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Smart design for Arcadis offices in Milan.

Implement the smart working approach and create more synergy in the working team through a smart design: that was the brief given to D2U to design the Arcadis offices in Milan. Furniture, materials and colours were chosen to improve an ergonomic approach, sound absorption and to create a comfortable and, at the same time, flexible environment.

The 1.500 sqm workplace chosen by Arcadis to join all the company’s offices in the same place, as the Managing Director Roberto Talotta says, represented the opportunity to “create more and more synergy within the working team and to efficiently implement group guidelines on smart working approach”. The architect Jacopo della Fontana has led the D2U architect team along with the Arcadis Project Manager Alberto Spacone.

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The project has been conceived with two big naves, accessible by both the two floors, connected by open stairs and separated in the centre with a mezzanine. The offices are divided into activity areas, separated by big conference tables and individual and private workstations, allowing, however, the required flexibility to embrace the possible company’s future needs and changes.

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These space, along with the reception area and the internal coffee bar, contributes to create a good balance of individual, teamworking and private spaces, in order to allow the workers to find the perfect setting for each daily need.

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As Jacopo della Fontana says, “working alongside with the client has allowed us to implement the brief with a creative approach, respecting schedules and costs constraints”, focusing on materials, colors and furniture, in order to create a communicative environment, where all the material, sound absorption and ergonomic parameters are thoroughly respected.
The furniture is most of all designed by the Dutch company Ahrend, with the adding of some other pieces as the moquette Interface.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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The colorful future of the office.

Color can be several things in a workplace: food for our mind, an effective and immediate way of communication, a trigger of sensations and emotions and a powerful identity totem. That’s why color matters in every trend we can trace about the contemporary office, from agile and smart working to wellbeing and creativity, from flexible design to brand and corporate identity.

While the workplace has become a more stimulating, multifunctional, agile and communicative space, color is getting the attention of every interior designer and architect.

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“Colors are the food for our mind”, Christina Wiklund, CMF Manager in Kinnarps, said during the presentation of the Kinnarps Color Studio: a mind that has to remain creative, open and enough flexible to face the new and dynamic challenges of an ever-changing market.
Therefore color, as food, has to keep our mind healthy and “fully charged”, creating a landscape where the employee can find what he needs at every moment. It has to be also a simple and easy to digest kind of food, helping to orient yourself in a space shaped by nomadic and mobile ways of working, tracing a visible map.

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Most of all, color shares with food the fact of giving a connotative and perceivable identity feeling: from the face and body painting of the ancestral populations to the medieval coats of arm, to the flag of the countries, till the nowadays expression of the corporate identity on the office walls.
Color is a very effective way to create a banner to follow, to communicate with people, to transmit through space sensations, rules, required behaviours, and messages, as it is shown by the AzkoNobel’s Heart Wood, Color Future 2018,  chosen to transmit a welcoming and reassuring feeling to the people living in the workplace.

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So, what is the kind of color we need for the new architecture of communication (as it was defined by Birgit Gebhardt during the conference at the Dieffebi‘s Showroom in Milan at the last Fall Design Week)?
It’s a color that takes inspiration from reality: like the ones used in traffic lights, it it has to direct the constant flow of people, communication, and information; like an heraldic symbol it has to create a sense of corporate membership; finally has to be scenographic, capable of creating the perfect stage where a free and creative play can take place, evoking, at the same time, more intense and meaningful emotions.
Text by Gabriele Masi

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The iconic orange scissors by Fiskars are 50 years old.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the Helsinki Design Museum dedicates an exhibition to the legendary scissors created by Olof Bäckström, the first with plastic handle, a masterpiece of Scandinavian design part of our daily scenario and present in the design collection of MoMa in New York.
The success orange color, now patented and become corporate color, was a fortuitous choice!

The history Fiskars steel mill, based in the homonymous village in Finland, started in 1649.

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During the following centuries, it marked a constant evolutionary path; among many important steps, a fundamental one was in 1967 when the first scissors with plastic handle were created, this material was innovative and particularly ergonomic, too.

