – always in an integrated way.
Particular attention will be given to the post-earthquake emergency context of the Central Apennine region, for which this project will become a rallying cry.
As part of the proposal, Mario Cucinella / MCA also suggested to MiBACT that it bring the Pavilion outside the spaces of the Venice Biennale, and in order to establish a biunivocal relationship with the territory, that concrete involvement of local communities should be expected.

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Mario Cucinella portrait by Luca Maria Castelli.
Some recent and under construction projects by MCA (from left):
 Unipol Grouunder construction  in Milan Milano Porta Nuova.
One Airport Square, Accra, Ghana.
Nursery school in Guastalla,Italy.
Headquarters Coima under construction at Porta Nuova in Milan.
Yvonne Farrell e Shelley McNamara (Grafton Architects).


Pills and trends just after Milano Design Week.

A few ironic and qualified reflections by our special reporters Tatiana Milone and Marta Bernstein just after the Milano Design Week, “when you sort out the too many photos (what’s that? Who’s he?… dump it!) and you comment on what you’ve been feeling”.

Here is the conversation between two designers after visiting the the launch of the new collection by Ron Arad at the Danese exhibition (photo 1 upper):
Designer #1: “Danese, what an amazing show! Ironic and definitely far from the pink – brass – marble – parrots – palms mix”.
Designer #2: “Anyway, marble-parrots-brass-palms, that’s always better than the new 2017 mix: shabby wall – copper – luxury fabric – random blown glass- smoked plate glass- bronze profiles”.
We can confirm, no better synthesis of Milano Design Week 2017 could be possible.

Wonderful courtyards have opened, Palazzo Bovara, Palazzo Isimbardi (Catalan design … but looks like Nordic style…), Palazzo Turati.
Public spaces and private apartments fit and dress in design.
Some scenic, glass and brass tendencies are confirmed by Rossana Orlandi and the London based Se Collections (photo 2,3,4,5).

Absolutely unique the Hermès installation set up at Pelota by Charlotte Macaux Perelman: natural materials, objects and textiles (photo 6,7).
Terracotta, copper, wood we also find them at the fair at the Salone del Mobile in the home settings of Alf da Fre, in the refined new furnishings of De Castelli (Alessandra Baldereschi for the Tracing Identity project, photo 8), in the elegant compositions inside Estel’s stand (photo 9).

Sparkling Euroluce! Many new ideas and fittings: the new light lines by Davide Groppi (photo 10), the curves by Artemide (photo 11), the geometries by Vibia and Flos (photo 12) and the unsurpassed light poems by Nendo for Flos. (photo 13)

Many of Kvadrat‘s fabrics, coordinated with perfect palettes and designs, have just been employed by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso.

The new glittering weaves by the sisters Marie and Annica Eklund, owners of trendy company Bolon. (photo 14)
At 5Vie, the growing Fuorisalone area, Cartier‘s super luxury installation was set in the San Remo Garage; nearby the designer Samanta Mancone exhibits tapestry and blankets- from the Italian textile tradition- made of recycled materials. (photo 15)
Paola Lenti launched new textures and warm happily glittering colors in a subtropical mood at the new location at via Orobia. (photo 16)

Patricia Urquiola, new art director of Cassina, presents new colors and new forms at the new Fondazione Feltrinelli headquarters by Herzog & De Meuron.
De Padova and Carl Hansen presented new collections with classic elements inspired by the 1960s.
Fritz Hansen inside the atelier of Luisa Beccaria proposes its own hotel: a little colorful and cheerful luxury hostel. (photo 17)
Nilufar Depot was a joy to the eyes for lovers of modern design: a focus on great beauty masterpieces (also an original of the famous 881, in the chronicles for the ongoing dispute between Cassina and Molteni).

Text by Tatiana Milone and Marta Bernstein


Amazing exhibition at Ventura Centrale, first edition of the new location Fuorisalone:  Maarten Baas & Lensvelt won the Milan Design Awards 2017 for the installation “May I have your attention, please?”

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When design-bulimia replaces innovation.

