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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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#DesignCityMilano: 1st edition (1/9 October).

Design City Milano is the new initiative supported by Comune di Mlano and organized by Studiolabo. The first edition will be held from October 1st to 9th. Not a “Fall Edition” of Fuorisalone, but a sort of urban festival following the successful models of Piano City and Book City.
Don’t miss it! Everyone can participate for free by sending by 15 September a proposal that will be selected by the Scientific Committee.

Milan is the capital of design…not only during Salone del Mobile! For this reason the first edition of Design City Milano will born from October 1st  to 9th, 2016. It is a rich program of events dedicated to the research, the culture and ethics of design.The headline is “Communicating Design-Innovating the City”; the keywords are “contamination, hybridization and collaborative design”.
It will open with the Brera Design Days at the Mediateca Santa Teresa: meetings and workshops on the theme “Design and Innovation between Digital and Territory” (October 1st and 2nd). The festival will continue with events spread throughout Milan: everyone can enter presenting an event on the official website of Design City Milano, that will be selected by the scientific committee composed of Chiara Alessi, Valentina Auricchio, Paolo Ferrarini and Marco Sammicheli.
Museums and Institutions (Museo del ‘900 and Triennale), schools and universities (Politecnico, IED and Bicocca), associations (Federlegno) and Ordine degli Architetti, gave adherence to the festival.
Design City Milano will also includes other scheduled appointments in Milan: the fourth edition of MDFF (Milano Design Film Festival) from October 6th to 9th, at Anteo Spazio Cinema, and the third edition of IF (Italians Festival devoted to creativity) from October 6th to 8th at Teatro Parenti.
Follow Design City Milano on Facebook #DesignCityMilano


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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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From a father-like to a mother-like company model .

The final Jelly Session of the WOW! Agile Working Island has inspired new questions about the need of an anthropological approach to the new ways of working: while the line between home and working environment is becoming more and more dense and blurred, the smart working model is realised through the design, as an instrument capable to introduce the worker in the new system.

The 2nd edition of the WOW! Agile Working Island has left many insights about the designing of the new working spaces, focused on wellbeing, flexibility and dynamism. Although these key concepts have been widely discussed, it is useful to analyse them through another point of view, an anthropological one, starting from the latest experiences discussed during the event.

1. From a controlling father-like to a mother-like model of the company.
The office space is no longer the stiff and sever place it used to be, image of the inflexible look of a father, but it’s a more like mother’s womb environment, welcoming, home feeling oriented and capable of cuddling his employees. The new spaces, like in between areas, nursery, break areas, and the attention paid to the effects of the noise, stress and a pour environment over the workers, and so on, show how the office is becoming a nice place to live. That’s because the paradigm has changed: beauty is wellbeing and wellbeing is productivity.
The best example of the mother-like company is the “cuddling environment” of Mattel in Milan, a space designed to challenge the classical conception of the working place towards something we can call “ the school of wellbeing”.
The company is a kind of an “adoptive family”, not only focused on the wellbeing of the employees, but also on how to teach them the way to properly take care of themselves: a part from the Green Project, we have already talked about, Mattel implemented a monthly plan with several services thought for his employees such as free osteopathic treatments, the presence of a psychologist or the blood test through the blood donation directly organised in the workplace, in addition to a free at-the-desk breakfast the first day of the month, fresh apples at the reception every day and subsidies for extra office services like medical check-ups or bus tickets.

2. A cultural perspective: peculiar deviations form the standard smart working model.
If “Design and Smart Working are about culture” as Andrè Straja underlined during the Jelly Session, the peculiar situation of Italy, where concepts such as flexibility, ergonomics and work-life balance, are perceived as new ones, has not to be considered totally in a negative way, but like a fertile and fruitful chance to “re-model the model”.
The indian Discovery Centre designed by Giulio Ceppi (TotalTool) is an example of retail shop where the made-in-italy is not just about the object and the product design, but also about a way of thinking based on always considering the context where the idea has to be applied as the main point of the project.
If the design is a cultural expression and we can’t overlook the cultural aspects, we can’t just adopted directly and entirely the models coming from Cupertino.
That was the insight that drove the project of the Digital Entity’s office in Milan, a space with an essential and clean design, as NTTdata wanted it very similar to the essential Japanese concept of working.
And, as Rossella Destefani reported us, this choice was perceived as a plus by their customers since “they don’t buy just the product, but also the Japanese reliability”.
That’s why design is not a neutral and ephemeral element, but the main instrument of the smart working change, a lived expression of the company management and of the new ways of working.