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Fiskars Orange, a successful random choice.
Three colors were proposed for the handle (red carmine, black and green), but when the prototype was sent to production, in the machine remained the orange color of another product.
So, this bright color was added to those already selected and a democratic poll among the factory workers led to the final choice: 9 votes in favor and 7 dissenting.
Thanks to that choice, Fiskars Orange® has become a registered trademark and the corporate color of the company.

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Design for all, ergonomics and constant innovation.
Today, Fiskars expands its design, engineering and production to a wide range of professional and amateur tools, for home and office, for tailoring and hairdressing.
The concept of design to all inspired scissors for left-handed users and scissors equipped with a patented effort reduction mechanism to assist users with reduced hands skills.

 

Thanks to the steering of Olavi Lindén, Chief Designer at Fiskars since 1984, innovation is constantly in progress; research, development and production cover nowadays a wide range of knives, kitchen tools and pots and gardening tools.
Design and ergonomics remain the main concepts and the focus for all production.

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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!

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The Vodafone headquarters in Padova (Dante Benini&Partners).

After the Smart Vodafone Village in Milan, Dante O. Benini & Partners Architects designed the Vodafone’s offices in Padova: multifunctional, eco-friendly, open space workplace where materials, colors and lighting create a dynamic and harmonious rhythm, reflecting the ways of working of the company.

The Vodafone’s offices in Padova are a polyphonic environment designed to support the wellbeing of the workers, through the interaction between cutting-edge technologies where different kind of environments and furniture by several companies, such as Sedus, Caimi Brevetti, Arper and Segis. The whole creates a peculiar rhythm throughout the space, dividing, but at the same time unifying, formal and informal, privacy and meeting workspaces.

The project follows the features of the Vodafone Village in Milan, also designed by the same firm Dante O. Benini & Partners Architects: a fully connected, multifunctional and shared open space, with a particular attention to energetic sustainability which candidates the Cittadella to the LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
The key of the project is to enhance through the space the smart, flexible and dynamic ways of working of the company, using visible and tangible elements as materials, colors, acoustic elements, and lighting. While the different colors reflect the switch between two different environments, the lighting system and the space are expanded by the using of honeycomb aluminium papers on the surfaces and on the custom furniture.

The interior design plays with its own elements: the working islands defined by free-standing and self illuminated workstation in a big letter shape are a perfect example as well as the relax area where rocking chairs and furniture are inspired by organic and embracing shapes.
The graphic project by Gr Interior, the repetition throughout the space of models, materials and geometrical elements creates connected environments which differ in purpose and configuration, in a single harmonious and at the same time flexible working setting.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by Beppe Raso.

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A feminine colour research.

The Manerba’s products have been revised over the last five years in terms of materials, colours and finishes by architect Raffaella Mangiarotti, art director of Manerba.
The result of this research was presented during the event “A Little more Human, a Little more Woman” organized on the occasion of the opening of the new showroom in Milan inside the Jannelli & Volpi Building.

For 10 years Manerba has been led by two courageous and competent women. Two sisters who have taken over the family business. Elisa Manerba, economist, who manages the marketing and sales departments. Grazia Manerba, engineer, who manages the technical department and production.
A soft, in-progress project, developed since 2011, born from the idea of renewing office aesthetics by intervening on colours and finishes. Moving from strictly office to a more human, domestic workplace, with a touch of femininity.

Thanks to the research by Raffaella Mangiarotti, now all the colours of the palette are available on all surfaces defining a broad scope of chromatic moods.
Those working with color know how difficult it is to obtain monochromes on different materials.

 

It sounds easy, but just look around and you will see this is not the case.
From neutral, light colours inspired by Scandinavian taste to lively Mediterranean moods, then techno, with fluorescent and electric shades and finally the more classical.
The same commitment was also called for on the metal finishes: from classical chrome to the entire spectrum of finishes which simulate the more noble metals, both new and aged. Equally fine research was devoted to wood types, laminates and fabrics.

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The result is an extensive database of combinations and scenarios, available for architects.
Manerba sees the study of colours, materials and finishes as a path which evolves continuously and involves architects and clients in a sort of co-design.
The meeting between design and colour implies the selection of materials, suppliers (among these Akzo Nobel and Linak) and the attention to high levels of quality, technical content and standards, ensuring environmentally sustainable products.

