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Designing the Living Office: Memo and Naughtone.

The Herman Miller‘s Living Office approach means to see the workplace as it is lived day by day, focusing on the real needs and problems of the people and trying to solve them with specific, and not standard, solutions. The work system Memo and the Naughtone‘s products are an example of what Neale Vanstone, Vice-president EMEA Herman Miller, considers the mission of the company “creating an inspiring design to help people do great things.”

“We are a problem-solving company, so our approach to design is people-centred. We are a global company, but we think locally”, with these words Neale Vanstone describes the Herman Miller‘s view of the Living Office design approach in a recent interview for WOW!.

Resulting of a holistic approach research, that has envolved different professional figures as managers, anthropologists, sociologists, designers, the Living Office approach is based on the fact that the office is a dynamic environment, that change its needs and create new problems day by day. That brings to the conclusion that a fixed, standard and out-of-context design is to avoid.
“We are a design company: from 1968, when we introduced the Action Office, to 1994 when we introduced the Aeron chair, and more recently with the introduction of the Living Office approach. The design is inherited in what Herman Miller does. Our mission is to create an inspiring design to help people do great things”, Vanstone concludes.

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The working system Memo is an example of how the Living Office approach can be translated into furniture. Memo is designed by Tim Wallace with the purpose of helping companies to be more agile, through the change of the desk structure, using a simple panel as a central spine which replaces the traditional beam.

“Customers don’t value the basic function of a fixed desk in the way that they used to. Typically, offices accommodate groups of workers in clusters of benches or desks, which provide one basic function regardless of what you’re doing.  I saw the opportunity to design a better type of bench, still providing the end-user with a pleasing work experience.” Tim Wallace says.


As the name itself says,  “Come together” by the partner company Naughtone, is an eclectic and free-standing range of furniture, designed for a dynamic and agile working environment and for being used and composed in different situations and along with various kind of furniture.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

1-4, Memo, Tim Wallace, Herman Miller.
5, Hatch, Naughtone. Hatch is designed to be plan into one, two or three seat units configuration, with a firm upright sit and compact dimensions, suitable for a modern commercial environment.
6, Knot Table, Naughtone. Knot table is designed to fit in the multi-purpose seating landscapes that are becoming more common in the workplaces. It is lightweight, and uncluttered making it intuitive to mediate between different products.
7, Softbox, Naughtone. Softbox is a fully upholstered storage units, thought to provide a flexible solution for different types of compositions. It can be completely customised and thanks to its sound absorption characteristic can be used also as a divider to create ad-hoc zones in the space.
8, Cloud desk, Naughtone.  The table is part of the Cloud range, “a visual and acoustic heaven”, a place to sit and concentrate.
9, The Symbol, Naughtone.  The Symbol seating range is designed to feel like part of the architecture, with a firm upright sit and compact dimensions, that allows to insert it in a modern and dynamic working environment.





The joy of a colored easy comfort.

New ways of working require increased flexibility, simplicity and ease in office furniture, for the times when workplaces were occupied permanently are long gone. Nomadic workers move a lot and are often on the road – and when they do come to the office, then it is at meetings, workshops and maybe even briefly at a workplace that happens to be free. This calls for a simple, comfortable and versatile chair. And Sedus se:joy, designed by Martin Ballendat is the answer.

“I was intrigued by the task of designing a competent and ergonomic net covering of a shell – instead of the conventional thick circumferential frame – with a futuristic support structure reduced to a minimum, which is fine, sensual and intelligent.” explains the designer Martin Ballendat.

Se:joy is a dynamic and fresh chair that boasts many features. The harmonious lines and adesign inspired by nature stand out. The delicate yet durable supporting structures reflect an independent character, which not only complements sophisticated surroundings. adds an inspiring, refreshing touch to any kind of office environment.

The one-piece supporting structure enables optimum pressure distribution along the spine without having to make any adjustments. The sophisticated construction adapts automatically to each user, regardless of shape or size.
The finely balanced swing mechanism (seat tilt 4° forward /7° behind) supports the user’s movements and depending on the situation enables a dynamic or relaxed sittingposition.
Innovative fabric structures in the seat and backrest provide a supportive seat as well as an adaptable backrest, which will not stretch over time. Sedus se:joy combines long-term seating and product quality.
The elegant adjustment lever on the underside can be used to adjust the seat height between 390 mm to 510 mm.
Fresh colour combinations for the mesh cover (six colours) and carcass (black and light grey) are available.



Neocon: HiP Award to Favaretto and Luxy.

The seating Ribelle –design by Favaretto & Partners– won the Interior Design’s 4th Annual HiP Awards, as Best Product in the category Outdoor at the 49th Neocon in Chicago, while Italia armchair was one of the honorees between the 5 products in nomination for the category Task Seating. 

Ribelle design by Favaretto & Partners (patented # 003661602).


Make a chair as easy as possible but without simplifying and get out from traditional forms and benefit of ergonomics: this was the ichallenge of Ribelle, the first indoor/outdoor chair of Luxy.
Entirely made in rod steel, the collection is composed of 2 versions: chair and stool. The front angles of the seat are cut to facilitate the end user to get up. The functional advantage of this cut is emphasized in the stool version, where it is possible to put the foot on the floor without moving forward on the seat. Available 13 finishes of which 9 can be used both indoor and outdoor, instead the chrome, brass, copper and carbon finishes are suitable only for indoor use.

