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999 questions on contemporary living.

Well done, Stefano Mirti! His idea of contemporary habitation is free from stereotypes and immune to the seduction of the so-called tasteful settings furnished with design masterpieces. For the actual home is dynamic and messy.

“999 questions on contemporary living” is not a “cool show” as traditionally understood. It’s a chaotic souk, lively and ever-evolving, just like our home and how we feel living in it.

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A concept emphasized by its outfitting (designed by Petra Tikulin): scaffoldings that refer to a work in progress. Provisional structures to define areas meant for several projects: a journey across continents, both physical and virtual, material objects and immaterial services, technologies and rites. Perhaps the object is not to find 999 answers, but to generate more questions.

999 is a difficult and engaging exhibition, a collective workshop not to be enjoyed passively, it calls for energy, open-mindedness and an effort to enter imaginary scenarios, logics and cultures based on unusual home ideas. A new display format, started on social media a few months ago and expected to live also after the closing date.
The show spins out its plot on concepts of community, co-design and shared economy, involving schools, institutions and enterprises..
About 50 different projects, from co-housing to coworking, from temporary hotel to shared spaces. Many approaches to engage in a participating and interactive manner.

Edison is the main partner.

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Caimi Brevetti, partner supplied the sound absorbing curtain and ask” Do you know that an acoustic solution can decorate your home?”

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Manerba, technical partner, furnished an “Undecided Space” an in-between area and a new approach for a flexible conference room that changes identity, image and function.

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wellness at work: Italy is increasingly sit-stand!

Smart working by now is an expanding working mode. In Italy as well – at last-  it has been regularly inserted into a regulatory framework thanks to law 81/2017 that deals with key subjects, such as job duration, terms of notice, control methods and so on. And furnishing as well is adapting to this trend; for example with “agile” sit-stand workstations as Linak demonstrates.

“Sons” of smart working are widespread working and coworking. Since work is increasingly itinerant, fast, smart and agile. Meetings are more and more stand-up meetings, but they are also held in lounge areas and in common spaces. Just to make an example, in Milan, the Porta Nuova district is a bulwark of widespread work and coworking. There are many areas that rent workstations in exchange for affordable fees. Getting connected in every place and at any time of the day has become a life habit and new technologies enable us to fully live this change.

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Furnishing as well is adapting to this trend.

Pieces of furniture are designed to make our work simple and healthy wherever we are. From insulating panels to ensure a certain privacy though among people, to “variable” workstations, changing according to Activity Based Office to answer to different activities (for instance the focus room or the phone booth).
Up to sit-stand tables that are so popular  in North European offices and that are gaining ground in Italy as well, in prestigious head offices and in coworking areas. And the sit-stand trend perfectly integrates in the smart-working context.
Media have already highlighted, in different articles, the importance to keep a proper posture at work and to alternate sat down work to standing moments. This behavior enables to prevent disorders such as cervical, backache, dysfunction of the spine, thus reducing discomfort and absenteeism from work. Sit-stand desks, driven by Linak lifting columns, are gaining popularity in many offices and working places in Italy.
Plenty of Italian design companies are following this furnishing trend for office furniture to keep up with remote working, coworking, home office and everything makes a job highly smart. Italy is increasingly sit-stand!

 

Photo gallery:
1 Sit-stand desk by
Manerba  equipped with linear actuators Linak.
2 Sit stand table with central column by 
Emmeitalia equipped with linear actuators Linak.
3 Sit-stand desk  Estel equipped with linear actuators Linak.
4 It is designed by Tine Mouritsen and presented at Danish LIVINGroom the first sit-stand desk that integrates a power napping pillow. It is equipped with linear actuators Linak.

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Caldera Park Worklife: sport and services for the work-life balance.

A 10 meters climbing wall: that’s the symbol of Caldera Park Worklife in Milan, by Generali Real Estate and CBRE. This business center is an example of how physical activity has become essential in the new ways of working, as a good work-life balance and well-being indicator, defining a space that is able to match the workers’ needs.

The project for the renovation of the 110 sqm Caldera Worklife Business Centre has started from a survey among the 4.000 employees working in the building in order to understand what were their most urgent and important needs. That gives to Generali Real Estate, CBRE, as long as General Planning and Carlo Ratti Associati, thata designed the main entrance and square, the line to create a business centre capable to create a wealthy and comfortable working environment. 07-Caldera-Park-wow-webmagazine

That gives to Generali Real Estate, CBRE, as long as General Planning and Carlo Ratti Associati, that has designed the main entrance and square, the main ideas and lines to create a center capable to create a wealthy and comfortable working environment.