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A sculptural pavilion made by color and light.

The inspiration of the Eye_Beacon Pavilion, designed by UnStudio in collaboration with MDT-tex takes inspiration from biomimicry, theme of the Amsterdam Light Festival and, similar to deep sea creatures, uses bioluminescence to signal, attract and inform.

The design by Ben van Berkel with William de Boer, Rob Henderson and Piotr Kluszczynski in collaboration with MDT-tex is specifically inspired by the deep sea world, where living organisms counteract the darkness of their environment by employing bioluminescence – often hypnotic pulsating light – as an attraction and communication mechanism. This magical vivid world formed the starting point for the sculptural, yet functional pavilion. It serves as both an attraction point and a ticketing/information booth.

“Similar to deep sea creatures that use bioluminescence to signal, attract and inform, the Eye_Beacon uses choreographed light sequences to alert visitors to its dual function as both a sculpture and an information point for the festival.
Along with the effect of the pavilion partially overhanging the Amstel River, the twist that connects the two halves of the structure emphasises the crossing point between the land and water routes of the festival.” explains Ben van Berkel.

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For the structure, two cube forms are connected to one another by twisting surfaces. This results in 250 panels with uneven dimensions and therefore required the parametric optimisation of these surfaces to ensure efficient fabrication and installation.
Focused LED projections present gradient color changes on the inside of the tensile structure, resulting in a dynamic composition of light and colour.
All surfaces of the pavilion are constructed from tensile textile modules that together create a pattern of openings and reveal glimpses of the interior.
Lighting Supply and Installation: Zumtobel; Lighting Content Consultant: Florian Licht, Licht & Soehne.
Photo by Janus van den Eijnden.

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Colors for workplaces with personality.

“Create space with personality” was the title of Sedus’s stand at Orgatec 2016. The company has devoted special attention to the study of color, to give the workplace environments different personalities according to the task performed, so that colours may affect our mood and behaviour. Here are a few hints.

The four guide themes- Energy, Nature, Water, Elegance- worked out by Sedus define its palettes. Each colour triggers different chemical reactions that may, for instance, increase or reduce the production of those hormones stimulating different states of mind.

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Sun and energy for task areas.
Warm colours -from red to orange to yellow-
improve our mood, pressure, heart rate and muscle activity. They boost rapid adrenalin production, thus stimulating more energy, action and communication. The advice is to use them for the workstations.

Hearth and nature for break areas.
The soft green colours evoke levity and have a calming effect on the nervous system, while the shades of brown evoke the earth, they are warm and soothing. The “Nature” palette is especially suitable for quiet areas for socializing or meant as library as well as break, lounge and dining areas.

Water and sky for brain-storming and teamwork areas.
The shades of blue
 and azure affect a decrease in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure, they stimulate the parasympathetic system and creative imagination and intellectual work. They are especially suitable for brainstorming areas because they help to focused attention.

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Refined texture and materials for executive areas.
As for the executive lounges, the colour code ranges from the classic black to grey and white. Darker colours demonstrate respect, professionalism and reliability, instead white is the colour of clarity and conveys a feeling of simplicity, order and polish which excites a good attitude.

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Texture “jeans effect” for powder coatings.

AkzoNobel Textura: is a sustainable and high performance powder coatings collection with a materic texture and color trends. Global Aesthetics Center’ experts have selected Denim Drift as ColorFutures 2017. Conscious of the main colour trends, AkzoNobel has added a Denim Drift-like shade to the110 RAL hues of the Textura, collection.

The colour blue positively affects our state of mind and boosts emotional balance.
Furthermore, the Denim Drift shade adds the freshness and informality inspired by this popular fabric – denim, better if washed-out – used to make jean pants.

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Not only a garment but an iconic symbol of our lifestyles, as Fabio Novembre anticipates through his artistic installation for Tommy Hilfiger at La Rinascente in Milan in 2013.

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The typical denim weave is even more stressed in the Textura finish, with a warm tactile effect. This line of products is however easy to clean and resistant, therefore perfect for busy areas.
With due regard for environmental sustainability, Akzo has also developed new chemical formulations to allow lower cooking temperature and time with a remarkable energy saving.
Textura Denim Drift has a green soul, too.

