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Copernico Martesana: well-being and business trends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Creativity is already there: instructions for use.

Creativity is not a matter of being a genius, it is a matter of living in an environment and constantly adapting to it and at the same time modifying it.
So creativity can be fostered through space, enhancing well-being, flexibility and malleability of the furniture, accountability, communication and new technologies. That’s what WOW! has sustained at the conference “The boundaries of fantasy: is creativity in the office going too further?” at the  IFMA’s Facility Management Day 2017

Talking about creativity in an office environment is sometimes cause of anxiety. Workers feel like they have to do something extraordinary that they feel they can’t do, even if they don’t know exactly what and how. On the other hand, managers are struggling to create more and more innovative workplaces and ways of working, questioning, at the same time, their real effectiveness of them and trying to define where it is possible to draw boundaries.

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There’s another way to think about creativity that helps to take the pressure off: creativity is already there, it is a part of our everyday life in every environment.
The American anthropologist Tim Ingold once said that “we don’t build to dwell, we dwell therefore we build”.
Creativity arises in a constant relationship within an environment that is made of space, objects, people and rules.
A set of rules is essential for creativity, which is our own way to move inside and bend their boundaries and to keep on recreating them, like kids playing a “what if” game.
Think about the workstation of a hierarchical old-style workplace: on each desk it’s owner create his own territory, piling up papers, adding photos or other kind of objects, positioning monitors or pens in different ways. This is what I call an “inner focused” creativity, and its aim is “survive the boring routine of each day”. The challenge is nowadays to make this “already-made” creativity visible, enhance it, and use it to improve the company’s productivity.

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If we think about the Maslow pyramid of needs, we can turn outwardly this creativity, by creating a space capable of satisfying the well-being, sense of belonging, engagement, fulfilment and safety, basic needs of everyone.
How can we do that nowadays? Here we give five practical suggestions:

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 1) A malleable and pliant space.
When it’s a matter of creativity, flexibility is not enough. We need a sensorial environment that people can touch, reassemble, and constantly modify and re-invent. A multifunctional space is essential, but it is not enough: it has to be open designed, thought not just for the today’s needs but capable of adapting to ten years ahead needs.

2) Objects are actions and relationships.
“Two empty chairs, one opposite to the other, are already a conversation”. Objects are both symbols of identity both a suggestion of an action. Through furniture, managers can transmit messages and influence the behaviour of the employees, creating a space suitable for the goal they want to reach, making it easily perceivable.

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 3) Accountability and trust
Social facts, like office’s life, has always something that is unpredictable and often the project you have in mind comes out in a totally different result.
We need to accept this unpredictability, creating a working environment where two smart working keywords like accountability and trust are perceived and put into practice constantly.

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4) Space as communication and learning.
As Birgit Gebhardt has studied, it is more effective to design space, not thinking about the material side of it, but like a stage where conversations, communications and actions take place. We need to shape communication if we want to foster new perspective and new ways of interaction, which are the foundation of a creative workplace. Moreover, we have to think about the office as a life-long learning environment, where people can exchange competences and knowledge, stimulating their personal growth.

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5) The key role of technology.
As a recent Sedus’s research shows, technology is having a strong impact on architecture and design, developing the concept of a “spacial happiness” based on the capability of the individual to dominate the environment, deciding the lighting, heating, humidity, acoustic conditions. Technology is also crucial to control the unpredictability we talked about before: IoT and sensors help to collect a huge amount of data that managers can use to design more effective and more engaging workplace, satisfying the needs of each employee.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Will technology create happy workplaces?

Augmented reality, cloud services, wearable devices, IoT: these are the four technologies that are changing our ways of working and living, and these are the tools we can use to start to build a happy office: they increase our ability to manage our time, our relationships, the environment we live in, our professional growth. These are the main findings of the research i-Enjoy by Sedus, presented with the app se:connects for agile and smart working spaces.