“We wanted to create a business park which could be a benchmark for the future”, Alberto Agazzi, GRE SGR’s CEO and General Manager, said. “The core of our project is the people who live the space every day, for whom new services and instruments were created, in order to encourage a good balance between working and private life”.

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Physical activity has been chosen as the key to this balance: outside a two ring running track (1 km + 666 m) has been built with a computerized timing system, as well as a 10 meters climbing wall, while inside a fully equipped fitness area has been designed.
Also Easy Point, the building dedicated to all the services, has been renovated, creating a coworking space, which can be used also by eternal companies and people, as long as a kindergarten, a mini-market, and an app that allows employees to easily find out about dedicated offers, that helps to make everyday life simpler.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Bespoke furniture: fashion, new aesthetics or a real need?

“Bespoke furniture” used to be for luxury environments only, executive suites or middle-class houses. Then, the “special” alteration was necessary to adapt too rigid systems to the building, or to prevent from slipping into standardization.
Still now that industrial design has accepted the concept of the design of options, the “custom-made” furniture can be found  in coworking settings and turns into “shabby mannerism”. Is it less expensive? Or does everybody want to create their own aesthetics?

The new production systems provide for maximum product customization, yet it’s not uncommon for the major bank groups to rely on the architect for the design of their desks; how can it be that none of the hundreds of products on the market could meet with their requirements?
The beskpoke “virus” also hits the smaller workplace, that aims at a domestic mood (Plantronics, Digital Entity, Clubhouse Brera, for example).
It may be less expensive, but do the standards of quality, ergonomics and strength  match the industrial products, engineered and tested in accordance with the regulations?

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Also, the coworking world is ever-expanding with its “raw design” aesthetics, made of shop tables, chairs found in the attic and the do-it-yourself trend to recycle  the wastes of a consumer society.
However, this vision is becoming a new form of standardization. Its rule-breaking spirit has gone.

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Some companies are also launching this kind of “garage spirit” furniture systems (Hack by Vitra,-up photo- Pakiet Zieta, PlayWood by OSB, Pixel by Bene – photo below) but, in my opinion raw wood and rusty iron are becoming really boring.

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Among the “shabby manierism” lovers there is Carlo Ratti that designed the desks and the mobile partitions of Talent Garden Calabiana Coworking;

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while another coworking, Cowo, created a project team to design his own “perfect desk”.
I can’t come to a conclusion, I have no answers, I’ll just wait for remarks and different opinions.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine

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Spaces, a new business community format in Milan.

Milan was chosen by Regus as first Italian base for Amsterdam-born creative workspace pioneer. Located between newly developed Porta Nuova area and the Brera Design District, Spaces lands in Italy with the ambitious aim to redefine the concept of the workplace. It occupies 7 floors of a fully renovated building with a roof top with amazing view on Milano skyline.

Originating in Amsterdam, the Spaces format by Regus was built on the idea that success breeds more success. That’s why we’ve cultivated a community of members who are thinkers, achievers and imagineers. We’ve built workspaces that suit your every need. And our energetic staff attends to all the details so you can focus on your next big idea.

“The range of services offered is huge, from private offices to co-working spaces, meeting rooms, conference rooms and virtual offices, but the real Spaces hallmark is the community of thinkers, achievers and imagineers that we’ve cultivated.” quoted Emanuele Arpini, regional marketing manager of Spaces.

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“The interior design by Laboratorio Permanente blends urban and domestic approaches to create a workplace that inspires collaborative and creative ways of working” explains architect Angelica Sylos Labini.

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The position of the building is both exclusive and strategic, but above all reflects the soul of Spaces, indeed the culture will play a pivotal role in the neighbourhoods due to the abundance of libraries, bookshops, artisan’s ateliers, exhibition centres for art and design which will nourish the minds of the new and young talent that Milan has always attracted.
The new Spaces Porta Nuova provides excellent business and networking opportunities as well as an inspiring working environment.

Spaces offers:
5000 mq2,
740 mq2 exclusive Business Club,
3,300 mq2 private and co-working offices,
8 meeting rooms and 2 conference rooms,
Dedicated lounge bar,
Parking ( 25 cars).