Italia, design by Favaretto&Partners (patented # 003164540-0003 – 003164540-0004).


Italia is a perfect combination of ergonomics and style. It has an exposed metal structure in high-strength steel-rod, available in a chromed or embossed black or white painted version, provides a stylish support to a cold-foamed shell of varying density. The design and technology are completely innovative. It is available in the high or low version with chrome frame or black or white painted. Leathers and fabrics are available in wide range of colors.



Sedus: sales increase of 5.3% .

Pleasing result in 2016 for Sedus Stoll Group with an increase in incoming orders (+4.3 %), sales (+5.3 %) and net income for the year (€ 9.5 million). And incoming orders continue to increase also in the first months of 2017. Innovative products, the attention to the changes in the workplace and the special focus on employee health are among the success factors.

With total sales at €188.5 million, the fiscal year of 2016 is one of the three best years in the company’s history. Incoming orders in the first four months of 2017 range already +4.2% above those of the previous year.
This pleasant operating result keeps the Sedus Stoll Group on a growth track and has enabled the company to expand its market share in terms of total market order growth.
Neither the announced Brexit nor political uncertainties in Europe and the USA have had a noticeably negative effect so far.

New products presented at Orgatec and Salone del Mobile Workplace 3.0 also contribute to the successful development.
Four of the Sedus innovations (the se:do swivel chair, the se:line conference chair, the se:works lounge furniture system, the se:wall partition and acoustics system) have already received a total of eight authoritative design awards.



Kinnarps Group. A new international design strategy.

The Kinnarps Group, awarded at last Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, implements a new strategy to international designers. The first good result is the collaboration with Karim Rashid, who designed three products for the three brands of the Group: Kaloo stool for Materia, Manhattan chair for NC and Phaze chair for Skandiform.
Three seating objects able to express the strength and the values of the three brands that have successfully driven the chromatic and formal style of the eccentric New York designer.

Kinnarps Group has extended its high-quality design approach from a strong Scandinavian personality to a more international one. The three Swedish furniture brands Skandiform, NC and Materia initiated a collaboration with the New York based designer Karim Rashid.
“Part of our strategy is to work with international designers to broaden our design and reach out to a global market. Since we’ve had great success in North America in recent years, it seemed logical to cooperate with a US-based designer,” says Thomas Johannesson, CEO of Materia, NC and Skandiform. ”We usually don’t work with the same designer for our three brands, but after meeting Karim in New York we decided to make an exception. He always aims for the unexpected, which is in line with our ambition to be innovative and creative.

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Karim Rashid finds the collaboration very interesting. “Scandinavian countries respect design and it is a seamless part of their culture. When I work with various cultures I try to embrace the regional culture as well as the brand identity,” he says. “I respect every company I collaborate with and work hard to understand what they do and what they need. With Materia, NC and Skandiform I saw them producing designs that are minimal yet sensual, technological yet human, innovative yet experiential. That is also my philosophy for the physical world. Working with the strengths of each client we created three original designs that are true to my vision and their brands.”
The cooperation has now resulted in three unique furniture items that successfully mix Karim Rashid’s colourful design with the brands’ core values.

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Phaze for Skandiform design by Karim Rashid.
An armchair that embraces you, providing generous personal space. Several linked together create an undulating and sensual shape.
Skandiform is one of Scandinavia’s leading suppliers of furniture for businesses and inspiring public areas. Minimalistic, safe and modern products are created based on the Scandinavian Sense concept. Furniture that provide character and harmony to spaces where people meet.


Manhattan for NC, design by Karim Rashid.
It is both an iconic design statement on its own as well as an elegantly functional wooden chair. Featuring two elements that carefully balance together, created by using soft curves, profiles and surfaces, Manhattan exudes a sensually minimal unity.
NC designs and manufactures furniture that combine playful and modern design with attention to function and aesthetics as well as the environment and mankind. The products are primarily designed for healthcare environments as well as cafés, restaurants and public meeting areas.


Kaloo for Materia, design by Karim Rashid.
A minimalist, contemporary bar stool inspired by traditional Scandinavian design. Straight lines provide a stable base which softens in generous curves up towards the seat.
Materia is one of Scandinavia’s most acclaimed brands in design furniture for public areas. The brand is known for innovative design that makes the user’s everyday life easier.




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Ways of Designing and listening: Marcello Ziliani.

Marcello Ziliani was graduated in architecture at Politecnico di Milano with the Master Achille Castiglioni as a speaker. After working three years abroad, he came back in Italy to work as industrial designer for many important companies and as graphic designer, art director and theatrical scenographer, too.
He loves to listen and to be in tune with things, without any absolutism or indestructible certainties, because in our fluid world very different fields move towards a holistic design dimension.