I’ve now fully recovered  from the usual indigestion from design in April, so a few considerations on the Milan Design Week are almost de riguer. I must admit it: after attending 40 of them, my enthusiasm and curiosity are beginning to wane, but my impressions have been confirmed by the comments of WOW! reporters and some practitioners I hold in high esteem; to mention just one of them, the sharp “Perlina” posted on Facebook by Enrico Baleri, which I find incomparable.

First of all I’d like to congratulate the Salone del Mobile on its new attendance record (343.602 visitors!).
Many exhibitors actively contribute toward this success through their luxurious stand booths, conceived by important designers as temporary architectures, able to attract visitors and emotionally involve them.
In many cases the design of the container seems to be prevailing over the products, that hardly palpitate with true innovation even if their quality is top-notch.
Many companies stop to invest in technological research.
Kartell should be mentioned as one of the exceptions: under the title “Contaminations” ( upper photo) it presented many nice and innocvative chairs… and it is not easy to offer quality and quantity!
The dangers lurk when the company has run out of ideas and dusts off the look of the fifties, or penetrates fields that defy common sense and ergonomics, bordering on ridicule.


And I’m sorry I have to say that Alias is following this trend. Hybrid design is okay, but how can you even conceive a chair -uncomfortable- integrated inside a bookcase?
That could be explained by the obligation to present something new at all costs.
Maybe we should also reflect upon the very format of the“Fair”: is such a rigid subdivision in different furniture sectors still relevant? Isn’t it anachronistic compared to the fluid way living, working and recreation environments are blending?
For example why Lapalma presented its “Light Office” collection at Salone del Mobile instead at Workplace 3.0?
If the office is increasingly fluid –as the installation A Joyful Sense at Work confirmed- changing a somewhat outdated format might increase its attractiveness: what do you think about a more dynamic Salone Contract & Workplace?

And then there is the festive occupation of the Fuorisalone… son et lumière everywhere in the city, amazing installations that can enhance disused locations, yet also damage historic buildings with ugly setups fit for a funfair.


I’ve asked about dozen people lying on sofas inside the Orto Botanico in Brera: “Excuse me, do you know the name of the manufacturer of these sofas?” Answer: eyes wide open and an uninterested “no idea!”.
Unfortunately that company (who was it?) invested money for attending that location…
I’m considering writing a “Guide to prevent design-bulimia”. It could be useful.

Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine


Sofa system and lounge seating: are they the new workstations?

Collaboration, concentration and sharing” repeated over and over like a mantra, the keywords of the Workplace 3.0 that require informal atmospheres and dynamic and versatile furnishings to express themselves in the best possible way. That’s how the lounge seating and the sofà systems turn into very inspiring objects for the designer.
Here are some of the most interesting products launched at Salone del Mobile and FuoriSalone.

The perfect settings for smart working are those hybrid areas, borderline between relaxation and work; and also in the transit places of contract world like hotel’s halls; in the fluid in-between areas both public and privacy spaces, too.
So even the sofas have to be hybrid and they are often used as unconventional workstations.

What are the prerequisites for a sofa system?
First of all, they must be pleasant and comfortable to host a meeting in the better way; the look is also most important fore their task is to to liven up and lend a recognizable image to those circulation areas risking to be nondescript: unusual shapes and bright colors are a must.
And they should also be flexible, modular, and transformable, in order to easily change configuration to answer to the different needs.
They are versatile and customizable, sometimes involving the user in a co-design activity.
Sometimes look even like a cocoon and integrate acoustic and visual insulation solutions, to define undisturbed areas.
They are equipper with functional accessories (coffee table, recharge station for devices, fixed and rotating work tables).
As for all kinds of workplace, ergonomics should never be overshadowed.
Here are the amazing seatings for in-between areas launched at Salone del Mobile and Fuori Salone.

Sedus, se:work, Design by Sedus Design Team.


An ergonomic and multifunctional upholstered furniture to make people feel at home in the office. To achieve perfect comfort when seated, specially contoured back padding provides optimal support for the lumbar region; an elastic membrane composed of cords gives further support under the seat upholstery.
Thanks to its modules, tables and power supply options, it provides unlimited combinations for all kinds of use while creating a flexible office environment. You can choose a standard formation such as a circle, S-shaped, face-to-face or bench, or your own individual layout. It is equipped with various tables and work surfaces.