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Many faces of Italian Smart Working (Estel (hall 24, stand C21/D14).

Important anniversary for Estel that celebrates 80 years of experience, experimentation and constant evolution. At Salone del Mobile the concept “Italian Working Smart” will be declined in all its aspects in a stand (hell 24, stand C21 / D14) which offers answers to all the business needs of Workplace 3.0.

There is no longer a single office identity and image.The workplace 3.0 is characterized by the variety and fluidity of space. Furniture design adapts to this reality with solutions to answer to different ways of working: from coworking to executive office, from informal collaborative room to break areas, from lounge areas to clerical workstations in open plan offices or closed by partition walls. Here are some of the many solutions Estel will present at Salone del Mobile.

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Coworking: Baobab.
Big rounded table (Ø 240) that can receive 8 people, a touch down workstation to replace the single workplace.

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Break area: COffice.
Equipped kitchen with counter, or Isola Party: like home with high-tech equipment.

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Meeting: Collaborative Room.
Places for informal meeting, concentration an creativity available in different dimensions.

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Workstation: I Pianeti.
Ergonomic and versatile composition of fixer or sit-stand desks.

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Contenitori: Lokers.
Personal storage, with Chairbox that follows you to the workplace or into common areas.

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Ufficio direzionale: Altagamma and Grand More.
Executive Sit&Stand Desk, with independent height adjustable tabletops, Workwall Storage composition and Grand More meeting table equipped for videoconference.

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inEDI: coworking + barber shop for digital professionals.

The vertical coworking space inEDI, was officially opened for the professionals of computer graphics, visual effects, production and post-production of video and digital contents. A 1300 sqm in Milan unifying centre implemented by Edi Effetti Digitali Italiani, offering 50 workstations, theatre, cinema, relax areas and, among other facilities, even a barber shop. 

The aim is to bring together artists and workers and to foster brainstorming and exchange of experiences, as well as to organize training courses together with universities and school we collaborate with. We really would like it to be an incubator and accelerator for freelancers and start-ups.” explains Francesco Grisi, EDI’s founder and associate.

The co-working area provides for over 50 workstations, made by recycled materials, available in three patterns, coming in different colours. from the simple workstation (green), to the shared desks with computer (blue) to the workstation equipped with professional hardware and software (orange).

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Also at the digital coworkers’ disposal there are a stage and a cinema, meeting rooms and workshops, restaurant- bar offering organic food, relax areas with billiard table and videogames and even a barber shop corner. 

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New ways of living, from co-working to co-living.

The values underpinning the Sharing Economy translate not just into leading-edge services but into new-concept spaces and buildings that offer shared living and co-working experiences. The emergence of sharing approaches to life and lifestyles that embrace the principles of environmental, economic and social sustainability is gradually changing people’s habits and behaviors in a number of spheres, including consumption, work and the home.

The MADE Expo Outlook has been monitoring the latest lifestyles by listening to experts and undertaking global projects. All will be revealed at MADE Expo, which runs at the Milan Fair in Rho between 8 and 11 March 2017, an event that offers an opportunity to meet, learn more and discuss a number of topics as it showcases the latest developments and innovations of international interest.
“The co-living and living space sharing movement evolves out of the desire of young professionals to live in a community with other creatives and innovators in a world based on sharing and working together, without borders of either time or space. “ quoted Ryan Fix, founder of Pure House co-living, New York.
Construction is undergoing major upheavals as it transitions from housing to new systems of co-housing in contemporary cities in Italy and, more generally, across Europe. This trend underwent a rapid acceleration in the mid-1990s, highlighting a cultural shift from a period of housebuilding that consumed large swathes of territory to one that is imbued with a new awareness of contemporary living.
The concept of coworking – one that is evolving into coliving – is an expression of a generation of professionals, creatives and freelancers whose careers are global, who delay starting a family, and who are keener on accessing goods and services than actually owning them. Their lives revolve around flexibility, a search for a different work/life balance and, above all, a renewed desire for community, openness and exchange.
In answer to this demand, private individuals, builders and developers have begun to invest in designing multifunction complexes and refurbishing existing properties characterized by a blend of public and private space and a more streamlined management model that envisages flexible short-term rentals and all-inclusive rates with utilities, training, services and shared activities all part of the deal.
These new types of hybrid buildings are putting community wellbeing and needs at the heart of the design process, conceived as they are for groups of socially-aware people who share common practices and values such as a desire to pursue an eco-friendly and cooperation-led concept of quality of life.