Which is your design approach? Is it the same with all kinds of companies or does the approach change to the different situations?
I feel like a chameleon; it’s great fun to adjust to situations, to look at things always a little differently, empathize with people and things and listen to them. I don’t like the absolutism and the indestructible certainties, I love to look at things with always different eyes to be in tune with them. That’s my design approach. Then the company takes over the project across the world and I believe that any project is, after all, a desire, a hope of flight.

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You operates on quite different markets and fields. Do your analyses show new users life styles and requirements?
I think the most significant change is that now people are aware they are not passive consumers anymore. We users -of commodities, objects, services- are now prosumers. Design thinking and human centered design are honest approaches to the complexity we have to face and a serious manner to give answers.

Captions 1,2,3,4.

Are there any conceptual “contaminations” and common elements among the many design areas you deals with?
It’s rather the annulment of borders, than contaminations. Everything gets fluid and unsettled, the areas we used to work with are becoming incoherent, to give a more and more holistic nature to the project. The kitchen comes in the living room, the bathroom in the bedroom, the living room in the office and the workplace in the house.
The IOT, Internet of Things is pervading everything and changing our behaviours. It triggers contamination and new ways of use of objects.
Lighting and control systems, music and acoustic comfort, heating and insulation, automation and electronics, everything blends and combines in unique configurations by breaking down barriers and opening new scenarios and fascinating perspectives.

Captions 5,6,7,8.

How has the workspace vision changed in the past few years and have these changes an impact on the new interior design and furniture products?
I think that the office is going through a basically cultural change. For many years there have been mostly technical-mechanical changes; performances, comfort and ergonomics were mainly the design goals, but now we are seeing a drastic change in our ways of working. We work standing up at adjustable tables, we shut ourself off deep in meditation with our fetish-tablet, we lie back on sofas drinking teas to hold our meetings, we share temporary coworking spaces that casually connect people, we play, jump, run or cycle while working… all that is very inspiring to the development of projects that respond to such changes.


1, Snooze Pedrali, sound absorbing panel.
2,Twist&Light Natevo, lighting bookcase .
3, Flo Magis, folding staircase.
4,Tilee lamp, Flos.
5, Cookie Infiniti chair for light office.
6,Mammamia chair Opinion Ciatti.
7, Acacia table Calligaris.
8, Mini chair, Parri.

Seating on demand for historic theatres.

Teatro Comunale di Bologna Teatro sees a revival thanks to the restoration sponsored by Fondazione Marino and Paola Golinelli in the City of Creativity and Music proclaimed by UNESCO since 2006.
The restoration also provided for new stalls: 442 armchairs supplied by Ares Line and designed by Giovanni Baccolini that tone well with the valuable eighteenth-century premises. Rossini armchair system is now put into production to meet the needs of other historical theatres.

Designed by Antonio Galli Bibiena in 1763, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna is famous for its architecture of great value, the refined ornamental stuccoes and its perfect acoustics.
However coming into line with the existing regulations required new stalls. The requests of the Monuments and Fine Arts Office were rigorous and Ares Line could supply an installation respectful of the past, yet with touches of technological innovation, like a more comfortable and ergonomic chair, though smaller.

The flexible structure of the seating system allows to reuse the original holes on the floor and to set a different layout of the stalls. Materials, refined finishes and the embroidered numbers match the original ones.

The company took pride in winning this challenge and decided to put into production this chair system, named Rossini, to meet the needs of other historical theatres in the world.



Ways of Designing: Basaglia, Rota Nodari.

We met Alberto Basaglia and Natalia Rota Nodari during Orgatec at Diemmebi stand where some new products were launched. Among them S’Mesh, the chair selected by ADI Index 2016 for Compasso d’Oro, an example of functional and cross-sector chair for office, home and contract.
Design is industrialized art. An expression of the company that produced it” you can read in the Facebook page of this couple that  dice 20 years work in architecture, industrial and interior design. Their design stands out for the neat lines and a marked identity, the common objective of their products is to be handy for the user and profitable for the manufacturer, too.

Is your design approach the same everywhere and with all kinds of companies or does the approach change to the different situations?
Each project is a journey together with a company and when you reach your destination that’s really great. After defining the goals together with the entrepreneur, the project always starts from all the analysis of the production steps.

You operates on quite different markets and fields. Do your analyses show new users life styles and requirements?
Life styles are constantly evolving and the new key words are cost, ethics and quality. We should speak of life experience rather than life style, the objects should be functional to our own life.

Are there any conceptual “contaminations” and common elements between the many design areas you deals with?
We are constantly contaminated with new challenges and it isn’t always easy to handle them. We are after a balance between rationality and instinct, urged by curiosity.

How has the workspace vision changed in the past few years and have these changes an impact on the new interior design and furniture products?
A revolution has occurred: now the person is the core of the project, not its functions .The lounge areas are increasingly important and the walls are replaced by the high backs of an armchair. Chairs and desks are adjustable to offer a better comfort for all the activities.

What scenarios and evolutions do you expect for the office and the ways of working in the near future?
It’s hard to foretell. We must picture the office as a service and not as a physical place. Coworking and “third places”as airports, train stations, outdoor areas are the future planning challenge.