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Golden party.

Design addicts particularly love all KnIndustrie’s products. They are useful and elegant Christmas gifts, high-quality tools that combine technology and tradition, sustainability and materials research. The best for the Christmas party are the wok and cutlery offered in champagne gold and bronze color version.

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#knpot#eat#healthy, wok/saucepan
Available in brushed gold bronze finishing, it is the ideal pan for healthy cooking, thanks to the antioxidant hard anodization with silver ions that excludes any transfer of substances during the preparation. Excellent heat conductivity and a uniform temperature distribution on all surfaces of the wok ensure perfect results. Thanks to its functional removable handle, it may be used to present the food directly on the table or to contain fruits.
Ø cm 32. Price 118 euros.

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Zest and Foo’d cutlery, design by Rodolfo Dordoni.
An innovative PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) finishings in “champagne color”, fruit of the outcome of the on-going research into new manufacturing techniques.The main characteristics of PVD consist in resistance to corrosion and chemical agents and a greater surface hardness. Moreover, the manufacturing cycle has a zero environmental footprint. Price 50 euros for 4 pieces (spoon, knife, fork, coffee spoon).

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A warm, golden heating.

Sometimes we think that a glamorous gold surface is only appropriate for small objects, but the history of architecture and interior design demonstrate that gold, with its metallic glare and nuances, is always been used to embellish any kind of environment giving it more elegance. For this reason Antrax adds gold in the range of colors available for its sculptural radiators.

The gold version, not only “warm up” the environment but make it extraordinary. And, why not think about a golden radiators as an extraordinary Christmas gift?

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Saturn & Moon, designed by Peter Rankin, is a highly sculptural piece of Zen minimal design that inspires calm and relax.The sphere-shaped surface captures light from the environment and softens the borders of the radiator like the halos of the eclipse. Price 3627 euros.

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Vu, designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini, is made out of steel plate and is cut to shape by laser, creating a dynamic and expressive design that interprets the shape of flames.over 200 color finish options are available, but the dynamic design, evoking images of a flowing flame is marked out by the gold color. Price 2570 euros.

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A color code for a vivid headquarters.

The concept design by GaS Studio for this new headquarter in Rome is inspired by smart working approach to optimize the space and it is marked out by a “color code” to identify various functions, to underline the unusual shape of the floor plan and encourage team work, creativity and energy.

The principal objective of the project was to regroup separate departments in diverse locations into a single complex thereby facilitating communication, efficiency and cost control as well as creating an opportunity for the renewal of new workplace standards towards smart office concepts.
The project consisted of roughly 6500m2 distributed over 6 floors (reception, various meeting typologies, closed offices, multi purpose work areas, employee break areas and some specialty labs).
This specific project represents this company’s first forays into the concepts of the smart office and integrated some of it’s predominant features such as unassigned task oriented spaces, remote reservation of conference spaces, BMS control of many technological functions, phone booths and some collective services.
The base building presented the unusual characteristic of being split into two distinct zones on every floor: one relatively shallow and the other unusually deep for Italian standards. This, in turn, lead to a design solution that took advantage of this characteristic.
In fact, service and traditional closed offices are organized in the narrower half of the floor plate while more flexible and multi-use spaces occupy the deeper half. This was purposely proposed in order to encourage movement and communication amongst a larger segment of the companies employees.


The shallower side of the corridor was treated with silk-screened black and white graphics
to control somewhat privacy and the spaces on the opposite side of the corridor were treated with brightly colored blinds of various shades. The result is a very vivid and ever changing prism of colors that create combinations as one looks thru multiple spaces and perceives the colors in transparency and depth.
Brightly colored vertical blinds
make meeting areas particularly recognizable and appealing, but also help identify various functions within each floor following a simple color code.
On the other hand, the more traditional side of the office space is characterized neutral colored soft furniture reflecting the more sedentary functions within. This approach produced a very vibrant yet serene working environment, constantly changing as users close or open the vertical shades and allow the client to modify almost unconsciously his spaces by simply using them.