Case studies.

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Funan DigitaLife Mall, Singapore (design Woods Bagot).
The conversion of the former Funan DigitaLife Mall site in Singapore is an example of this approach developed to offer a fully-rounded experience to people interested in living a green lifestyle. Designed by the international Woods Bagot company, this complex embraces retail outlets, restaurants, residences, offices, a cinema, an urban farm and sports facilities, fostering the ideal of sustainable urban mobility and healthy living. The entire construction was designed to be bike-friendly in terms of accessibility, space usage, and dedicated services.
For example, the ground floor of the building is laid out as a veritable hub at the heart of an urban network of cycle paths, with entrances and exits via link ramps and the chance for cyclists to snack and look after their bikes at a bike shop and bike café, fully equipped with workshops, storage lockers and showers.

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This effectively transforms the basement into a kind of porous streetscape, at all times connected to the district and the urban space. The designers’ vision was to create a fertile environment in which the people who live there can pursue their passions and interests. Far more than a simple construction, the complex may be defined as a passion cluster, an incubator in which the way that space is organized encourages sharing and liberating creative energies, and where – for example – retailers can offer leading-edge products and concepts in stores conceived as workshops for experimentation. The end-purpose is to create an acknowledged productive community that evolves around identity-led lifestyles and preferences, in which architecture is not only a catalyst but also an aesthetic design manifesto. 

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Cykelhuset Ohboy, Malmo ( Design Hauschild + Siegel).
The Singapore project is not an isolated example. Indeed, the bicycle has become vital to new eco-conscious approaches to living.
In Malmo, Sweden, the Hauschild + Siegel Studio is working for developers Cykelhuset Ohboy on a residential building designed to answer to the needs of residents who do not own a car but prefer two-wheeled transport to get around town.
The complex has no garages for cars. Transit spaces, doorways and lifts are all plus-sized, making it possible to easily drive bicycles and cargo bikes, which are very popular in Northern European countries.
The building not only dispenses with car garages but, in addition to offering outdoor bike parking, the living units themselves are designed with space for bicycles.
To make it easy to get about, transit spaces, doorways and lifts are all plus-sized, making it possible to relatively easily maneuver bicycles and cargo bikes, which are very popular in Northern European countries for carrying children, shopping or other types of more cumbersome load, and to bring them into the home to easily unload anything they may be carrying.


This has resulted in a number of technical modifications including, for example, double doors on the lifts so that bikes always face in the right direction, and the use of cement finishing on the walls of common spaces and apartments because they are longer-lasting and easier to clean, minimizing maintenance costs. The round windows in the prospect are a metaphorical reference to bicycle wheels, which have become a formal and expressive element of inspiration.
As well as access to annual technical assistance service for their bikes, residents also enjoy a subscription to a bike-sharing service, plus access to bikes for guests and car sharing should they need a car.

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The Copernico’s hub in Turin: a fertile ecosystem.

The historical L’Oreal headquarter in Turin is being turning into a new efficient coworking space designed as a fertile ecosystem, a dynamic system where sharing spaces and resources means shearing also experiences and ideas. The 12.000 sqm Copernico’s hub will be inaugurated this spring 2017, following the success of the Copernico Milano Centale project.

“We want to build an environment that creates the need of sharing experiences through a dynamic system, where ideas can be concretely realized”.
Pietro Martani, managing director of Copernico, introduces with these words the project of the last company’s coworking environment. Turin, best city in Europe for innovation, after Amsterdam, will host the ninth Copernico’s hub, a wide environment capable of satisfying all the need of the new ways of working with private and sharing working stations. A space to encouraging productivity, a good life-work balance, mobility and flexibility. A “fertile ecosystem” designed with a clear idea: a space, multifunctional and flexible, with a strong connection with city, that aim to be a model for a cultural transformation. This idea is gonna be represented on the ground floor from a café, designed to be a centre of connection, “a social floor” to encourage networking and the informal sharing of ideas.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by Gabriele Zanon.

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A charming and high-tech home-like space to share.

In 2009 Appartamento Lago reinvented the showroom concept, creating a revolutionary approach to overthrow the paradigms for presenting design. Seven years later Lago presents Casa Lago, in Milan, close to the Duomo, a new high-tech space where “design thinking, networking and a home-like feeling meet to create new connections and business opportunities”.

