No Salone Ufficio at Salone del Mobile 2016, but a lot of activities concerned office design, thus confirming that there are new paths we can follow to rethink the workplace. What are the strongest signs? Irony and playfulness, yet along with pragmatism.
From the growing Milano Design Week (more than 372.000 presences at Salone del Mobile!), we selected events and products showing a collective nature, related to the working world in the broadest sense, since it’s by now obvious that the new WOWs break up the boundaries among the most varied sectors.
So it came as no surprise to find some attractive hybrid evolutions (for instance Coffice by Estel) or new directions for the workplace at Eurocucina (A Joyful Sense at Work).
Inside the “modern” and “design” pavilions a great many of companies deal with the contract and workplace market, as well (Caimi Brevetti, La Palma, Magis, Alias, aso).
Some signs of interest an new ideas for the office could also be seen at FuoriSalone (Live Work Design or Tecno, for example).
The liveliest concepts of how to rethink the workplace come from the Ventura area, where the designers really knew how to surprise and amuse (expecially Boring Collection by Lensvelt the visions by Lund University’s students).
Indeed, the keyword is enjoyment, playfulness, as Play Office concept by Isao Hosoe (we wrote a book together entitled PlayOffice) had forestalled more than 25 years ago and the “behavioural energy” it can generates.
Office doesn’t necessarily mean boredom; we can plan amusing and stimulating workplaces, but designers and companies find it difficult to follow this logic, perhaps paralysed by the idea of record sales.
Coworking and start-up are ever-increasing, economically and in numbers and Millennials are about to become the new generation of managers, but even these “niches” don’t buy current furniture units for they don’t identify with that kind of boring aesthetics and functionalism.
They want to have fun, to play and listen to music and be comfortable together even while working.
Wise people. And this is a contagious attitude. Don’t forget that while reconsidering the office before the next Workplace 3.0 in 2017.
Editorial by Renata Sias.