The pervasive use of color is not derived from the corporate identity. Colors “energize” the deeper half of the floor plate which, by it’s nature is better adapted to collective activities such as team working.
This unusual feature of the building was used to zone each floor into a service half, treated in tones of grey and used for closed office spaces, copy areas and other sedentary functions; whereas the deeper half of the floor was organized to provide more collective or task oriented functions and to accomodate much more flexibility. Color is used to stimulate and encourage team work, creativity and energy.
An interesting feature of this approach is that the horizontal blinds are never in the same position and given the depth of the space, create a multilayered effect where colors combine and result in a space constantly in flux.
In order to balance this play of colors, neutral floor finishes were selected consisting of vinyl flooring in circulation areas for ease of maintenance and grey carpet in closed spaces in order to control acoustics.
Photo by Beppe Raso

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Healthcare focused on light and colors.

Particular attention is made to the child’s world who, although being in a pained condition of ‘little patient’, must continue living in his dimension. This is the basic concept behind the architectural project by Schiattarella Associati for Pediatric Ward in Rome: thought to make the child feel protected in a new, but at the same time, familiar environment just as if he was “at home”.

The Rome-based firm Schiattarella Associati’s project for the restoration of the Nephrology and Gastro-Enterology Ward inside the Pediatric Pavilion of the Umberto I General Hospital in Rome was commissioned by both the No Profit organization Onlus Nuova Armonia and by 30 Ore per la Vita.
The restoration of this ward has been realized thanks to funds coming from donors and with the same spirit the designing team has given its technical contribution: this is Schiattarella Associati ‘s ethical vision of the Practice.
The key features of the refurbished ward are the rationalised spaces, humanized rooms, creation of a recreation room and a computer room useable by teachers of nursery, primary and secondary schools working inside the Hospital; advanced technology to continuously monitor young patients, digital medical record and video surveillance for severe patients in addition to a high tech area for intensive care to transplanted children and to children in immunosuppressive care. All rooms are thought for the child and his family, improving admission quality.


One of the most high quality elements in this project is the research for natural lighting: we wanted to build a peaceful common space, ensuring each room lot of light coming from the wide full-height windows.
Excellent levels of privacy and comfort are assured thanks to particular architectural and technical tricks such as sun shields, curtains, coloured strips with drawings applied to windows together with an up-to-date air conditioning system.
Spaces dedicated to recreation activities as well as the waiting room, the visitors meeting room and the medical examination and treatment areas are located at the beginning of the ward far from the relax and care areas but next to, and immediately available, medical staff . The ten recovery rooms, all equipped with their own bathroom, electrical and mechanical systems, air conditioning, medical gas systems, audio-video system, data network and specific healthcare furniture in order to create a comfortable and warm space where the child can peacefully sleep.
Each single room is characterised by a color and a fairy tale, told with drawings and words on the windows so that family and child are not disoriented; color is everywhere: on the walls, on the floors and on the furniture all meant to be functional to what they were designed for.
All rooms overlook on a modern contact point made of crystal full-height walls that, thanks to the use of an innovative artificial lighting system made of LED bars with RGB system remote and manual color change, create an amazing environment in which the child can “dive” as if he was in a colored bathtub. Colors can be chosen according to chromotherapy criteria which can be of support to counseling therapy.

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Credits:
Client: Nuova Armonia Onlus
Project: Schiattarella Associati
Project directors: Arch Irene Rinaldi, Arch Emidio Di Nicola
Lighting Design: Arch Carla Maresca
Structure: Riccardo Fibbi, Mauro Scalambretti

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AzkoNobel’s ColourFutures 2017.

“A palette that tells the story of our life in a new light trend, with darker and lighter hues that change the mood of a room”. Heleen Van Gent, Head of AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetics Center, has presented with these words the Color of the Year 2017: Denim Drift. A color that express the value of versatility and the return to a sense of “normality”.