A 400 square metres charming flat located at Via San Tomaso 6, in a strategic position near the Milan Duomo. A location “conceived to enhance the design of the products and welcoming users with an empathetic embrace” as Daniele Lago quoted.
A multi-function space, owned by the company, where design creates a welcoming environment with a home-like feeling, hosting meeting rooms, temporary offices and coworking spaces, and can also be rented for events and business meetings.

 

The first space that visitors to Casa Lago experience is the Entry where the key word is transparency: the suspended, streamlined furnishings emphasize the concept of lightness.
The dining room Sala da Pranzo is just beyond the entry. This space, the core of conviviality, relationships and socialisation; a long Community Table for gathering for meals and an Air kitchen to cook and to accommodate show-cooking demonstrations. This area can be transformed into a conference room complete with all of the technological equipment.
Separated from the Sala da Pranzo by a wall, there is a fully-equipped Cucina, cutting-edge professional kitchen that welcomes guests with its Azulejo tiles, which evokes the colours and flavours of the Mediterranean sea.
With space to accommodate up to 60 people, the Salotto is the most prestigious area. Here the project respects the building’s original architecture, restoring its stunning old wood ceiling while maintaining a constant dialogue with modern design. The furnishings in this space were chosen to provide an infinity of compositional possibilities: from presentations with a space for an audience, meetings and large events to work stations for two.

 

To gather a larger group of people around a table for a meeting, Biblioteca is the perfect place: the pale hues of the furnishings and the natural light help keep the focus on work in a restful, relaxing environment.
Separated from the Library by an ethereal Air bookcase, the Studio is distinguished for its dark hues. In its 40 square metres, suspension rules the day, emphasized by the Air bed, sofa and table. The Studio is a perfect temporary office and also a place for relaxing between meetings.

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The Appartamentino space is a complete flat with all of the requisite comforts. As with the Studio, this area is dedicated to relaxation, but can also be business-oriented. The Air bed, set up on the mezzanine, underlines the lightness of the space, while the round Air table gives the room a welcoming atmosphere, fostering meetings. The bathroom has a hydro-massage shower, welcoming anyone in need of a break from a frenetic workday or business trip.
The Partner Companies (among these: Bticino, Flos, Elica, Fantini, Florim, Listone Giordano, Nice, ecc) play an important role to improve the technical performances and the functionality of Casa Lago. And more specifically Bticino, the head of the Legrand Group in Italy, supplied electrical systems and solutions, like the IOT products connected to the Eliot programme together with technologies for a user friendly, truly useful and intelligent energy use.

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Ways of Designing: Basaglia, Rota Nodari.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ways of Designing and new simplicity: Alain Gilles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In Italy Smart Working in big corporations has doubled: #OSW16.

Smart Working is a work in progress as proved by the results coming from this most interesting meeting for the presentation of the survey 2016 by Osservatorio Smart Working of Politecnico di Milano.
It shows interesting data, shares experiences and awarded the best practices, among these the SW implementation in subito.it, winner of the Smart Working Award 2016.
WOW! is partner of Osservatorio Smart Working.

The survey 2016 shows the liveliness of a “phenomenon going now viral” in Italy, as quoted prof. Mariano Corso, scientific manager of Osservatorio Smart Working.
People ask for more flexibility , because strict rules produce a widespread frustration. 
30% of big enterprises has an organized Smart Working  activity (17% in 2015), as against just 5% in small and medium-sized enterprises, although awareness is growing, yet with some uncertainty about the introducing of Smart Working.

35% of firms are still at the experimental stage while 40% are already extending the project, and 25%  may be considered as running regularly.
However, being smart working a work in progress a constant monitoring is necessary, explained Ilaria Santambrogio of Plantronics and Alessandra Stasi of Barilla.



Also important, the definition of places; home working is carried out just on and off , corporate hubs, third spaces and coworking are growing and offices feature hybrid space layouts, focused on , desk sharing and time and place flexibility .
“Smart Working also means to create offices where people “want” go to work, quoted Lorenzo Maresca of Sedus.
According to Doxa survey, Smart Workers in Italy are about 250,000.

What about criticalities in implementing Smart Working?
The real time survey by Twitter shows that 37% points out lack of coordination and planning, 30% lack of personal maturity and discipline and only 7% worries about work intensification.
Rules and regulations are at 99% made by mature people -quoted Alessandra Stasi- featuring soft skill and a good response to unexpected occurrences –  and the remaining 1% either takes advantage or cannot handle them.
The more people are level-headed and complete the more organizational wellbeing the company will attain.