Refurbishment of a brick furnace with an office building integrated above.
“The Wood from nature to things” Exhibition of 32 timber industry companies in the Bergamo area.
Pilotis collection for Vlaemynck-Fermob. outdoor furniture for Hotel and Contract, made of aluminium, teak, and technical fabric.
Colette lamp designed for Pedrali.
S’Mesh, Diemmebi, office and contract chair collection selected in ADI Index 2016.
Zeroquindici, Diemmebi. Modular bench made of metal rod.




Orgatec 2016: the better new chairs.

The quality of the new chairs launched at Orgatec 2016 shows a very high quality level; chairs for every price range, work activity and environment. Design is an important to create an identity in a very conformed scenario.Task chair offer sophisticated mechanisms for an automatic dynamic comfort. Above all, executive chairs are focused on comfort rather than on status. Many new sustainable seating family are launched for contract.

Sedus, se-line.
The central bearer which connects the seat with the moveable backrest and arm rests is the most innovative achievement that detects its users at the first contact. The body’s forces are transmitted to the backrest via the arm rests and converted into the appropriate backrest pressure for an ergonomic comfort.


Vitra, AM Chair, design by Alberto Meda.
The synchronised mechanism automatically responds to the user’s weight, providing a personalised comfort. It adheres to functional requirements and avoid structurally superfluous elements.The plastic frame and translucent mesh cover offer a sense of lightness.


Haworth, Fern.
Inspired by nature, this human-centered task chair offers high levels of balance, flexibility, and performance. The Wave Suspension™ system is the heart of the chair and the key to its back comfort and flexibility. Fern accommodates the diverse working population with new levels of all-day comfort, regardless of size, posture, or work mode. It provides total back support and respond to your every movement.


Segis, Camel, by Bartoli Design.
A versatile seating family suitable for many uses.The simple and joyful shape expresses creativity without missing the comfort; it is available in various multifunctional options respond to multiple context from workplace to residential. It is made with recyclable polypropylene in various colours and can also be covered in fabric or leather combined with a number of bases.


BuzziSpace, BuzziFloat, design by Alain Gilles.
Home and contract chair with a simple design and a strong graphic personality. The seat is “floating” on the base. It is available with three base options and upholstered.


Luxy, Italia, design Favaretto &Partners.
This executive chair is a perfect palanche between innovative technology and handcraft. It has an exposed metal structure in high-strength steel-rod (available in chromed or embossed black or white painted version, too) provides a stylish support to a cold-foamed shell of varying density. Different versions are available.


Diemmebi, S’Mesh, design Basaglia Rota Nodari.
Contract chair selected by ADI Index 2016 for Compasso d’Oro; it is stackable up to 50chairs; thanks to a patented interlocking system, the structure does not use screws so the disassembling and the recycling are very easy. The backrest maintains the fabric’s tension so that it adapts to the user.


Offect Phoenix, design by Luca Nichetto.
It is a sustainable chair for contract and home, designed respecting the Life Circle. A simple structure composed by only four elements. Each damaged part can be easily replaced and the old part are renewable.


Interstuhl Bimos, Labsit.
Thanks to its hygienic design it is the perfect seating solution for pharmaceuticals, chemistry and health care field. The clever combination of material, form and processing provides all properties needed for use in the lab.


Wilkhahn, PrintStool One, design by Thorsten Franck.
A renewable, biodegradable and customizable stool collection made by 3D technology. The very strong three-dimensional structures stand out for efficient use of material.



Ways of Designing and new simplicity: Alain Gilles

Although he studied political science and marketing, design was always something special for Alain Gilles. That’s why in 2007, he decided to quit his job in financing, change his life and open a design studio in Brussels. Since then he has been working for important companies and has received important international awards. We have met him at the BuzziSpace stand, at Orgatec 2016, where we have drink with him to BuzziFloat, his first project of a chair.

Is your design approach the same everywhere and with all kinds of companies or does the approach change to the different situations?
No, of course the approached will depend on the type of project and company it designed for. Then again, there are always common traits to what we do and how we approach a project: logics, visions, materials combinations, general shapes, etc… which only makes sense it is coming out of the same mind and Studio.
The biggest difference probably lies in the fact that a project is self-initiated and not designed at first for a specific company/editor but rather proposed to a company; or if it is done for a specific company and answers some of their general requests.

You operates on quite different markets and fields. Do your analyses show new users life styles and requirements?
Yes, indeed, we do design for some very different markets but always in the mid to high level part of the market since I am only interested in qualitative products. Having studied Political sciences and Marketing Management before industrial design I generally have a pretty good feel for the changes our societies are going through and general evolution in lifestyles.  Having lived “different” lives also helps.
Of course before starting a project we always check quickly what is already existing in order to make sure we don’t repeat what has been done, and to get a feel of where what we will be designing will be positioned in the market.
For some projects like the solar lamp design we had to a careful and long study of how people live in off-the grid countries is it is more remote to my daily life.  It was the same when we designed the first collection of a new French kitchen tools brand since we generally didn’t know much about that large and crowded marked and need to understand what was technically possible in order to define a DNA for the new brand.