Technology can give a crucial support in the office, either it is “passive”, meaning as a tool for a better environmental comfort, either “active”, for an implementation of the working activities. Technology really has several advantages like a better organization of the working time and space and a better “ergonomics” of the intellectual work, leaving all the repetitive stuff to the machines and leaving to the humans the creative part”, Daniele Andriolo of Plantronics says in the main interview of the Sedus’ s study i-Enjoy. “But we have to be careful that the massive data we continuously collect, won’t let us lose the sight of what really counts”, he concludes.

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The fast development of technology in the working spaces is rapidly changing our working culture, making employees a more active part in the organizations that, on the other hand, has increasingly focused on the individual wellbeing.
If talking about happiness at work means also talking about engagement, fulfilment and empowerment, therefore technology can have a key role to turn the office in a place where a big part of our happiness can be pursued.
Already nowadays we can see augmented reality tools or cloud servers creating a faster and more transparent communication, while dedicated apps and software as Happify Health or Awesome Boss take care of the people, giving to employees tools to motivate themselves or to effectively manage the teamwork.

Space and time are very much affected by the technology and most of all architecture and design. New concepts like “environmental happiness” leads to build spaces that are easy to control in every aspect: heating, lighting, planning, scheduling,… On the other hand, IoT and wearable devices are perfect to collect useful data, intercepting and elaborating people’s preferences, and helping to design offices that are capable of satisfying employees’ needs.

A good example is the Sedus’s app se:connects, especially designed for helping to solve some of the main problems of the changing towards agile and smart ways of working: using their smartphone, employees can easily find a free workstation, register their position and be able to find their colleagues. These data are collected in a complete and updated report that gives all the information to optimize the usage of the space, making the company and the workers both happier.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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With an 80-year-old history, Italian Smart Office looks ahead.

Interview with Massimo Stella, 42 years old, third generation in Estel Group. Since 2012 he has been Sales Director, but he attaches greater importance to teamwork rather than to his role. So, no conflict with the previous generations and maybe right the dynamic balance and also a daily debate on strategies, communication, people and products are the reasons for the success of this company, now in the top 20 in Europe, that celebrates its 80th anniversary.

Since it was set up, what are in your opinion the key steps that brought Estel into the top 20 companies in Europe? Would you follow the same path now?

The turning-point coincides with the entry of the second generation to the company in the ‘70s, when this craft firm changed into an industry; another key moment was the entry into the office furniture industry at the beginning of the ‘80s.
In the early 2000s the company has further developed through an in-depth analysis of a design-oriented culture and the ability to carry out tailor-made approaches, mainly demanded by the major customers. The forthcoming path will be marked by an even higher travel speed.

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What are the company principles, which lead and mark out Estel worldwide?

Estel is steadily in the making, watching and analyzing the actual facts and the evolution of the market on a global scale, in order to find the right answers as regards the product. We are now a leader in the office furniture sector in a quite different context: the static condition of the workplace has been questioned in companies of all sizes; the possibility to work anywhere entails the necessary adjustments of the whole working environment. Technology is the driving force behind this major evolution and that’s why Estel has increased its investment in R&D.
Design is no doubt another crucial aspect: we don’t consider ourselves just “mere” furniture makers, we can also offer comprehensive, space-planning solutions.

 

First-rate design and research are also Estel’s success factors, how many energies and resources, in per cent, were necessary to achieve the intended purpose? 

The new ways of working dramatically changed the design approach and the office space planning.
Research has always been a strategic factor for Estel. In our planning approach the worker is at the core of the creative process, that’s why our range of furniture is no longed divided “hierarchically” (executive, clerical, etc) but by function.
By the collaboration with architects, interior designers and a professional team, Estel can be a leading company in the Smart Office sector, with high quality level products bond in terms of materials and design.

Estel has also launched the “pleasure of agile working”, through the claim “Italian Smart Office”; how many of your costumers in Italy and abroad follow the Smart Working approach and how many have a more traditional attitude?