After the orange copper 2015 and the gold of 2016, for 2017 AzkoNobel has chosen a shade of blue. A color inspired by the famous trousers, symbol of the versatility and the informality, trends of contemporary design: born as working trousers, jeans are nowadays a suitable for every occasion, casual and elegant, depending on what it is combined with.
“We understand how essential color is to everyday life” Van Gent has commented. “As well as being practical, paint and color can have such a transforming and uplifting effect on people and the places they spend their time, whether at home, work or leisure.”
As every year, ColourFutures is a moment to think about the role of design in the contemporary society and its ability of capturing the main trends and tendencies, through color. Denim Drift is a complete switch from the last year’s gold, from preciousness to normality, a deep, relaxing breath in the chaotic and anxious time we live in. It is a tribute to hard work and to the ability of rethinking yourself in different situations, a palette that combines the airy feel of the lighter shade with the more dramatic and moody darker ones, avoiding the extremes, always giving a sense of normality.

“Research has shown that consumers lack confidence when it comes to decorating, with 40% actively searching for inspiration”, David Menko, Marketing Director of AkzoNobel Decorative Paints commented. “That’s why we’re focused on driving innovations that improve people’s everyday lives by transforming their living spaces and helping them to choose the right colors and products”.
Denim Drift is not only a palette that tells the time we live in, but also an inspiration on how we can live in it.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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10 trends from Orgatec 2016.

Following the WOW! live streaming from Orgatec, here we confirm some of the trends for the workplace identified at the 2016 edition of the exhibition.

Trend 1: furniture 4.0
The 4.0 approach is a cross-trend that transforms the production and involves the final user in design; service and technology are integrated inside the furnishing.

1 Tecno io.T is a smart system of connected furnishings integrated with IT systems to offer solution to managers of smart buildings.
2 Thonet: a flexible radio-controlled numbering system integrated in the backrests of chairs designed in collaboration with Mauser Sitzkultur.
3
PrintStool One, Thorsten Franck for Wilkhahn, the stool is the first ready-to-use and customizable furnishing product made by 3D printer.

Trend 2: the sit-stand desk, is a must.
Every company has at least one or more models of height-adjustable desk. In the passage between Halls 10:11 Linak, the most important producer of linear actuators incorporated the mechanisms into outdoor furniture in a garden to remind that smart working allows you to work anywhere (see trend 6).

1 Vitra CDS system, designed by Antonio Citterio. industrial aesthetics and sophisticated mechanism.
2 Design Meets Movement installation by Linak.
3 Sedus furniture systems focused on Productive Wellbeing to promote the movement in the office.
4 Okamura SW heigh adjustable desk designed to offer optimum positioning.

Trend 3: Acoustics.
Sometime acoustic comfort can become an obsession…

1 Offect Sound Wall designed by Christophe Pillet.
2 Koenig + Neurath: too much is too much …
3 Thonet Canon, whiteboard with sound-absorbing function

Trend 4: Glory be to wood!
True, natural and light wood.

1 Haworth, dipped System.
2 Sinetica Use Me, storage system.
3 Citterio Wood_Wall, partition wall system with wooden structure.

Trend 5: So much color!
Bright colors, sometimes unusual in the office such as the purple or salmon pink, coral and burgundy. In addition all shades of blue, perfect color to improve creativity.

1 New color palette by Sedus, inspired by nature to personalize the workplace.
2 Unifor chooses coral color for the desk.
3 Segis choices warm and bright compositions for the Lounge system by Biagio Cisotti.
4 Alias: pink lalmon for Slim seating family, design by PearsonLloyd.

Trend 6: Cocoons for privacy in in-between areas.
The new typologies of furnishing for in-between areas improve efficiency and functional performances to create visual and acoustic privacy in open spaces and common areas.

1 Okamura, Muffle can be assembled in various configurations.
2 Teknion, essential design and wood.
3 Universal Selecta, Chakra is a patented modular system of solid panels or glass to create define closed environments.
4 Alias, Eleven, design PearsonLloyd

Trend 7: The nature in the office.
The benefits of nature for a human centered workplace are confirmed; plants will be integrated in the furniture design. The nature inspires Biophilic design too and suggests color choices that reproduce the outdoor.

1 Interface, new modular carpet collections inspired by Biophilic design.
2 Fantoni integrates olive trees in the desk Hub designed by Matteo Ragni.
3 Offect, On Point designed by Mattias Stenberg integrates plants in the middle off the meeting table.
4 Ersa Edge desk system designed by Claudio Bellini.