Are there any conceptual “contaminations” and common elements among the many design areas you deals with?
Without repeating ourselves from one project we always try to make sure that there is a red thread between the different design that we do even if the sectors are different one from the other. In general, I work on what I have come to call “Simplexity” with projects that may appear simple at first hand but that generally have different levels of understanding, and also what I call “New simplicity” for projects that are clearly readable and use a minimum amount of material and transformation processes in their production.  We will generally work on the architecture of the product and/or on the graphic aspect and material combinations of the product.
So, yes indeed, there are definitely some “contaminations” between our different projects. The fact that we design for different fields also generates this cross-pollination effect between projects.

How has the workspace vision changed in the past few years and have these changes an impact on the new interior design and furniture products?
Before studying industrial design I work for five years in a large American company active in international finances.  As far as people management and organization they were definitely ahead of their times. During those fives year I had the chance to live firsthand the transformation of the company to a paperless company.  They also re-did all their interiors in their 15 story-building and 1.500 strong staff and went for a hot-desking policy with fully opened space.  As a future-designer those experience were very enlightening to me since I experience them first hand and felt what other were feeling.
In the last few years the workspace has become a lot more homey and a lot more human and I believe that through our collaboration with Buzzi Space we had the chance to have an influence on the evolving visions of the work environment and the increased attention to the wellbeing of the people. The office where we spend most of our days has become more and more a “full experience” place  ( not to say a place of full of experience ) where people increasingly interact and share with other.  In most cases the experience in the office is far richer and more modern than what most people live at home. One could almost say that some offices are a bit conceived like “boutique hotels” where one goes for a few days in order to live an experience different from their daily routines. People and the interaction between people have now become the fuel that drives successful companies and their interior design just tend to reflect that importance and the fact that people matter.

What scenarios and evolutions do you expect for the office and the ways of working in the near future?
I believe that we will work less and less in the office and only come a few times or a few days during the week to re-connect with colleagues to share information and enjoy the social sides of work.  People will be working partly from home, or co-working spaces at walking distances from their homes. They will thus spend less time commuting and when they will be commuting they will be try to escape the rush hours.
When in the office, people will have the possibility to work from different types of spaces that best suits their need for concentration or collaboration. To work lying on a couch, sitting or stand behind a desk, or working in collaborations with other in informal spaces with enough sound proofing elements to respect the intimacy and concentration of other.
Green spaces and terrace-like spaces will become the norm to escape the dull grey routine of what used to be called the work day, but which is above all the most important time in the life of people.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
In evidence, A portrait of Alain Gilles, copywrite Thomas De Boever.
2. New Perspective Mirror, Bonaldo, Alain Gilles.
3, 4. Big Table, Bonaldo, Alain Gilles.
5. Wicked Armchair & Basket Table, Vincent Sheppard, Alain Gilles, copywrite STOR.
6. BuzziPicnic table, versione split level, BuzziSpace, Alain Gilles.
7. BuzziPicnic Workbench, BuzziSpace, Alain Gilles.
8, 9. BuzziFLoat chair, BuzziSpace, Alain Gilles.



Buxkin: creative recycle design.

Sustainability and recycling: the dutch company Buxkin turns wastes into a WOW! material for design, as Marco Iannicelli has shown with his chair made of the ribbed minced leather collection and presented at the Live Work Design by Archiproducts at FuoriSalone 2016.

Recycling and sustainability are the keywords of new attention that goes beyond the mere object, claiming a new wider vision of the creativity and industrial process and their impact over the environment and the society.
“Our products are made of recycled, waste or natural material. It’s our mission to contribute to solving the waste problem in the world”, Jan Veldhoen e Wilma Dijkgraaf, Buskin founders, says. “We prefer natural materials because they are the most comfortable. What makes them unique too is the special look & feel: they look tough, but feel soft”.
Buxkin’s material, mainly made of felt and leather, also combined together, can be used for walls, floors and objects, coming in three different patterns: flat, ribbed and lines.

“What also makes our products special is the great acoustic value”, they underline.“Echos are reduced, because of the ribbed structure and by making perforations and working in combination with felt, offering the best, natural, acoustic product someone you could ever want”.
An example of the use of Buxkin material is the chair by Marco Ianicelli, a chair designed in two different ways: “The material is flexible but not really applicable as a three-dimensional material, which I accepted as a challenge”, the designer said. “I made several models and made two prototypes for different purposes. The wooden oak chair has a hexagonal framework and is designed as a lounge/arm chair. The steel chair presented at Archiproducts is a ‘freischwinger’ that is very springily and purposed for more official environments. The back strut reminds of a rudimentary backrest”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

Glamour cardboard, outdoor too.

Creativity, sustainability and a high quality design: the eco-friendly collection Anime di Carta (Paper soul) by Staygreen, presented at the FuoriSalone 2016, gives a new perspective on cardboard as a WOW! materials to create different kind of objects from chairs, tables to lamps and bookcases.