Compared to the United States, the pioneers of smart working, our country is definitely limping along, but 2016 was a turning point thanks to the new law. Among UE countries, only England, German and the Scandinavian countries are far “ahead” but just in numerical terms.
It’s a meaningful change of mentality. Workers are becoming flexible and “nomads”, willing to “give up” habits that were once rooted like personalization and dimension of their own territory.

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You fit out some of the major Headquarters all over the world, how is your view of Italian Smart Office accepted? Which differences do you find in the culture of work and ways of working in the other countries?

In countries, where there is already a “smart” approach, you deal with stakeholders already fully formed in the subject, while in other countries these theories are still little known and arouse curiosity and interest. So, the commercial approach changes considerably, for instance, in the US the design of products is more emphasized while in the Far East they are rather spreading a more complex concept.
Companies like ours cannot do without flexibility, for it has an impact on our identity: we can offer serial products yet with customized measures and finishes. It is essential in an international context where taste and ways of working may differ a lot.

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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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Communication via architecture for a new WOW-effect office.

“The design of the office space has to focus on the structure of the human collaboration and communication”. The idea of workplace presented by the trend expert Birgit Gebhardt at the showroom Dieffebi is based on a “landscape of learning”, where networks and data will allow every individual to find his own way of expressing himself, through constant development and self-organization.

Will the office loose its WOW effect in the future, replaced by different spaces more suitable for a more creative, convenient and flexible kind of job? It is a pretty ongoing question that Birgit Gebhardt has studied for the last years, focusing on how we have to rethink the office space in order to let it have an important role still to play.

That was the topic of the lecture “The evolution of Smart Working: Rethink human work, redesign your office”, held by the German trend expert during the Brera Design Days at the Dieffebi Showroom, that celebrates for the occasion the first year of opening. Our society, as long as the economic world, is going through a radical structural change: from an industry-focused system, based on concepts like massification and standardization, we are moving toward the digital era where network and data produce a massive layer of information that help us to focus and produce at an individual scale.
If once the motto was “bigger, faster, further, cheaper”, nowadays is more like “unique, on the spot, feasible by anybody, as many as needed”.

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Communication and collaboration are becoming the core of this new structure and therefore they are changing also the way of designing and living the workplace.
The office can’t be anymore the stiff and hierarchical environment, where the inside is hidden from the outside, but it has to be a transparent, intelligent and malleable space, a stage where competences and performance can happen freely.
A communication via architecture is therefore fundamental, enhancing the different structure and social and psychological features of the collaboration and communication processes, offering a variety of codes and sensual stimulations, that allow the people to build a profitable learning culture.

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“Learning” is another keyword of the future office. In fact, communication and collaboration are not sterile events, but their main focus has to be the developing of personal and group competences and creativity.
The workplace has to become a blended learning space, where like in gaming, everyone is free to try and experiment, where, as Gebhardt suggested no one should be afraid of thinking in a totally different direction”. We need to create, therefore, a “landscape of learning”, based on a free and constant process, and on a good self-organization.

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At the same time, it is necessary to create an environment where design and people are strictly connected, entangled, and capable of freely modifying one another. “A space that can’t be too designed: you need to touch it, to change it. If it is too designed, people won’t touch it”. So it is not just the human being to adapt to the situation, but it also the other way around. A stimulating space, finally, is a workplace where people are allowed also “not to focus”. As neuroscience shows, to be creative we need alpha waves that our brain produces when we are not too concentrated on one particular task. That’s why another catchphrase of the future office might be “Let it happen”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures from New Work Order by Birgit Gebhardt
Captions:
1. The School of Athen, Raphael: a model for the nowadays office space
2. The metaphorical pictograms used by Rosan Bosch
3. Ørestad Gymnasium, Denmark, picture by Adam Mørk.

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Great sportsmen testimonials for the new communication of Smarther BTicino.

The BTicino’s attitude to innovation is focused on products and communication, too. Following the intriguing episodes serie titled “Il Mistero Sottile” (The Thin Mystery), the new amazing communication “Your Ideal Climate, at Your Own Home, too” chooses as testimonials for the Smarther connected thermostat, two legendary international extreme sport masters.