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A working “port” in Anversa: Havn Cowork.

Among the images that best describe the atmosphere of a coworking space, the port is definitely one of the most evocative: a starting point for new adventures for boats that take off, landing place for those looking for an orientation, a place of extraordinary opportunities. And “port” is the name the eclectic and visionary Steve Symons, founder and CEO of BuzziSpace thought for a coworking space in Antwerpen, his town: Havn Cowork.

With memberships as a “Compass”, “Anchor”, “Lighthouse”, the workspace becomes an inspiration.
The environments of Havn Cowork equipped by mixing BuzziProducts, with vintage and ancillary products from other brands are refined and with class: the individual work stations and meeting rooms for example are paired with the classic and original Eames Aluminum chairs.

Meeting rooms and lounge areas, informal meeting places and kitchen, individual workplaces with acoustic privacy: different workspaces to answer to different working needs.
As a matter of fact Havn is a BuzziLab, a living office-laboratory designed to experience the new “no boundaries” philosophy of the company and understand how future generations work. Interesting is the enclosure of innovative products designed to encourage movement and social interaction within the office space.
For example BuzziJungle, designed by Jonas Van Put, made from lacquered steel and inspired by nature, it offers a solution to the conventional meeting space; you can climb, lounge and meet in the elevated work-lounge space.
If you go to Antwerp, remember that there is a new port…where to work, collaborate and take inspirations. Enjoy and keep us posted!
Text by Silvia Fattore

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The Church, a ”holy” coworking by Tom Dixon in London.

Here is a perfect example of an unexpected workplace housed in a “third space”, it was designed by Tom Dixon on the occasion of the Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 in London: a co-working space within St. James Church, including a talk on the topic Design and Spirituality.

The church evolves and changes the use of its own spaces, thanks to the Tom Dixon’s creativity and the collaboration of Andrew Baughen Vicar of St James’.

“The Church” is an unusual installation which adds to the contemplative and spiritual spirit of an heritage site a comfortale set for new ways of working: a new feature for a church. The large volume of St. James, a classic church of 17th century, was the amazing place to present in London the pieces of furniture already hosted inside the Rotonda della Besana (a former church, too) during the Milan Design Week.
The large chandelier in the center of the cerulean ceiling, the furnishings for the co-working and the kitchen will be permanently donated to the church and to his community.

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Music at the workplace: #WOWConcert @PianoCityMilano.

Music at the most elegant and exclusive coworking space in Milan thanks to WOW! Concert. The pianist Giulio Cassano, will play pieces by Chopin e Skrjabin at Clubhouse Brera, the Copernico’s membership club. A free Concert organized by WOW! Webmagazine on the occasion of Piano City Milano sponsored by Caimi Brevetti, Plantronics, Universal Selecta.

WOW!, wanted to give its contribution to the rich programme of Piano City Milano: 400 concerts, International guests expected, 50 hours non-stop of music will invade Milan and its hinterland for a whole wonderful weekend, on May 20 to 22, 2016, an actual urban soundtrack.
The notes of Piano City Milano 
will be spreading even at the most unusual times and all kinds of places: museums, parks, private apartments and also Piano Tram and Piano Boat!
Why not a Piano Office? Thanks to the hospitality of Clubhouse Brera, WOW! Concert will invade a workplace with piano songs.
WOW! Concert was made possible by three companies working in the field of acoustics and sensitive to the quality of sound, although each in its own way.
Caimi Brevetti, the Italian company producer of the innovative and multi awarded sound absorbing tecnology Snowsound.
Plantronics, multinational company headquartered in Santa Cruz, California with offices in 20 countries, producer of digital technology and the human need to communicate and high quality headsets for entertainment ad work.
Universal Selecta, Italian company producer of glass partition walls with high sound insulation performance, supplier of the partitions of the meeting rooms at Clubhouse Brera, the amazing place “Where Things Happen“.

Title: WOW! Concert, all’interno del programma di Piano City Milano 2016.
When: May 21st, 2016, 11 am and 16pm
Where: Clubhouse Brera, Foro Buonaparte 22, Milan.

