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Copernico Martesana: well-being and business trends.

A dynamic hub where well-being and business trends are well balanced, a flexible, hybrid and multifunctional workplace, core of an urban renovation process. The simple internal design of Copernico Martesana in Milan follows the main trends and needs of the new ways of working, like the biophilic design of the Oxygen Room and the home-feeling given by the Loft Office.

The Copernico Platform for Smart Working is constantly growing; following the successful experiences of Copernico Centrale, ClubHouse Brera , the workplace in Turin, and many others, the 6.500 sqm of the thirteenth Copernico hub in the north-eastern part of Milan.
“With Copernico Martesana we want to put our focus on the wellbeing of each worker becoming, at the same time, actors in the new economic processes that lead to new business opportunity”, Pietro Martani, Copernico’s CEO, says. “We want to anticipate the ever-evolving market and workers needs”.

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Copernico Martesana is designed by the firm Studio DC10, mixing different and connected environments as offices, meeting space, lounge area.

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Interior design is inspired by “genius loci” and the building of the ’70s was transformed in a vibrant environment featured by a cool, industrial design.

The centre of the project is the main cafeteria, a hybrid and informal meeting space, designed together by Bunker, Torricelli Associati and Weltgebraus to foster the culture of communication and interaction.

08-Copernico Martesana-hub-wow-webmagazineStudio DC10 has, also, added two environments completely dedicated to the wellbeing of the people: the Oxygen room, a green area where workers can find some rest form the daily stress,  the Loft Office, a comfortable place giving the sense of home-feeling and cosiness and an Art Gallery.

For the interiors, a neutral and neat design was chosen in order to help communication and to create a homogeneous workplace.
“The innovative system Copernico is made by three dimensions: space, connection, culture“, Pietro Martani concludes. “Copernico Martesana wants to become a benchmark in the area”, transmitting his features to an urban redeveloping area.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Biophilia and Mindful Design at Wellness17 (London, 9/5th).

Oliver Heath and Aidan Walker are two of the key speakers for the conference Wellness17 that will address main wellbeing issues in the workplace. From a mental and physiology perspective that pretends to improve our work life balance to a design approach to generate a healthier and more natural work space.
The leading event on wellness in the workplace, will return to London on 5th September 2017 at Credit Suisse.

Oliver Heath talks about Biophilic Design.

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The concept of Biophilia is becoming more present within the workplace as employers and employees alike seek healthier and more balanced working lives. Oliver Heath will discuss “The Science and Style of Biophilic design”. A new research that demonstrates how we can harness the human attraction to nature to reduce stress and aid recuperation by utilising Biophilic design principles. In this way we can make tangible benefits to the workplace including reducing costs such as absenteeism whilst improving productivity, engagement and happiness.

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Oliver Heath is Founder of Heath Design Ltd, an architectural and interior design practice combining three key strands: sustainable design, consumer engagement and communications to inspire the uptake of future thinking in the built environment. He stimulates the adoption of happier, healthier places to live and work. Oliver is currently a Biophilic Design ambassador for Interface flooring.

Photos: courtesy of Interface and HW Style.

Aidan Walker talks about Mindful Design.

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Aidan Walker, Director of Aidan Walker Associates and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts will share his thoughts on “Mindful Design. Principles in practice”. 

Leaders in business, education, hospitality, health and government are paying ever more careful attention to personal wellbeing. It can be about cranking up productivity, generating a new profit centre for guests who mistake luxury for inner solace, or reducing stress.
For workplace professionals and designers, the driving principle is changing from Sustainability to ‘Wellness’. With the ‘Seven C’s of Mindful Design’ Aidan Walker proposes a map of the new professional and personal landscape.

Aidan has practised Hatha Yoga, including a spell teaching, all his adult life, and in his 20s spent six years as a fully dedicated member of the Brahma Kumaris, living and teaching the principles of Raja Yoga. This has led to the publication of the book ‘The Ecology of the Soul’, and he is now working on developing its message to apply specifically to mindfulness in the practice of design.

Wellness17 will also focus on confronting mental health in the workplace, defining best practice, work-life balance, people, place, design and much more. Wellness17 builds on the success of Unwired’s Worktech series of conferences and encompasses all aspects of Wellness including Mind, Body and Spirit, addressing some of the most interesting and challenging subjects such as the stigma of mental health, taming technology, nutrition, design and much more.
Book now at the Wellness17 Early Bird rate and save £100!

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Global Change: nature-inspired, biophilic flooring.

Global Change is Interface’s most versatile collection to-date, launched during last NeoCon. It was designed by Kari Pei, the company’s Lead Product Designer, and pairing nature-inspired biophilic design with Interface’s modular flooring system expertise. The collection offers architects and designers the ability to bring biophilic flooring into their spaces, leading to more positive experiences and improved wellbeing for the people who use them.