Michele Pontrandolfo arctic explorer with active explorations in Greenland and the South Pole- and Marco Olmomarathon runner who participated several times at the Marathon des Sables in the Moroccan desert- are the testimonials for the warm and cold temperature in the new, engaging campaign of communication BTicino to launch Smarther, the user-friendly Wi-Fi connected thermostat of the Eliot family by BTicino, leader of Legrand Group.

Until the end of October, the ADV campaign integrates web, social and press and provides online videos  and the same contents on the Facebook and Instagram pages of BTicino as well.

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Space & (E)motion for a joyful workplace (Sedus, hall 24, stand E8/E10).

Under claim “Space & (E) motionSedus participates at Salone del Mobile (hall 24, E8 / stand E10) presenting a constantly moving space that invites people to experiment with new solutions and new ways of working, creating wellbeing and happiness.

The inspiring concept of the stand is linked to “A Joyful Sense at Work” vision. It designs fluid paths implementing the keywords of Workplace 3.0 “communication, concentration, collaboration and contemplation”.

Among the Sedus’s products it will be possible to see (photogallery from left): the elegant chair se: line, that recognizes the user’s weight and measures, the lounge modular system se: works and the table collections invitation and get together combined with modular storages, sound-absorbing panels and screens, allowing suitable configurations for both individual and teamworks.

Salone will be also the occasion for the world premiere se: joy, a multifunction seat for meetings, conferences, meetings and temporary use; It is characterized by colored mesh and a thin high tech structure.

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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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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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Rolling whiteboards for new communication based workstyles.

Handwriting is not “old”, and indeed represents the perfect way of communication for new workstyles. This concet is the core of the new Nendo’s furniture system designed for Kokuyo “Rolling Workspace”; it will be launched at Orgatec (Hall 7 B50) in a dynamic stand where huge circular rolling whiteboards will define different areas.

Nendo and Kokuyo focus on writing as action able to enhance ideas and creativity of both individuals and groups: “Write=Old but New Communication Workstyle”. The act of writing has existed since long ago, while it is still one of the extremely important communication styles in new ways of working.

We transformed whiteboards into a circular shape, assuming that the reforming of square whiteboards installed in any offices could produce an environment where creativity is incited. We expect that, unlike the conventional linear whiteboards, circular white fields could help writing in a radial pattern, and ideas could be chained spirally. We supposed that, by simply making whiteboards in a round shape, the resulting communication and sharing could further expand and interconnect ideas, thereby offering a tool that inflates the creativity of workers” Oki Sato quotes.

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Circular whiteboards can be freely rolled around in the workplace and leaned against the wall. Desks, benches, and high counters that match these circular whiteboards were also designed with slits cut into them, enabling combinations with large and small boards, thereby configuring various writing communication spaces where ideas can be spirally chained. These slits also enable whiteboards to easily fit in for use as partitions.

The same idea was applied not only to furniture, but also to space. Whiteboards can also be used as stands that divide the room when fit into slits on the floor and as doors to private rooms and cabinets.
These various slits can also be used as bicycle stands, and therefore it can be expected that workers bring their bikes straight to their desks.
The president and CEO , Mr Hidekuni Kuroda, explains this joyful and playful workplace: “Our aim is to achieve a dynamic workspace that encourages flexible mind movements incited by the frequent rotation of whiteboards”.

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Design and technology: 3 Red Dot Awards for Plantronics.

“We believe that functional, attractive, high-quality design is fundamental to develope products that integrate seamlessly into today’s modern lifestyles”. Darrin Caddes’s words, company’s vice president and corporate design, were confirmed by the 3 Red Dot Awards assigned to Plantronics’s products Voyager Focus UC, Voyager 5200 and BackBeat GO 3.