Light, ductile and recyclable: these characteristic, as we have already talked about, make Cardboard one of the most interesting materials we have seen at FuoriSalone 2016.
The innovative vision by Staygreen and its collection Anime di Carta is to turn a poor material with a raw look reputation, into a high design material, showing its glamour side.
Developed in collaboration with different designers as Robertopamio+partners and Setsu & Shinobu Ito, the collection take the eco-friendly theme to another level, not only for the materials (cardboard and natural glues extract from pea starch), but also in the process, managing the energy consumption and reducing waste.
The collection is based on different kind of object as chairs, bookcases, lamps or other furnishing accessory, thought for different environment, office and home, outdoor and indoor, thanks to the covering Solid Green, suitable for all the elements of the collection.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

1. Jvett, Omm, Stone.
Jvett is Staygreen’s symbol: made by a multilayer poplar and steel legs, it can come in different covering as eco-leather, cotton or leather. The shape of table Stone is inspired by a rock smoothed by the water, while the bookcase Omm (150 cm height; 32 cm thickness; 38 kg)  recalls to the perfection of the circle: both of them present the typical Staygreen’s double-cardboard-wave structure.
2. BOTTO sofà. Designed by the japanese Setsu & Shinobu Ito, along with STAY Chair, BOTTO sofà is a complete couch with pouffe and a compartment for glasses and bottles, that makes it ideal for welcoming spaces and lounges.
3. @Luce shape. Staygreen’s collection present a rich line of lamps and table lamps. @Luce Shape, with the elegant curve of its stem, is made, as well, by a double kraft cardboard wave structure.
4.. Jarres.  Jarres is one of the totemic vase with Amphora, presented at FuoriSalone 2016. The innovative audio system they are equipped with, make them original loudspeakers with a strong visual impact.

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Richard Sapper, the dad of Tizio lamp, died.

Richard Sapper, German designer Milanese by adoption and worldwide well known died on December 31. Bequeaths some of the most famous pieces of design and 10 awards Compasso d’Oro won. The last, Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2014 “for having united the rigor of the German and the Italian genius in designing a multitude of products of extraordinary success in different sectors.”

After working at Mercedes Benz in the styling department, from Monaco of Bavaria he moved to Milan in 1958, Mecca of design; first he worked in the studio of Gio Ponti and then, for about a decade in collaboration with Marco Zanuso to create some master pieces from the golden era of design (Cube radio and television Algol for Brionvega, Grillo telephone, Kartell chair for children, etc).
Sapper is one of the most important designers of the generation who gives a shape to the functionality of everyday objects “from the spoon to the town”, one of the most awarded and recognized in the world.
The Tizio lamp for Artemide is probably his best known and photogenic object (since 1972 how many films showed this lamp?) But its strict sign distinguished in other areas of industrial design and there are many highly innovative objects designed by Sapper , even though less iconic.
In the office sector the legendary chair Sapper Collection for Knoll in 1979 and the furniture system “From 9 to 5” for Castelli in 1987; home coffee maker, kettle and cutlery for Alessi; televisions and computers, household appliances; watches (his first Compasso d’Oro, in 1959 it was for the Lorenz Static watch) and means of transport, a subject that has always fascinated him.
1, Richard Sapper and Tizio for Artemide. Compasso d’Oro (designed by Richard Sapper 1972). 

2 Pen Dialog for Lamy (designed by Richard Sapper).
3, Folding bike Zoombike for Elettromontaggi. Compasso d’Oro(designed by Richard Sapper 2000).
4, Furniture system “Nine to five” for Castelli. Compasso d’Oro (designed by Richard Sapper 1987).
5, Sapper Chair Collection for Knoll (designed by Richard Sapper).

6, Algol TV for Brionvega (design Marco Zanuso and Richard Sapper 1965).
7, 9090 Coffee maker for Alessi. Compasso d’Oro (designed by Richard Sapper 1979).
8, Sapper double monitor arm for Knoll (designed by Richard Sapper 2012).
9, Secretaire for Molteni Unifor (designed by Richard Sapper 1989).


Experiment 2015: 1 brief, 3 designers, 3 products.

Some months before last Stockholm Furniture fair, Blå Station decided to ask two of their designers, Thomas Bernstrand and Stefan Borselius, to take part in a project called Experiment 2015. The design brief was to create three design classics for public environments in an entirely open design process where the designers should coach, debate and criticise each other. They also took on the task of selecting a third designer and after much head scratching rather they concluded that it should be Blå Station’s own, design manager, CEO and producer, Johan Lindau. 

The three individual armchairs born by this innovative and collaborative “way of working” were presented at the Stockholm Furniture fair 2015:

Poppe by Stefan Borselius.
It is, with its exact sitting angles and the thinnest possible shell, exploring just how narrow an armchair can really be. Poppe is despite its minimal dimensions an elegant and comfortable creation that seems to be a distant relative, and “lean” version of the iconic Oppo.  “This wasn’t to be an armchair that you sit in or a stool that you sit on- says Stefan- but rather an armchair that you sit with. A narrow style that provides mobility. I didn’t want it to be merely easy to move around and furnish with, but also easier for the user to move with the chair.”

Honken by Thomas Bernstrand.
It is an inviting armchair or an intimate, flirtatious two-seater sofa, constructed of robust sheet and expanded metal but with sensually turned legs. “I love products sold at flea markets and auctions -says Thomas- which people buy even though they are terribly scruffy. Some pieces of furniture can be in very poor condition, but you buy them anyway, straighten them out, apply a new layer of varnish; these layers create a beautiful patina of history.”