Blå Station, Bob, design by Thomas Bernstrand and Stefan Borselius.

A sofa, which is supplied by the linear metre. As a result of its narrow construction modules, it is an extremely versatile and self-evident modular sofa in moulded polyurethane with built-in connection fixtures. Bob consists of ve unique, 26 cm wide modules which facilitate almost endless configurations. 

Estel, Dolly, design by Stefano Gallizioli.


Dolly is a new family of modular sofas, armchairs and benches created to furnish public spaces. The sofa is available also in Privé version, with high backrest that has the function of privacy screen. It can be configurated with two sofas, facing each other and linked by a Privé panel. The Privé padded panel can be équipped with wired table and TV arrangement.

Nowy Styl Group, Tapa, design by Mac Stopa.

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A system of pouffes that combines a striking look with clever functionality.It is a modular solution whose basic element is an “island” consisting of mobile pouffes that turn on a pivot. It ensures different arrangement possibilities in one space using the same modules. The line is complemented with freestanding pouffes whose shape reflects the upper and third level of the basic modular unit.

True Design, DNA, design by Leonardo Rossano & Debora Mansur.


A captivating piece of furniture, shaped after the helix form, inspired by the dynamic forms of DNA; it consists in a unique construction assembly which is created by a single section of curved plywood, that is mirrored in design to create multiple seating configurations. It is is also available in the upholstered collection, in fabric or leather.

Offect, Dune, design by studio Front (Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren).


Dune is an oasis that comes to life when it is used, it is so airy it almost appears to levitate; it is a large piece of furniture that easily can seat up to eight people”. Despite being so delicate, Dune stands firmly on the ground. Its legs not only support the asymmetrical seat, they also rise above it to hold four table tops that are all equipped with the latest generation usb-sockets.

Segis, Longway, by Bartoli Design.


New names and new endless configurations the masterpiece of the sofa-system. It is a modular system of narrow and wide ribbons of upholstered seating which undulate to form seats and armrests creating large. The collection includes single and modular elements and creates results never seen before, the alternation of horizontal planes and curves offers a marked visual impact.

Lapalma, Plus, design by Francesco Rota.


Soft form and easy modularity are the characteristics of this modular system. The seating is wider, deeper and more generous, the structure loses its fine outline and elegant linear design; the new concept is about softness and big-heartedness rounded shapes. It offers a variety of units, and can be used in combination with the Screen partitions that can act as a backrest to the piece, providing welcome intimacy and a feeling of exclusion from the surroundings, with the added possibility of sound absorption.

Manerba, Undecided Sofa, design Raffaella Mangiarotti e Ilkka Suppanen.

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It is created for the perpetual redefinition by changing height and colors: the high upholstered backrest is an invitation to carve out a private corner where to meet without formalities; an acoustically comfortable and isolated place to talk vis-à-vis, leaning on the soft pillows.

Luxy, Puzzle design by Itamar Harari.


It is a waiting system available in three different modules –one, two seater and an ‘L’ shaped three seater– that could be combined to fully exploit the qualities of the space, decorating with modern style the environment.The geometric modularity of the infinite combinations is enhanced by the design of the seams chosen.

Ares Line, Base, 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.

Moroso, Bell Lab, design by Ron Arad.


It was originally a site-specific design for the Bell Lab technological research and development centre, located in New Jersey, and designed by Eero Saarinen. Ron Arad’s idea sets out from the pattern on the hall floor, which is made up of large, rectangular slabs in black, white and grey. The sofa is instead made up of large grey and black cylinders positioned horizontally and overlaid to form the seat and back, creating a flexible interaction with this extremely striking space. 

Alias, Okome, design Nendo.