“A premium design helps to convey confidence and competence during a call or while listening to music; delivering comfort and ease of use that enhances the user experience”, Darrin Caddes commented on the Red Dot Awards 2016, Design Products category, assigned to Voyager Focus UC, Voyager 5200 and BackBeat GO 3.
5200 products from 57 different countries has joined the 2016’s edition of the Red Dot Awards, one of the world largest competition organized by the german Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen.
Text by Gabriele Masi.


1. Plantronics Voyager 5200. All-day comfort and long battery life, up to 7 hours talk time: these are the key concept of Voyager 5200. Designed for stability and comfort on a wide range of ear shapes and sizes, it can fit 90 percent of people.
2. Plantronics BackBeat GO 3. The vivid, high-resolution audio delivered by BackBeat GO 3 lets users go wireless without losing audio fidelity. Six-millimeter drivers in each BackBeat GO 3 earbud result in a wider sound stage and range of frequencies, delivering natural sound and perfectly balanced highs and lows.
4. Plantronics Voyager Focus UC.  Designed for enterprise workers in an open space or other loud environments, Voyager Focus UC allows to eliminate background noise on calls or during focus time, reducing in volume high frequency noises like office sounds and voices.

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Moss: a most communicative plant.

Moss is a vegetable material growing even in extreme conditions, no water or light or particular soil needed,  but it offers many more advantages and if used in a creative way it turns into an original instrument of communication and sign system for interiors. HW Style is  offering it in a special promotion until the end of July 2016.

It’s not a miracle, but just a natural material requiring very little care from man and with many advantages. Moss (distributed in Italia by HW Style) is a natural product.
It is suitable for interiors, non-toxic and odourless, and it helps to control the dampness of the environments and acoustic comfort because it is sound absorbing.

It’s mounted on felt panels (60×40 and 100x 60 cm) to be easily fit on any surface and lasts 10 years at least, without water.
It can be hanged as a painting or used to cover a whole wall; coming in several colours, it’s even an instrument of communication  if used to  create drawings or graffiti, logos and graphics.

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It is easy to cut and mount on the wall.

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The Best Companies 2016 by Great Place to Work Italia.

Great Place to Work Italia has recently announced the Best Workplace 2016, the ranking of the best companies to work in. The 2016’s list includes 40 companies, 5 more than the last year, with 4 small ones between 20 and 49 employees. The research has also pointd out three foundamental relationship that makes a working environment excellent: the trust between the management and the employees, the pride for your own job and for the companies you work in and the quality of the relationship with collegues. Five dimensions need also to be taken into account: credibility, respect, equality, pride and bond.

One of the keywords of nowadays management is “Welfare“.
“It is a very simple concept: anyone works better if he lives an happy life. It is about giving the instruments to build a good work-life balance and helping the workers to deal with emotional and private needs and problems: stress management courses, psycological counseling, monitoring all the stress factors in the working environment, these are some of the solutions companies are experimenting”, Antonino Borgese, Presidente di Great Place To Work Italia, explains.
That’s why we can find Vetrya at the second place of the Medium Company ranking (Cisco in confirmed at the first Cisco), a company from Orvieto (Italy) with its environmentally friendly campus with wide green spaces, sport fields, relax areas and a nursery.

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A manager should be also careful about his workers and colleagues’ social media, where, as Alessandro Zollo, Great Place to Work’s CEO, noticed, the satisfaction and the bond with the company is mostly expressed. “The pride is the real power of the people”, he noticed.
A third important, but sometimes ignored, aspect is the feedback or the constant communication between managers and employees. “Even though feedback is not the only feature that makes the distinction between a good and an excellent company, it is clear that the vertical communication is something that the big companies are really careful of. If you wanna reach the best results you can’t undervaluate this aspect”.
The Best Workplace’s ranking is based on the opinion of the workers, through the Trust Index questionnaire . These results are the 2/3 of the final grade that is completed with an analysis of the HR management made by the companies themselves in the Culture Audit questionnaire.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Better meetings for smarter workers: tips and rules.