Morris Jr by Johan Lindau.
It is inspired by an old masterpiece called Morris, designed by Lindau & Lindekrantz, 50 years ago. Morris JR is a mobile, generous and easy to place arm-chair where the strict shape is softened by the backrest cushion as the cherry on top.
“I also wanted to work with mobility as a natural interplay with the user- says Johan- With wheels on the armchair, the furniture becomes both usable and easy to move without injury.

apre 01-Lessthanfive_MY-Coalesse-wow-webmagazine

Lessthan5: change colour with an app.

Coalesse introduced at Salone del Mobile 2015 the new Lessthan5_MY (<5_MY) chair by Michael Young. Made entirely of carbon fiber, the <5_MY chair combines materiality with technology in a new frontier of the custom-design.

Made by an unique material, allowing an array of colors and bespoke surface applications, Lessthen5_MY weights less than 2.3kg (5lb) and can support up to 136kg (300lb).
The ultimate craftmanshift allows for endless customizations. The <5_MY App presents the chair in the 5 base colors and then allows the user to customize the colors and the shadowing on the legs by choosing the exact desired nuance out of the complete existing color pallet. The app allows even to take a picture of your favorite clothe, landscape, shadow of your eyes and use that exact color to be applied to the chair. And with one click the design created by the user is sent to Coalesse for quote and realization of your very own and unique <5_MY.
As Michael Young states: “The chair’s structure and form was developed as a result of working with a factory that is known for exceptional high performance bicycles. This technology is ideal for the development of an exceedingly lightweight stacking chair. We wanted to design a carbon fiber chair that is truly functional and ergonomic.
“When we started the process we decided that we didn’t just want to make a carbon fiber chair and we didn’t want to make a gallery piece, we wanted to make a real, industrialized solution”, John Hamilton, director of global design at Coalesse said. “We wanted to explore the boundaries of using cutting edge technology and materials to redefine craft in the new age of global manufacturing.”
“Our design and engineering came together to express something very efficient, optimized, and smart through an amazing new material and process”, concludes John Hamilton. “Working with world class design talent and the world’s best carbon fiber craftsmen, we created a solution of lasting value that completely changes how you think about this type of chair.”
Text by Gabriele Masi.




Trends for contract and office seating.

Trends coming from Orgatec attract notice. How long it twill take for them to be appreciated by the market, only time can tell: more Soft seating, more acoustics, more vintage, more friendly. Anyway, what’s new in office chairs?

The mesh-chair seems to be outdated for the padded models are back,  as well as slim shapes, essential and squared, although not too much.
Appearance claims its priority over performance with more unconventional and free models as regards regulations.
The setting devices of chair and armrests are less complex and bulky, lighter and compact. The chair has no longer the characteristics of a “seating machine” and for the  user it’s easier to find their ideal posture. In general, the number of components is lower. (Sedus Turn Around, Tecno Vela, Arper Kinesit Chair, Flexform My Chair).
All materials find room and expression, but  wood is still being matched with other elements and the results are very interesting.
More and more products are designed to be flexible families to fit into different contexts and surroundings.
And in case of common areas, the lounge chair is also used to help to the acoustic comfort through high padded backs or well-organized configurations.
Text by Silvia Fattore

1, Arper, Kinesit Chair, design Lievore Altherr Molina.
2, Sedus Turn Around, design Judith Daur.
3, Tecno, Vela, design Lievore Altherr Molina.
4, Flexform, My Chair, design Baldanzi & Novelli.

5,Casala, Lynx, design Ewalt Kommer and Jeroen Kors.
6, Brunner, A-Chair, design jehs+laub.
7, Estel, Kite Chair.
8, Haworth, Openest System, design Patricia Urquiola.


The workplace by RAAAF announces The End of Sitting.

The End of Sitting is an installation at the crossroads of visual art, architecture, philosophy and empirical science, carried out in Amsterdam by RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] and visual artist Barbara Visser in collaboration with Looiersgracht 60 (Soraya Notoadikusumo and Nadine Snijders), a new space for contemporary art, design and architecture.

The starting concept is that in our society almost the entirety of our surroundings have been designed for sitting, while medical researches suggest that too much sitting has adverse health effects. Especially in workplaces.
The designers have developed a concept wherein the chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points.
Instead, this surreal and futuristic installation solicits visitors to explore different standing positions in an experimental work landscape.
The End of Sitting is a spatial follow-up of “Sitting Kills” the recently released mute animation by RAAAF and Barbara Visser, developed for the Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands. It marks the beginning of an experimental trial phase, exploring a new ergonomics, the possibilities of radical change for the working environment and to invent innovative and unknown “ideal” postures.