Hashtag:
#WowConcert
#pianomi2016

80 numbered seats are available. Obligatory reservation at info@wow-webmagazine.com

Program WOW! Concert:
F. Chopin: 

Improvviso in la bemolle maggiore Op 29 n. 1
Ballata in sol minore Op 23
Studio in do minore Op 10 n. 12
A. Skrjabin:
Sonata-fantasia in sol diesis minore n. 2 Op 19
Studio in do diesis minore Op 24 n. 5

Giulio Cassano
Giulio Cassano was born in 1990 in Milan. He began to study piano with Andrea Nodari when he was 10 years old. In 2012 he graduated from the L. Marenzio Conservatory in Brescia, where he studied under the guidance of Lucia Pittau and Pinuccia Giarmanà.
Since he combined musical education with degree in Medicine and Surgery, he has been fascinated by the neurophysiological aspects of piano technique and the connections between structures of thought and musical forms.
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Do it together: BASE Milano.

A “new base to exchange ideas, develop projects or just have fun and drink a coffee in a stimulating and open environment”. With these words Matteo Bartolomeo, president of BASE Milano, presents the redevelopment of the ex-Ansaldo’s space in Milan, 6.000 sqm turned into a coworking, laboratories, a guest house and a bar, where different kind of events can take place. A cultural investment with a strong social and economic meaning.

The main purpose of the renovation of the Ansaldo’s space, a 112 years old building, was to create an environment where the connection between culture and economy could be redefined with the idea that in the future the culture can really be the driving force of our society and our economy.
“Today we are giving back to the citizenry an historical place after a radical change that has turned it into a cultural, artistic and economic centre of innovation. Here it will be possible to share ideas and contents, a fertile environment for young artists and creatives”, Cristina Tajani, Milan’s council manager for labour policies, economic development, University and Research, says.

A challenging project, cost 4 million euro, realised thanks to the synergy among Milan’s municipality, Arci Milano, Avanzi, Esterni, h+, Make a Cube³, and with the financial support of  Fondazione Cariplo.
Directly next to the entrance, in Bergognone st. 34, opened from early in the morning till late in the evening to everyone, there is the main environment of the building, an indoor square, divided into a lounge area and in a bar. At the side of the square the project includes a bookshop or temporary shop/project and an exhibition area with a small auditorium, with 150 seats.
The upper floor will host a coworking space with meeting rooms, and the guest house, that will host both paying hosts and artists involved casually in projects or workshops.

The BASE Milan motto is “Do It Together”, a significant change from the international trend “Do it yourself”. This is the idea that has driven and will drive the agenda of miscellaneous events, that aim to reflect over the state of being contemporary, in particular social and cultural innovation, new kind of jobs, urban transformation, sharing and collaboration. A synthesis of this perspective is the agenda of the first three months that includes the exhibition-workshop Visual Making (30 March – 17 April), over the graphic experimentation, the Book Pride, the independent publishers’ fair (1- 3 April), and the Chinese, France, Israel, Great Britain and the german brand Gaggenau’s exposition of the XXI Triennale “21st Century. Design After Design” (2 April – 12 September).
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by Valentina Sommariva.

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Coworking at poolside! The WOW! Agile Working Island is back.

On the occasion of the Agile Working Day, for the second year running the stand at the historic Piscina Cozzi in Milan changes into a coworking space and a hub, where people can share experiences and visions concerning Agile Working or Smart Working, which is a more international definition (from February 15th to 19th).

WOW! Webmagazine, in collaboration with Milanosport, organizes the second edition of “Isola WOW! Lavoro Agile”.
From February 15th to 19th, the large space available on the second floor stand of the Cozzi swimming pool in Milan will be fitted out with some original workstations and sofas to be used free of charge by anyone wishing to work with an Agile approach or have a relaxing break, pool-goers or occasional smart workers can work on shared desks or organize small meetings over a cup of coffee.
A new “conference” area has been introduced for those meetings expected to be attended by a larger number of people, like the course with the Society of Architects or the workshop on the relation between Agile Working and urban development (organized in collaboration with Arel) where also the councilwoman Chiara Bisconti is expected to be present.
Instead, the informal and more interactive meetings –Jelly Session– will take place at the lounge area, to share experiences in Italy and abroad but even doubts and questions.
Sure enough, a strong point of this project is the network time and the meetings dealing with the chief aspects of the Agile Working. A theme now highly topical even among outsiders and that, after so many years of confusion, is finally being understood and has a clearer identity and objectives.

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Models and factors of development for the workplace.