Collaboration made possible by mobile and cloud technologies means you never have to miss a meeting. It’s all about working smarter, from wherever you happen to be. Now it’s time to build a better meeting. That’s why Plantronics released the free e-book “Better Meeting Blueprint”: how to build smarter communications with practical advice on how to make every meeting productive. A great guide for business decision makers and IT professionals.

We live in the “Communication Era” and everyone need to be able to communicate anywhere and anytime with anyone. But meetings can provoke trouble and frustration, as the e-book “Better Meeting Bluprint” demonstrates.
It was derived from a global research pooling more than 1000 full time employees from large companies (over 1000 staff members).The results show that meetings can be a source of stress, discomfort and frustration for employees.

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Different issues have been described.
Meeting Overload: over half of respondents spend 5 – 10 hours in meetings per week and nearly half (46%) felt that they spent too much time in meetings.
Technical Problems for remote participants:
42.5% of meetings have a remote participant present in most meetings and technical issues such as dial in doesn’t work, network issues and taking too long to join/dial in were common frustrations.
Attention Issues: Multitasking whilst on conference calls are common place with 67.2% either emailing or working on other projects.
Background Noise:
is challenging on conference calls with 52% moving to a private room to concentrate the majority of the time. 56% heard side conversations whilst on a conference call.

Philip Vanhoutte, Plantronics E and A Senior VP and Managing Director, quotes “Our research revealed some interesting findings when people are dialing into meetings, there is a lot of frustration with technical problems, background noise and attention issues.Plantronics technology enables better meetings, regardless of where the participants are and the free E-book is a great guide for business decision makers and IT professionals.”
The four chapters in the book cover the following areas:
The business of meetings: the economics that drive better meetings;
The people in meetings: the human dynamics that drive successful meetings;
The technology of meetings: the tools that drive communication, collaboration and productivity;
Next Steps and resources: tactics and tools that can help create a culture of better meetings.

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The Future Food District: IoT and user experience.

A new way of interaction in the space through technology: the EXPO’s Pavilion Future Food District by COOP, and designed by Carlo Ratti Associati, can show us the new possibilities of the internet of things and of the new technologies, giving a hint of how they will improve our user experience, changing our life till its simplest aspects.

 6.500 sqm and 1.500 products capable to give the customer all the information he needs with the new technology of the “smart labels”The Future District is a good example of the changes that the IoT is bringing into the way we perceive reality or we get information about it, even in the smallest and most common things.
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Mit Senseable City Lab’s design and technology create a constant dialogue among the space, the products and the consumers, managing all the information, the IT infrastructure, the analysis and the development of the supermarket’s touch points.
An example is the way the products are displayed, all along with digital labels where the customer can find several details impossible to be contained on a traditional label. Through these “augmented labels” the product is capable of telling its story and its journey, in three levels of interaction:  the first level allows obtaining information on the product’s primary characteristics, the second one provides information on the origin of the main raw materials making up the product and any presence of allergens, the nutritional value per serving and the carbon footprint; lastly, the third level provides detailed information on the product’s history and characteristics.

“We have designed a supermarket like the old-time ones, putting the customer and his opinions in the center ”, Marco Pedroni, COOP Italia’s president, says. “In our pavilion, technology doesn’t have an end in itself, but it was thought to make the consumer completely aware of all the information about the products, through an open and transparent way of communication”.
Technology is a powerful drive capable to permeate the environment with a compelling need of communication and openness. That often brings, like in Future Food District, to a change of the space layout, eliminating the vertical barriers in the space and a hierarchical organisation, while creating a horizontal scenario that promotes contact, interaction and a free and open exchange of ideas.
This way, the Future Food District is a perfect example of a new “dialogue trend”, capable to gather and spread information and encouraging the creation of a more sustainable and conscious world.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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The visionary TeamBank HQ: a new way of working in a bank.

After the Google Office in Tel Aviv and the Google Campus in Dublin, Evolution Design designed the interior design of the new TeamBank HQ’s in Nuremberg, that will host 700 employees. A vibrant workspace, inspired by city planning and designed for the new ways of working and to perfectly convey and integrate the brand’s values through the space.