Ci aveva già vaffacikato a Orgatec questa famiglia di sedute e schienali caratterizzati forme morbide e naturali e curve di ampio raggio caratterizzano questa armoniosa famiglia di sedute che evoca i ciottoli levigati dall’acqua. I diversi elementi possono essere uniti tra loro in configurazioni diverse, grazie a un sistema di aggancio sofisticato.Okome-alias-nendo-wow-webmagazine


The world of Color in a free App by Akzo Nobel.

The world of design is evolving fast and Color is assuming a more significant role in buildings skin, architecture and interior design: lighting, furniture, home objects, etc. To be closer to nowadays design needs, AkzoNobel has implemented several flexible software that can be easily downloaded on specifiers’ devices. Watch the tutorial videos!

Among them, for the world of powder finishes, were launched the Design App and the Interpon App, available for free in the Apple Store.
In addition, the complete library of Interpon Powder Coatings is available for BIM, download it from the Polantis site!

AkzoNobel Design App is created especially for professionals who want the latest information about Colors and properties of coatings that drives building and construction sectors.
The Design App is divided into three main sections:
Product Finder; Specification Builder; Track record.

AkzoNobel’s Design App allows specifiers to better understand the use of powder coatings applied to metal in built environments. It is aimed to those involved in design and specification process, enabling Architects, Designers and Specifiers to create technical specification documents based on international recognised standards. 

Key features of the Design App include the possibility to search a product (Product Finder): choose it from a comprehensive range of colors and finishes, including metallic.

You can access to technical information or find a match simply using your camera (Color Picker), you can build your own specification for a project basing on building location (Specification Builder).

For International projects you can achieve the Standard section and select the one you need: AAMA, Qualicoat, GSB etc.
If you want to overview Akzo Nobel’s projects worldwide enter the Track Record section!

Download the Design App on your device now by the QR code!


Audio-visual integration: Snowsound Lux.​

Caimi Brevetti is continuing the research it began smore than five years ago in the field of acoustic design. Following the development of the patented technologies Snowsound and Snowsound Fiber, a new important step is Snowsound Lux, a new breakthrough both in acoustic design and in multifunctional fixtures. The new products of the collection –Oversize Lux and Giotto Lux– are respectively designed by Marc Sadler e Sezgin Aksu and integrate lighting and acoustic performances.

Focused on the holistic vision of environmental comfort, the Snowsound Lux project aims to develop sound-absorbing panels that not only screen out the unpleasant noise of many public and private spaces, but also embed a lighting source.
Caimi Brevetti’s entire line of production is predicated on a design concept that focuses on the wellness and comfort of its users, and the Snowsound Lux has now added the element of light into the existing element of sound to create an integrated audio-visual fixture.

Oversize Lux design by Marc Sadler 


Oversize Lux aims to turn sound-absorbing panels made with Snowsound technology from purely functional fixtures into real pieces of furniture, suspended from the ceiling. The panels resolve three design challenges: how to provide ambient lighting, how to lower the ceiling and how to achieve acoustic comfort. A joined-up approach to dealing with these three challenges led to the creation of what are effectively architectural solutions consisting of sound-absorbing panels punctuated with recessed bays containing LED lighting points.
The panels are available in different colours and come in two sizes: 119cm x 119cm, and 119cm x 159cm. Likewise, the LED lighting is available either as an individual square spotlight or as a rectangular lamp. The ceiling suspension cables are adjustable.


Giotto Lux design by Sezgin Aksu

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Giotto Lux is a sound-absorbing room fixture that uses Snowsound technology. It has a pure geometric form consisting of a circular panel 119 cm in diameter, at the centre of which is a 28W LED light covered by a satin-finished polyethylene diffuser. The result is a sculptural lighting element that fulfils two requirements: illumination and acoustic comfort.
It is available in different colours, and can be coordinated with Giotto Ceiling and Giotto Wall panels, which do not include inbuilt lighting.



A desk system in the genuine spirit of Mondrian.

20.venti takes its name from the size of its thin metal frame (a 20x20mm profile), that features an elegant graphics referring to Mondrian’s works and lending distinctiveness to this MDF Italia office system designed by 967 arch, to get into the office business with a targeted product.

We are facing a new step in MDF Italia growth, that after the home and contract sectors is now entering the office world with 20.venti desk system.