Biophilia is a growing trend in interior design and architecture, but we can not say that the “innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life” is a novelty indeed. This scientific hypothesis was introduced by Edward O. Wilson in 1984.
Interface has been among the first companies to intercept this philosophy and has been applying biophilic design approach for several years in its textile flooring systems.
Global Change is the last collection by Interface, launched at NeoCon 2017 and offers an integrated range of design options that can be composed to solve a variety of unique business challenges.
The collection evokes foliage through artistic interpretation of tree and leaf shading patterns. Biophilic elements and references are also reflected in random patterns and fluid transitions inspired by natural textures.


Global Change is comprised of seven face styles available in six organic color palettes. Progression 1, 2,3, the collection’s foundational tiles, offer three gradated base textures at three different price points and pile heights.
Glazing and Shading take inspiration from the tree canopy with foliage appearing as positive shapes against striations of texture.
Ground and Raku resemble the cracked appearance of dried earth and can be installed as non-directional squares.
The styles are available in a mixture of 50cm x 50 cm squares and 25cm x 100cm Skinny PlanksTM, ranging from flat to plush. To complement the seven face tiles, the Interface design team developed six earthy, mineral-based colors for the collection, inspired by global trends:
Eclipse, Evening Dusk, Desert Shadow, Fawn, Daylight and Morning Mist.
Global Change has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any of Interface’s global collections to-date. and is in line with Interface’s sustainability commitments.
Global Change takes the end-user on a journey from the forest to the coast, offering beautiful aesthetics that also deliver modular versatility and functionality – Kari Pei quoted – Each product within the collection was designed to harmoniously blend into the next, and the collection has the unique ability to adapt as design and tastes evolve.”

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Biophilia and industrial archeology: Mutti’s Offices.

Connecting tradition and sustainability through the light: the Mutti’s offices by the architect Paolo Bedogni renovate and expand an 18th century industrial building, unifying the 1.000 sqm. of the old and the new environments with a long solar promenade and branding chromatic choices.

Light is fundamental for agricolture, and it so also for productivity and wellness in the office. That’s the idea that links the Mutti’s offices in Montechiarugolo (Parma, Italy) and the company’s activity based on tomatoes.

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Though all the environment, connecting the renovated edifice and the new spaces, a solar promenade links the offices over the two floors: an indoor street, with trees, enlighten with skylights, as the work environments, exposed to south to maximize the natural light.

Every workstation has also a lighting system based on a dimmable LED system, regulated by sensors. Workers can adjust the lighting through the smartphone or the computer.
Lights is also the key of the energy efficiency of the building, with a 18kW photovoltaic and a solar thermal system, and the air recycle that uses the solar irradiation.

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A second feature of the project is the “tomatoes inspiration”: the hall at the entrance recalls the shape of the vegetable with a circular and regular shape, while the color over the space is based on red, that along with the gold, recalls all over the Mutti’s brand.

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The flexible working environment, that includes also two meeting rooms at the first floor, is characterized by the ergonomic seats by Bross and the technical channels designed on the grès floor that allow to easily reconfigure the partition and the organization of the space.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Beautiful Thinking: green design inspired by nature.

The connection between nature and people is in Interface’s DNA, it is litterally and figuratively woven into every square and plank of carpet the company produces.
Sustainability, the core every product and manufacturing processes of the company, is also enhanced by the Biophilic design and the Beautiful Thinking in the new products.

Art, design and architecture inspired by Nature have been around as long as we have. What’s taken shape over just the last two decades is evidence that designs that mimic Nature not only please the eye, they also change the people who inhabit them: people are more engaged, more collaborative, more creative. The design inspired by Nature promotes a sense of wellbeing.
For this reason Interface’s approach is Beautiful Thinking oriented -that means to create a product and a planet that are good for people- and the new products are inspired by Biophilia.
The new collections are sustainable (made with 100% recycled content nylon yarn and manufactured respecting the green life cycle of the product from production to disposal) and create a sense of well-being because they reproduce the tactile and visual textures present in outdoor scenery: cobblestone paths or grassy fields, stone or gravel paths.
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Equal Measure collection is inspired by the traditional cobblestone streets found all over the world, creating a sense of the familiar and the original at the same time. The classic, irregular look of a lived-in street is combined with the soft luxury of carpet tile and all its associated benefits.

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collection tells a fascinating tale about contrast and minimalism. A figurative pattern created by differences in pile height and construction.

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Near & Far Collection is somewhere between made and found. The organic reference is clear, but we can see the artisan’s hand in the shape and materials.

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The “Human”side of Nature: sound absorbing and evocative floor coverings.

Human Nature is built on the premise that designing spaces which evoke the senses through light, colour, texture and natural detail generate wellness and spark the human creative spirit. The new collection was designed by David Oakey, longtime Interface collaborator and world leader in sustainable design practices, to create vital and eye catching floor coverings for offices and contract spaces.

Interface’s Human Nature takes its cues from the visual, tactile textures found in the most elemental of floor coverings (forest floors, grassy fields and pebbled garden paths) drawing on the innate connection humans have to the earth.