The new TeamBank HQ’s interior design by Swiss architecture and design studio Evolution Design, had to face the challenge to change the space from a traditional workspace with dedicated desks to a completely new activity-based and smart style of working.

The internal functional organisation of the building, 15.000 sqm created and executed by Baumschlager Eberle and GP Wirth Architekten, recalls the idea of a city: a main staff restaurant and a barista bar with a vibrant “marketplace” feeling, the inner ring of the building as the “Meet & Create Zone” and, around it, the “Homezone”, consisting of several “Homebases”, creating individual local neighbourhoods for the employees to work in. Each “Homebase” consists in an unique mixture of different workplace typologies to cater for the different needs of the employees depending on their daily activities. On the other hand, the “Meet & Create Zone” is the driver for creativity and innovation, including a large number of specially designed different informal areas.
Like in a city, these public areas are all linked together with “parks” and “streets”, spaces in-between designed to encourage a higher frequency of informal and accidental meetings.

Another  important feature of the project is the identity and branding concept. Throughout the building all spaces were designed in order to bring the company’s culture and vision alive, resulting in a workplace where TeamBank and its employees can find an inspiring home, in which they can share their values of fairness, teamwork, transparency and communication every day.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

Captions:
01. First and Second Floor, Homebase Work Area, Garden Typology.
02. Ground Floor, Barista Bar, Cafe Central.
03. Ground Floor, Restaurant, Eat & Meet, Dining Area.
04. Ground Floor, Homebase Work Area External, Standard Typology.
05. Ground Floor, Meet & Create, Project Area, Lounge.
06. First Floor, Meet & Create, Informal Area, Green Lounge.
07. Second Floor, Meet & Create, Coffee Point, Sunshine Bar.
08. First and Second Floor, Homebase, Meeting Room, Lounge Typology.
09. First and Second Floor, Homebase, Meeting Room, Standard Typology.
10. First and Second Floor, Homebase, Informal Area, Diner Typology.
11. First and Second Floor, Homebase, Informal Area, High Backs Typology.
12. First and Second Floor, Homebase, Informal Area, Dining Table Typology.
Photo credit: TeamBank AG / easyCredit.

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Cisco’s technology for Workplace Transformation.

The new ways of working requires to create and share rapidly contents and ideas, to communicate from everywhere and by different devices: a new conception of team work. Cisco’s products give an example of how technology is the real instrument to drive a company into the smart working era.

Cisco, world-wide leader IT company, presented in its offices in Vimercate (MB, Italy) the new communication solutions, during the event “Smart Working & Workplace Transformation”.
Cisco’s research aims to create products that are experience-centric, cloud connected value extended and simple.
First of all communication is made simpler, more efficient and faster, replacing instrument like the email, created for a slower way of working. Cisco systems are able to include in only one device, different functions, not only video calling, but also a quick sharing of informations and datas, creating an experience that allows a perfect team work, even if the components are in different places.

The goal is to build a perfect virtual environment where you can create a community not only inside the company but also through the outside, giving also the chance of a better client-support.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

Captions:
1, 2  Cisco Spark.  Cisco Spark, the evolution of the previous Project Squared, is a virtual room, easy to access via desktop or mobile, where every work team can gather file and information about its project and communicate in a safe way. Some functions of Cisco Spark are available in the free version, as messaging, file sharing, one to one video calling and meeting, contacts and calendar integration and end-to-end contents coding.
With the Cisco Spark Message and Meet pack is possible to manage a meeting in virtual rooms up to 25 users.
3, 4 Cisco TelePresence MX800 Dual. The meeting room is a space that requires nowadays a very good system to communicate with the outside, allowing people form everywhere to join actively the gathering. CiscoTelepresence MX series’ products are capable to create a unique system that put together simplicity, with only one device with all the needed functions, interoperability, allowing the connection also with standard quality not Cisco devices, and design, as the Reddot Award 2014 winning shows.
Cisco’s video conference systems have a very high video-audio quality and they don’t need a manual control, thanks to smart cameras, able to follow the movements and the voices of the users, moving and zooming the image on the screen.