Can a desk be groundbreaking?
“It can certainly be “evolutionary”, when the fittings are well and truly an integral part of the desk system” the designer Cesare Chichi quoted.
The modular 20.venti desk system features a linear iconic design typical of MDF Italia’s “dna” creates a flexible, itinerant workplace and responds to the new trends of contemporary office enhancing sharing and communication.
A reflection on the desk, the archetypal workstation, proposes to create a workplace with a contemporary mood.
The contrast between full and empty volumes, the carefully studied combination of various finishes and the cables built into the bearing frame define an renewed proposal for office furnishings. The technical challenge starts from the use of a slender frame generated by a 20×20 profile.

The collection 20.VENTI includes both individual tables and double workstations, which can be aggregated, and a wide selection of screens and accessories, including sound absorbing panel made by Snowsound Technology.
Every workstation has a structural wireway that can be accessed by sliding the top. It can be used for electrification and cables, or simply as a small storage compartment for daily usage.



Desk systems: is a really groundbreaking desk possible?

Can a product design make a desk “groundbreaking”? While I’m asking myself that question, the video, posted by Curioctopus, about the desk of the future enabling us to perform any task by using very simple intuitive gestures is raging on Facebook. But maybe that’s not the only possible way to breathe new life into a furniture unit, that still remains the archetype of the office.

The video picture of the lively and interactive worktop by Curioctopus is the opposite of the emptying out shown in that “Evolution of the Desk posted a couple of years ago.
In the hybrid domain of the Workplace 3.0, the desk should still be an analogue unit made for comfort or should it turn into a digital object?


The first outlook, generated by Internet of Things, refers to an intangible desk, to a smart and interactive technological tool, provided with information systems, where what matters is software design rather than industrial design.
The second concept means a tangible furniture unit, increasingly pleasant and versatile.
A comfortable, ergonomic, equipped, customized piece of furnishing … maybe inspired by the San Girolamo’s Studio painted by Antonello da Messina …

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The distintive features are fittings that become an integral part of the system and the perceptive and design components, in particular colours, finishes and materials. Last but not least, the functional performance: customisation, both aesthetic and anthropometric; sit-stand, easy wire management and installation, versatility and disposition to fit different requirements and jobs and space organization.

WOW selected some of the more innovative desk systems launched at Workplace 3.0 and during Milano Design Week.


Estel, I Pianeti – Evolution.
A versatile and integrated desk system that allows to create different and extremely customized configurations for the workplace. From the single desk to the 3 or 4 cluster stations, available with sit-stand with height adjustment devices harmoniously inserted inside the wooden frame. The range of accessories also includes Lockers that houses personal boxes and Chairboxes that accompany the user moving in the different working areas.

Fantoni, Woods, design by Metrica.
The key feature of the design is the use of solid beech or oak wood that gives a natural mood to the system. It includes large executive and meeting tables, fixed office desks and sit-stand workstations.The sloped design of the leg gives the table a simple yet sophisticated look, comprising two telescopic cylindrical elements, one of which is in wood. Inside it is an electronic mechanism that effortlessly adjusts the height of the table top.The table’s electrical connections are hidden under the top, while the modesty panel can be fitted with storage accessories and with a USB socket for recharging electronic devices.

Herman Miller, Atlas Office Landscape, design by Tim Wallace.
A work system which brings together height-adjustability and collaborative working in one elegant solution. The ‘no beam’ structure, frees the workspace from clutter so people can sit or stand in comfort, adapting postures to their activities. The desk system includes sit-stand height-adjustable desks, screens, tables and storage elements to create a whole office environment. “To me the problem wasn’t in creating a single desk, there are plenty of examples of those- the designer explains-The real challenge comes when that single desk needs to be multiplied and then fitted into a space. I saw the opportunity for a system that really benefitted the working environment, both today and in the future.”