Trend 8: home-like office with rocking chairs.
The work-life balance issue is emerging in new seating suitable for cross-lounge, coworking and the workplace that points on hospitality and homeliness and the rocking chair comes in the office.

1 Fun rocking stools by Nurus.
2 Traditional style for the rocking chair by True.
3 Buzzi Balance family, designed by 13 & 9, to encourage conversation.
4 Viccarbe design oriented rocking chair.

Trend 9: home-like office with kitchenette (Upper photo: Estel).
Food promotes socialization; lunch time and coffee break offers the opportunity of informal meeting with colleagues or customers. Smart working is also made of convivial moments.


1 Bralco Domomag, Fornaciari design & Fait, modular assembling container with kitchenette facility.
2 Estel Coffice, convivial multi function islands to create different ways of informal meeting.

Trend 10: sustainability.
Quality of life and wellbeing in the office are strictly related with the wellbeing of the planet. It is not a new trend and constantly increasing; some companies invest in research for new materials and assembly systems designed to life cycle and  eco-sustainability.

1 Driven by its commitment to Mission Zero, Interface has developed a method for using 90% renovable energy and 100% of recycled or bio-based raw materials to made its carpet tiles collections.
2 Offect, Phoenix chair by Luca Nichetto developed in the thorough LifeCircle. All components are exchangeable and renewable. 

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The red connections of Milano Design Week.

Red is the color of Design. The energetic, lively, positive Salone del Mobile’s corporate color invades the entire city becoming the symbol of the Milan Design Week with graphic, acoustic and bright vermillion connections.

Did you see thousands of red trolleys all around Milan during Milano Design Week? Good news: now the desired red trolley of Salone del Mobile, are not only exclusive for the press; you can buy them together with the complete collection of the iconic gadgets of the Salone, a very cool design-oriented souvenir, indeed.
The red lighting installation by Ingo Maurer embellished also Torre Velasca, a symbol of Milanese skyline, and light up the ground floor, too with the fluid red lines by Piero Lissoni for Opel.

The web of Padiglione Milano “Labor” set up in the courtyard of honor of the Royal Palace, is also vermillion: a cloud-pavilion that express the industriousness of Milan propagating sounds an noises of present, past and future works. This installation, designed by Attilio Stocchi, is a project by the Triennale Milano and the Department of the City of Milan Policies for Work in collaboration with Kartell.

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Another red site specific installation at Tecno -Connections, Connectors & Connectivity- designed by Migliore+Servetto at Caselli di Porta Nuova.
A flow of energy which passes through more than one kilometre of red elastic bands stretched between the two specular buildings: a dynamic, continuous mark of a story that connects interior and exterior. A dense network turns into a urban living room, around four conical solids to present the products awarded or selected with the ADI Compasso D’Oro Award, for the project “Le Vie Del Compasso D’oro”.

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Spotify: when the music shapes the space.

Energy and creativity: these are the key concepts of the Spotify’s offices in Milan, designed by Adolfsson&Partner. Two ideas connecting design and music, as a source of inspiration, freedom, collaboration and wellbeing. A colourful working environment where everyone can freely express himself.

660 workstations, 75 meeting rooms over 5 floors and more than 8 thousands sqm, designed to satisfy the modern equation of the working environment design: happiness = more productivity. Spotify, the famous swedish commercial music streaming service, has put into in all its offices around Europe, including Milan, its mission and corporate philosophy through the space, making its employees experience it everyday.

The color is the main peculiarity that first strikes you entering the space, especially in the furniture and on the walls, where graffitis are a leitmotif that characterise most of the rooms. Other features makes the Spotify’s offices an example of the new ways of working concepts: the attention paid for the the break and in between areas, the informality of the space, the kitchen and all the space allowing to cook and eat directly in the office, the use of design elements as working tools, as the 700 meters wall paper that can be utilised by everyone as a blackboard.
An office inspired by the music, core business of Spotify, where music beats the time of the working day, emphasise the home feeling sensation and team working. “In our office we listen to collaborative playlist to be motivated”, Angela Watts, Spotify’s VP of Global Communication, says. “Everyone can contribute with his own taste and no one feels left apart”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Mia Ped: maximum functionality even in Christmas colors.