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Space, People , Technology: the Smart Working’s values.

Space – People – Technology. This is the new smart working’s keywords outlined in the meeting Smart Working: Detto, Fatto, organized by DEGW and Lombardini22. Smart working is not something about trends or styles, but is a proper economic and management topic, strictly linked to the company’s goals: a breakthrough towards an innovative business culture based on people management and capable to release energy.

“Today we are going through a real metamorphosis. At this stage, old rules don’t work anymore, but at the same time we are not ready to write new ones. Someone says there will be very few of them in the future”, Matteo Barone, managing partner and Employee Engagement of Methodos, opened the conference with these words.
“Once the 3P rule was considered the base of the organization: people, place, performance. You have a person with a potential, you put him in a place, and you expect a performance. But nowadays everything is changing, since the position paradigm is called into question, while the potential is becoming more important.
It is a breakthrough: less constraints, less perimeters and the chance to give space to all the processes that allow the potential in a company to fully express itself”.

Space. Smart working has changed the conception of the workplace.
Designing a new space, the company has to consider new factors, as the time an employee actually spend in the office (50% of the working time average) or which kind of activities he mostly does (team-working or individual).
As Alessandro Adamo, consultant and DEGW’s director, says: “the most important step to take on the way that leads to smart working is the first, in which you talk about the company’s vision and the goals, when you can consider how and how much is worth to go towards this transition”.
Another main topic about the workspace is sharing. The office design has moved away from fixed workstations, and nowadays it is based on the functionality of the space: each environment is made to be used for particular activities.
Some companies has pushed this innovation forward, developing the “no territoriality” concept, where no one, even the HR, has its own dedicated office or workstation. A choice that implies several problems, as secrecy and privacy.
“There is not only the issue of the space, there is also the issue of the way of using the space”, Alessandro Adamo continues.  ”When you develop different concepts, you need to change your way of acting in the space as well”.
It is worth to underline also the “space-branding”, a fundamental element for representing the business of the company and to make the employees perceive its philosophy, and the break and in-between areas’ development, made for encourage informal meetings, in line with the new ways of working.

People. Smart working requires a mind changing, most of all in leaders, that have to change the base of their leadership from control to accountability.
One of the main changing we can observe nowadays is that top-down organizations are giving way to bottom-up organizations, as also the evolution of the workspace shows.
The main resistance that a company has to face in the smart working’s transformation is the skepticism and suspiciousness of the people, as we already pointed out in the  WOW! Agile Working Island’s Jelly Sessions.
Every project has to answer to the question: how is it possible to turn this fear into enthusiasm?
Designing and engagement, listening and communication, people management and performance management: these are the keywords that must lead every change.
“When the pilot project starts, no one wants to be selected. However turning something you fear into something different bring some indisputable organizational benefits”, Alessandro Adamo concludes. “Once a manager of a company said to me “the mood of the people is changed”. Knowing precisely the effect that this has on numbers is very difficult, but when you change the mood, you automatically affect in a positive way the spirit of the team and the worker’s perception of the organization. And automatically you increase the productivity”.

Technology. Technology is the main driver towards this fast-paced changes, that are becoming day by day more compulsory for all the companies.
Technology has already allowed us to make the working time more flexible and to enlarge the space of the company by something we can call “digital expansion”.
“Wherever I can connect to the company’s server, in that moment it is like I am there”, Michele Dalmazzoni, Cisco Italia’s collaboration country leader and business transformation Cisco Italia.
There are two rules leading the development of technologies for office: they have to be easy-to-use and all integrated in only one device.
It is like selling a toy”, Michele Dalmazzoni says. “You don’t have to design a toy only to make the mum happy, but also the kids. That’s why you can’t create difficult and cutting-edge technological products that only the company’s IT can use. The most important thing is the user experience, even more than other fundamental parameters such as safety and innovation”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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