The end of the year (third WOW!’s anniversary) is the time to take an inventory and forecast the near future, and the articles of this last number of 2015 briefly express some of the chief factors of the ongoing change, that are more clearly marking the development of the next ways of working as well as the configuration of the workplace for our children or grandchildren.

They are already considering the Generation Z, whose needs are after all very similar to those of the more individualist grandparents, the Baby Boomers. Yet with a big difference: the Gen Z expects to find work environments meeting those requirements and wants to share them with other people; they regard it as a right and don’t tolerate to be disappointed.
Gensler’s Design Forecast sums up which are the key factors to design the workplace in a world broken into fragments, where technologies are dominant and information is pervasive. Digital supremacy leads to the reconsider the real values, the actual needs.
Some of the chief key factors?
To work everywhere. Under the name of  Smart Working or Agile Working a philosophy is taking shape, that doesn’t change thoroughly the concept of work and place of work only, but even the life styles, the use of buildings and the development itself of Real Estate, because smart working is synonymous with hybridization and flexibility (as quoted Paolo Gencarelli of Unicredit at RE-Start conference).
And coworking definitely includes these elements and confirms its growth and the strong Community value, thus becoming a point of reference also for large-sized companies.
Desire for nature and respect for nature are also influencing planning on scalar quantity, from the product to interior design, architectural to urban design. Headquarters are more and more similar to Olivetti’s model of campus and integrated into nature and the territory. Even for smaller offices, a park or a terrace to work surrounded by nature is almost a must. Sustainability and wellbeing are the keywords of a new design thinking able to produce happiness (Francesco Schianchi calls it Anthropodesign).
The pursuit of wellbeing is also expressed in a planning increasingly conscious of the user’s experience, and environmental comfort (including acoustic interior design) which changes the very meaning of Beauty.
Perhaps it’s not necessary to aim high, it’s enough to focus on these themes to outline the near future, but we expect great stimuli from the next Milan International triennial exhibition “21st Century, Design after Design”, that will expound what to expect “after”.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine

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The thousand facets of coworking: #coworkingeu.

Three hundred enthusiastic supporters of coworking from all over the world started off in Milan to three vibrant days of Coworking Europe Conference 2015 organized at Base space last November, the major event in this sector held now for the sixth time, featured guided tours of some Milanese coworking spaces and convivial evening parties at the new workspaces round the town. Energy and participation were palpable; one could actually perceive the diverse identities of these workplaces. WOW! has covered the event and can offer the highlights of the themes, which have emerged and a few videos.

The Coworking movement is growing and is starting to influence the corporate world; their is one of the most relevant topics. Large companies are based increasingly on the model of coworking and begin to create their own version of shared workplace.

In “Corporate Coworking” the boundaries between corporate space and coworking space are not so clear-cut anymore: for example, Tiscali has opened Open Campus in Cagliari (Sardinia) a coworking space -presented by Alice Soru- in a no longer used area of its campus, while some big companies use coworking space for targeted projects or just for works requiring a different ambiance.

And that’s no surprise to us: the Neo-Nomad survey shows showed that employees are 65% more happy and 70% more efficient working in a coworking space.

The informal talks at the “unconferences” were about the chief themes concerning the coworking styles. There has been a lot of talk about how to build a Community, how to foster sharing, how to help growth and the coworkers’ synergies, but also about how this way of working can influence or be influenced by life styles; about how to offer new inputs to the tourist trade, as well; for example the start-up Hotel Schani Wein from Vienna.
But coworking spaces also interact with the city (Sarah Turnbull of Bootstrap explained how coworking spaces are reshaping London) and humanitarian projects were not forgotten ( Paul Keursten and Vasili Sofiadellis are planning to create a space on the Greek island of Lesvos, where refugees can work alongside with local and international entrepreneurs and investors).
Unfortunately the theme – not of minor importance – of the physical plan of the coworking office was discussed in a superficial and disappointing way; probably Oliver Marlow, StudioTilt –who cancelled his speech due to unexpected engagement– could have given more stimuli to the designers of coworking space.

The focus of attention was the Global Coworking Survey report that demonstrates that the number of coworking spaces continues to increase and in the last year they have grown by 36%.

The quite complex coworking scenario came out of the case studies presented and guided tours, and here you’ll find pictures and also videos, that were live broadcasted on Periscope by WOW!

Captions: from left, Unità di Produzione and Login, two coworking spaces in Milan.
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