MDF Italia, 20.venti, design 967.
The technical challenge starts from the use of a slender frame generated by a 20×20 profile. The collection includes both individual tables and double workstations, which can be aggregated, and a wide selection of screens and accessories. An intentionally iconic system that renounces unidentifiable stylistic solutions.

io.T (intelligence of Tecno), design studio Gtp and other partners.
io.T is a smart system of connected furnishings with the capacity for integration with IT systems, devices and hubs, designed to offer information and real time solution to owners and managers of smart buildings and end users. A project combining the tangible, analogue world with the intangible world of digital through a smart furnishing system designed to improve the well-being of the end user. The missing link that transforms users into recognized people.
Tecno picks up on studio Gtp’s intuition and creates a working team of experts such as TIM, STMicroelectronics,, Ilevia, InfoSolution and Videoworks who have worked for the past two years on developing and optimizing the io.T furnishing system.

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Co-design and graceful design for an Undecided Sofa.

Undecided Sofa is a graceful lounge seating designed by Raffaella Mangiarotti and Ilkka Suppanen for Manerba. The talented Italian-Finnish designers intrigue the user with sensitivity and irony, by enabling them to “decide” on the final looks of the sofa by choosing colour and size.

After the colour code system, that lent new moods to Manerba’s furniture systems, the clear vision of the sisters Grazia and Elisa Manerba -heading the Mantova based company with the art direction of Raffaella Mangiarotti- could construe the looks of the workplace and carry out an original soft product.
Undecided Sofa was successfully launched during Milano Design Week at Palazzo Litta and at the showroom Manerba inside the concept store Jannelli & Volpi.
The attractive cushions it’s made of provide for the adequate sound insulation to satisfy the need for relaxation or informal meetings by carving out a privacy area within in-between areas and public spaces.

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Most of all, what arouses emotion is the ability to render the concepts of fluidity and transformation in a poetical manner, which underlies today’s living and working environments.

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These concepts turn into a co-design tool and intellectual game involving the user’s active participation, to create their own Undecided Sofa according to their requirements.
Three steps to create the Undecided Sofa:

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Choose the height: two pillow cases for the lower version, three at headrest height and four for the “meeting setup” that transforms it into a charming and comfortable mini-meeting room with high acoustic absorption.
Choose colors: make your own “chromatic playlist” – monochrome, bicolor, for nuances or random – is the atout of this couch; and the plus is that the composition can be updated at any time, removing or replacing the pillows, even in a corner or a delimited area.
Make a decision: sit back, breathe, think; deciding it has never been so simple, beautiful, and comfortable.

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Wellness within the Workplace: conference in London (5th September 17).

WOW is media partner of the second edition of Wellness the conference will return to London on 5th September 2017 at Credit Suisse.
Wellness17 encompasses all aspects of Wellness including Mind, Body and Spirit and addresses some of the most interesting and challenging subjects such as the stigma of mental health, taming technology, nutrition, design, talking about Mindfulness, Ergonomics, Work-Life Balance and much more.
WOW followers can Book now at the Super Early Bird rate and save £100!

Wellness builds on the success of Unwired’s Worktech series of conferences. Following a session at Worktech London with an emphasis on People & Wellness, Unwired really struggled to trim down the raft of extensive research to accommodate just a matter of hours. When post event feedback from that session was so favourably received, they decided that there was merit to having a specialist conference on that very topic alone.


Wellness in its broadest sense encompasses Mind, Body and Spirit. We will continue to build on the foundations of Worktech to further explore all the facets that affect Wellness within the Workplace, from the impact of technology, job design, best practices.
Core themes for this year’s event include confronting mental health issues, enriching employees through mindfulness activities, defining best practices, adapting to changing work environments, creating healthier workplaces with an emphasis on people, design, body and health.
The conference will explore key influencers of work depression such as stress and workplace bullying, examine key tools for providing a healthy work-life balance and how to ‘switch off’ from stressful jobs as well as facing challenges of gender equality and diversity at work.
With the cost of recruitment ever rising, it is the smart companies that are looking at cost of their Human Capital, and ensuring that by providing not only a destination workplace but by investing in the wellbeing of their staff they will recruit and retain the very brightest talent, increasing profitability, by not only engaging staff, but by reducing costs to the business due to ill-health or recruitment.