Mia Ped by Dieffebi is a multifunctional and totally configurable container, which transforms easily into a seat while remaining a functional storage element. It is designed to contain personal objects, devices and work equipment as well as personal belongings. It is available in a wide range of bright and original colors, among these the perfect colors for good luck and Christmas present: red or gold, Colour of the Year 2016!

Mia Ped combines minimalist design, emphasized by the retractable castors and due to its reduced dimensions, the interior spaces are optimized thanks to accessories designed for maximum storage functionality.The extreme personalization of the interior spaces allows it to be totally reconfigured according to the ever-changing needs of its user. Flexibility in separating the internal spaces is ensured by internal dividers that can be completed with soft pads to hold objects and electronic devices safely and without a scratch.

The prices of the 2 drawers container are from 242 to 275 euros I prezzi della cassettiera con 2 cassetti variano da 242 a 275 euro (302 euros the Gold version ).
Further information and list of the closer dealers on Dieffebi website.

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ColourFutures AkzoNobel: Gold, Color of the Year 2016.

The AkzoNobel Global Aesthetic Center announced in London the Color of the Year 2016: Ochre Gold. A color strongly used in the world of architecture and interior design. The influent studio behind predicting these future color trends -in collaboration with leading design and color experts from around the world- offers inspirations into ColourFutures 2016.

“Gold exemplifies the overall theme of duality,” explained Heleen van Gent, Head of AkzoNobel’s Global Aesthetic Center. “It’s bright enough to attract attention, while subtly referring to history and heritage. So it represents a fusion of our past, our present and our future.” Another metallic color, a natural evolution and transition from the coppery orange that was the colour of the year for 2015.
It’s extremely usable: an easy wall color for the interior as well as the exterior. Although it is a true yellow, it is a warm neutral as well. Very versatile, very exciting. It combines so well with other colors, creating very different effects and fitting into different interior decor styles. It is a color we know and appreciate and it is exciting and new at the same time.” continues Heleen.

For 2016 the experts of the Global Aesthetic Center see a muted and sophisticated palette which centres on soft mid tone shades. The overall feeling continues to be warm, but with even greater subtlety.
Bright colours have moved away from primary to something more interesting. This is a friendly palette but with a dark, mysterious side.
“Colors are becoming more subtle and nuanced, even the brighter colors are intriguing and complex. Something new for this year is the Color of the Year palette: 10 colors that show how to combine Ochre Gold in a contemporary way.” concludes Heleen.

The ColourFutures 2016 offers inspirations and color palettes to work beautifully with the Colour of the Year 2016 to create a tonal effect, a relaxed neutral combination or something more surprising, especially with dark colors.
And really cutting-edge is the new Interpon’s Special Effects 2015/2018 collection: 43 different colors of metallic effect powder coating, as usual sustainable and solvent free.
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USM: a textile factory becomes an University in Renens.

From socks and knitwear manufacturing to the house of the ECAL Art School’s building: the architect Bernhard Tschumi  turns a former textile factory in Renens, Switzerland, into an open, spacious loft structures, furnished by USM, and design to satisfy the needs of the new ways of working, keeping his industrial charm intact at the same time.

The idea that has driven the project of the new ECAL Art School was to keep the original industrial features of the building. From the outside, the former factory has been “packaged”, concealed behind a second facade of metal gratings and corrugated profiles.
Inside a colourful guidance system defines individual spaces and functions, establishing a connection to the outside, as bands of primary colours stretch across the building’s facade. Tschumi brought lots of light and air inside this large space and, cutting in four the courtyards, he managed to create new spatial relationships and visual references, giving the school a sense of openness and expansive space.  At the same time the space deal perfectly with the typical challenge of an open space, matching the needs of privacy and exchange, concentration and communication.
USM Haller shelves and sideboards provide a significant contribution in this direction, offering practical storage space for the students while simultaneously serving as spatially effective elements and defining spatial zones without closing them off. The offices and seminar rooms are also furnished with USM tables. Within this architectural concept, characterized by highly colourful accents, the USM  Modular Furniture Haller, executed in black, pure white and pearl gray, helps to instill a sense of relaxed tranquility and restraint.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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