Client: RAAAF i.c.w. Looiersgracht 60
Installation: Ronald Rietveld, Erik Rietveld, Arna Mackic
RAAAF studio support: Clemens Karlhuber, Bastiaan Bervoets, Elke van Waalwijk van Doorn, David Habets, Mees van Rijckevorsel, Marius Gottlieb, Janno Martens
Production: Landstra & de Vries supported by Schaart Adventures
Team production: Bouwko Landstra, Alko de Vries, Basile Mareé, Boris de Beijer, Chris Bakker, Dino Ruisen, Ellik Bargai, Frits Ham, Hans Jansen, Jasper van Heyningen, Jolanda Lanslots, Kier Spronk, Koen van Oort, Koos Schaart, Lika Kortmann, Lucas van Santvoort, Luuc Sonke, Mark Jooren, Patrick Mulder, Syb Sybesma, Tim Mathijsen, Tomm Velthuis
Made with support by: Mondriaan Fund, Stichting DOEN, The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK), Looiersgracht 60, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Status: completion 2014
Photography: Jan Kempenaers (color), Frederica Rijkenberg (black&white)
Client vision Sitting Kills: Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands
Vison Sitting Kills + The End of Sitting: RAAAF | Barbara Visser
Animation: Olivier Campagne, ArtefactoryLab

The Jockey Club Innovation Tower Auditorium by Hadid.

Designed by Pritzker-Price-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the Jockey Club Innovation Tower is home to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design and is the new driving force in the development of Hong Kong as a design hub in Asia. The Tower, 15,000 square metres of net floor area, houses 10 classrooms, design studios and workshops, as well as exhibition spaces and a lecture hall of 300 seats: a state of art auditorium, displaying Hadid’s signature concentric forms. Poltrona Frau Contract design team collaborated directly with Zaha Hadid Architects in the definition of the custom made chairs.

The Jockey Club Innovation Tower auditorium is the image of the exterior structure. Preserving the futuristic style of the building, the room appears like a science-fiction setting, wide and with low ceiling.
Thanks to its long experience in auditorium and theatre acoustics field, Poltrona Frau Contract produced a model with the most advanced technology that fits perfectly with the Hadid’s space conception.
“The fluid character of the Innovation Tower is generated through an intrinsic composition of its landscape, floor plates and louvers that dissolves the classic typology of the tower into an iconic seamless piece” said Zaha Hadid about the project. “These fluid internal and external courtyards create new public spaces of an intimate scale which complement the large open exhibition forums and outdoor recreational facilities to promote a diversity of civic spaces.”
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures 3,4,5 by Iwan Baan.
Picture 6 by Virgile Simon Bertrand.



Luxy’s Epoca: a chair for the Multifuncional Epoch.

A stool for a counter-top, an elegant chair for the office upholstered with fabric, leather or hide, or a rocking chair for a 5 minutes time relax during a stressful day. Designed by Stefano Getzel and produced by Luxy, Epoca is not just a chair, but the first project that interprets seating as a flexible system designed to be sat on in any place and at any time throughout our daily lives. One shape for all kind of style, need and taste, a recurring pattern combined in various height, with different upholsteries and basements, able to unify the space and all the way of using it.

A real project for our Multifunctional Epoch is the one produced by Luxy, designed to embrace nowadays world in an interesting game of combinations.
Epoca has been designed to provide three different styles, with the visible edging, to create a new way to make the bi-color, completely upholstered, or in polipropilene.
The comfortable polypropylene chair comes in white, black, grey, dove-grey, lobster pink , green and it is fixed by the screwless hooking system “LUXY CLIP” to frames finished in white, black, chrome, or made from wood. The front of the seat has an embossed non-slip finish while the back is glossed.

On all the versions with total padding, the Epoca upholstery can always be removed as it involves no glue, choosing among simple, ribbed, “drops in a pond” or other motives.
In additon arms can be added to the seat and color-matched, as well as bag holders for the stools and a writing table antipanic for the chairs.
Epoca is really multi-use and it can fit with all kind of environment, at home, in a restaurant, in the office or in a waiting room, where fixed to the ground and linked on beam, it can give a simple and elegant welcome.
Besides Epoca, Stefano Getzel has already designed for Luxy the Frac, Aire Jr., Arrow, Big Jim, Synchrony, Pixel chairs , the Plah Ghinn sofa system and U.F.O. footrest.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by Andrea Pancino.


Sedus “turn around”: the “move-free” swivel chair.

Easy to handle as a bar stool, elegant and comfortable for long working or meeting hours. Designed by Judith Daur, “turn around”, as the name itself says, it is a swivel chair that stimulates conscious posture changes, allowing the user to freely move and easily interact. With “turn around”, Sedus closes a product gap and offers a functional swivel chair for team and project work at high desks or also in seating areas, with its “high” and “low” variants.

“turn around” is a swivel chair which combines comfort and ergonomics, not limiting you in a stiff and static position, but allowing a total freedom: you can lean back and relax yourself, turn sideways towards conversational partners, stand up and then sit back easily, or simply you can expand your working space turning 360° around, rolling on its wheels.
When designing the chair, it was also important to Judith Daur to create a protective shell contour particularly for use at high desks, but which by means of a sidecut also ensures the necessary legroom.
Additional comfort and freedom of movement are provided by the forward sloping seat cushion incorporated into the shell, an upholstered surface on the backrest and a swing mechanism underneath the shell.
Text by Gabriele Masi.