“Scientists have found that humans crave sensory change and variation, though our work environments are often flat, unnatural places,” Oakey said. “And though there’s no doubt that the design community is drawn to the aesthetics of concrete, stone, and wood, the physical and acoustical benefits of soft surfaces are impossible to ignore. In Human Nature we’ve combined the best of both worlds — the hard surface look of planks with the benefits of soft, textured carpet tile that feels comfortable and natural underfoot.”
Human Nature is inspired by biophilia and respects Nature: it is a sustainable collection, made with 100% recycled content nylon yarn and manufactured respecting the green life cycle of the product from production to disposal.

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Supporting Solitude in the Collaborative Office (so we would hate our offices less).

There must be a reason why Harvard Business Review devotes its cover and a whole dossier to why do people hate their offices. So, it’s true, we hate them! … and if we hate them we don’t feel well, we are not happy, we work badly, our performance drops and we are less productive; it’s self-evident. So  these issues concern all of us. This latent hatred should not be denied or undestimated.

A few years ago I learned from a reliable source that in the Italian offices of a well-known multinational – one of the first that introduced the notorious open space – some employeese – as they couldn’t kill the manager, would vent their aggressiveness on the luxuriant plants,  arranged between desks to decorate and  “humanize” the open space. In spite of biophilia, unfortunately he “human” side aroused by the shrubs  wasn’t a gentle one. It’s hard to believe, but some would go so far a sto piss on the plants to kill them deliberately!
I’m not denying the usefulness of plants, we even published an article on their proven benefits; plants are as useful as many other humanizing and stimulating factors (informal meeting areas, relax, entertainment, artworks, bright colors, varied and dynamic layout with some visually and perceptively stimulating components, etc.) but only if used in a more balanced view of the workplace.
The open office remains the dominant form of workspace design not only because it allows space optimization, but also because it fosters a direct interaction – the most important one – collaboration, sharing and sense of belonging to the company. All factors direcly affecting productivity, as confirmed by some companies that have measured these data.
So, the point is to find a “we” and “me” balance , as HBR explains; to re-examine our concept of privacy as an essential factor for coping with the complex multitasking. A privacy that does not concern the physical space only, but the “individual’s ability to control information and stimulation. In short, Transparency, that seemed to be the best way to express the concept of democracy, “no hierarchy but greater collaboration”,  can actually turn out to be a trap because, as HBR explains, “it can leave employees feeling vulnerable and exposed. When that happens, they conceal behaviours that deviate from the norm so that they won’t have to explain them. Unrehearsed, experimental behaviours may even stop altogether … or kill the plants, or become aggressive with other “living” beings, I would add!
Balancing “we” and “me” is the key to ensure the employees’ wellbeing and the company’s productivity.
The planning cues for the interior design, that come from these remarks, are manifold; the first and most obvious one is the absolute need to establish zones of privacy within open environments, by setting various types of boundaries, from the individual phone booth to the meeting room for small groups, through to the temporary touch-down and the yoga room; small offices and shelters inside the office.
The workplace must rediscover Solitude that, as Seneca used to say, “It’s for the mind what food is for the body “, but also because “It’s right in solitude that we can feel the advantage to live with someone able to think” (Jean Jacques Rousseau).
Interactive editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine.

 

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Plant Picture: a touch of “green”, saving space.

Could it be the owners are not involved in greening up their offices? And are not aware of the advantages for the employees having green in offices?
Almost 20 years have passed since the botanist Patrick Blanc realized his first brilliant indoor Vertical Gardens. Since then the concept of Plant Wall developed offering more flexible and less “demanding” solutions.
Today is possible to literally frame a corporate garden and hang it on a wall, and also to create an office vertical vegetable garden.

We asked Hans Westerduin, Mobilane manager and commercial partner of Suite Plants, to tell us about the benefits of a “green office” and specifically of an original sistem named  “Power of Plants” which is cleverly able to integrate the office needing of walkable area and a green environment. (The italian supplier is HW Style).

On which studies is Power of Plants based?
Studies by famous institutes like NASA, University of Harvard and other Universities have shown how the presence of plants in a work environment brings a lot of benefits and in particular a productivity gain, less absenteeism, less health problems and a better sense of well-being.
The problem so far was that it was impossible to increase this green presence in the offices because of the lack of walkable areas.
Can you give us an example of this studies?
This studies include different fields. NASA, for example, has run air controls in indoor environment where plants where arranged, founding that several common species of indoor plants have the ability to remove compounds such as benzene and hexane in the range of 50% to 75% of the total volatile organic compounds. Other experiments have focused, instead, on a social-anthropological aspect of the problem, showing that both women and men demonstrate more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in a office environment that includes flowers and plants.
What is your opinion about this results?
Humans have a natural love for plants and green environment. The Biologist Ed Wilson of  Harvard University has named it “Biophilia”. It has been demonstrated by several experiments run by Steelcase, Inc., a popular manufacturer of office furnishings, that the 42% of office employees brings their own plants to personalize their workplace.
LifePicture, LifeDivider and LifePanel, the three “shapes” of Power of Plants, are not just about making the office more green. It’s also about design.
Absolutely yes. We have thought about giving the chance to our customer to choose among different kind of plants and to personalize the frames. Most of all LifePicture: I think it can be considered a bridge between art and plants.
Text by Gabriele Masi