Astoundingly, one in four, 25% of the population, will be affected by Mental Health at some point within their lives.  With the increase of smartphones, the line between work and leisure time is becoming ever more blurred, it makes sense that this is set to increase. Employers need to be smart on their governance of staff, to identify those working long hours, or that are showing signs of an unhealthy work balance. We will identify how companies can utilise simple cost effective strategies to enhance the workplace and encourage both emotionally literate, and emotionally resilient staff.

It will be explored how job design can improve both emotional wellbeing within the workplace, and improve physical health. Ergonomics – with the rise of Bring Your Own Device to work, and smart working, are we laying the foundations for a RSI epidemic? We will address these issues along with how the furniture that you use at work can help you focus and be more productive.

Mindfulness, everybody’s talking about it, everyone’s doing it, there’ve even a parliamentary initiative about it!  How do we incorporate the proven benefits within the workplace, and help ground staff and provide this invaluable tool to increase emotional resilience? The effects of having engaged staff can be profound and communication strategies throughout the business can provide the key. There is a wealth of activities that can positively influence wellness of employees, from art to choirs, table tennis and social networks – we will explore these, along with some of the more quirky, and question, what can you do and why should you do it.


Hosted at Deloitte Auditorium, Wellness made it’s successful debut in 2016 with over 150 senior professionals attending the event. Key Speakers included Andy Gibson, Author and Founder, Mind Apples Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Author Dr Craig Knight, Director of Haddleton Knight Sally Boyle, International Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Carl Honoré, award-winning writer and author of internationally best-selling book, In Praise of Slow and many others.


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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.


Acoustic comfort for multifunctional rooms.

Palazzo di Varignana Resort & SPA is an elegant and stunning venue in the hills near Bologna. An eighteenth-century villa, restored to its original charm and transformed in an exclusive location for relaxing holidays, conventions and corporate events.
The complex was recently expanded with two multipurpose rooms designed by Elena Zacchiroli, in collaboration with Mascagni. Thanks to its skills the company was able to solve acoustic comfort issues with the best look of Italian design.

The Resort stands in wonderful park, part of the prestigious Great Italian Gardens Network, and offers 1900 sqm Spa with outdoor pool, gym, courts, 2 restaurants, 90 comfortable rooms and a multifunctional congress centre.


The historical wine cellars of the Villa lead out to an elegant and spacious foyer, from where the 300 sqm Congress Centre can be accessed, with natural light and large windows with black-out blinds. A gallery of antiques and precious objects links to the Belvedere Area, a 770 square meters of reconfigurable and multi-functional location on two levels, recently designed by Zacchiroli Architetti Associati in balance with the surrounding nature and the original architecture, in order to offer a perfect place for banqueting, fashion shows, music events, presentations and business events.

The main needs were acoustic comfort and the possibility to integrate lighting in the false ceiling: the brief was to have a high-performance ceiling and a superior design, too.
The solution selected by the project manager Pietro Mascagni was TrèS, designed by Ergon Design, adapting the sound soundproofing panels to the features of the building with special hanging joints hidden in the junctions between the panels.
The new Sound Sky System TrèS was born to combine the function with the looks of a product that decorates space, giving it a clearly defined purpose, a soundproofing surface that can be bright, shaped in any way, to follow the lines of an area that can be used for any purpose, standing out as a comfortable place to spend time in.

As a matter of fact the rooms were conceived by architect Zacchiroli with three-dimensional grounds, where a sail of light, its wooden sections resembling the vertical surfaces under the windows, is gently lit up, without any unnatural added system.
The patented articulated joint construction, hanging from the backbone of the building, outlined univocal triangles that channel the geometrical shape of the room, evenly following its perimeter and making the object the perfect match for any use.


Steam-bent, micro-pierced wood covers the soundproofing material, which, pressed and hidden inside, is perfectly enhanced by the comfort that one can feel when staying under the large areas, so smartly designed.
The lights bring life into the volumes of the panels, while the neutral LED source offers perfect vision without increasing the temperature in the room. This wooden ceiling gives to the interior design the same peacefulness mood that runs through the neighbouring park.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


(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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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


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.

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.


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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