3. From the corporate to the body: how it is possible to create a group identity in the “flexibility era”.
Smart working is about trust and about educating to the trust. But how can a company teach trust and create a group identity at the same time? Through design.
Design is not just about making the office a nice place, but it has a deep influence and an educational power over the workers’ body  and therefore over the worker himself: flexible spaces and adjustable height desks force the work to be more dynamic; in between spaces, graffiti, and kitchenette create a new way of living the space and through a more informal space, blurring the line between the outer space and the office space, between the time in and the time out, enhancing the undefined working continuum given by the new technologies; meanwhile the open space model lets the company to be perceived as more transparent and horizontal in his hierarchy.
Design is also essential to make the workers perceive the brand identity and values, as we have already underlined for example talking about the new Star’s headquarters.
Another example, that was we have analysed in the final Jelly Session of the WOW! Agile Working Island is Technogym Village in Cesena (Italy). Here the leader company’s motto “we promote wellness in everything we do” is reflected throughout a space created to make the employees fitter: free use of gym machines  and of a jogging track before or after the working time, a selected and healthy food served in a “wellness restaurant”, the use of the wellness balls as chairs and writings at the side of the elevators that encourage the use of the stairs.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
1, 2 Wellness Campus Technogym, Antonio Citterio e Patricia Viel & Partners, Cesena (Italy).
3, Wellness Room, Mattel Italia’s offices, Milan (Italy).
4, UniCredit International Centre, SGS Architetti Associati and Studio Scagliotti, Sofia (Bulgaria).
5, Star’s Headquarters, Il Prisma, Milan. (Italy).
6, Digital Entity’s offices, deamicisarchitetti, Milano.
7, 8 Discovery Centre, TotalTool, Bhartiya (India).

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Street Art in the office.

“The street art with its direct techniques and its suffering soul enters the offices to give a new values and new insights to the space”. With these words Alide Forte Catella,  Coima Image’s managing director, explains one of the most interesting trend in fact of working environment, a symptom of a new point of view.

The decoration in residential and offices projects is becoming a more and more important
element: it defines the style and characterizes the whole environment”, Alide Forte Catella continues. “When you look for and select the street art, you need a profound thought that has to be transmitted, in order to make the project warm, welcoming and with a story that makes it already unique”.The last projects by Coima Image, the hall of the Google-Pandora’s building and the Roland Berger offices, tell a lot about the new ways of personalizing the space.Graffiti, that are usually painted in public places to give a voice to a protest or to social criticism, develop in a new form of art with a legal and shared expression.  A new language capable to give a cultural and artistic soul to living spaces.
Wow! has already talked about other examples of how graffiti can really fit with workplaces and most of all with in-between spaces, as it is shown in the new Neomobile’s headquarters in Rome.
“Street art as well as the the new visual contemporary art is integrating very well with the new modern office concepts that, through designing of different spaces, aim to stimulate social interaction among colleagues and creativity ”, Salvatore Marinaro by Unispace, who designed the project, says. “I appreciate this way of approaching the interiors, but not in the operative areas, where, in my opinion, the focus has to be pointed on the work station, with the right choice of lights, colors and materials”.
As also Monforte‘s headquarters and the cultural platform #UfficioManifesto show, the growing presence of graffiti in the working enviroment can be considered a part of the new ways of working, aiming to create a collaborative, fun, and home feeling workplace, more informal and relaxed.
Testo di Gabriele Masi.

1, Hall Google – Pandora. Coima image. Coima Image took care of the main lobby’s interior design, in the building projected by W. Mc Donough in the new Milan’s Isola quarter. Four street artists have been working for four evenings, using the spray techniques, interpreting some suggestions as the green and the nature (since the proximity of the world famous Bosco Verticale), the abstraction and the representation of the letters G and P (Google and Pandora). The milanese street artist are Marte, Fosk, Mate and Leos. The first three are part of the “Nuclear1” , a crew borned in Milano in 1996 and composed by artists with different backgrounds and styles.
2,3,4  Roland Berger’s offices, Coima Image. The Roland Berger’s offices are hosted in the building “Gioiaotto”, designed in the 70s by Marco Zanuso and recently restructured in the Porta Nuova Varesine project.
Coima Image has rethought the 600 sqm workplace, aiming to optimize the space. The double or multiple manager’s offices are separated by walls and decorated by graffiti inspired by the principles of the world famous “Singularity University” in California: using the new technologies to face the great contemporary challenges. That is why every office is characterize by different images of DNA, energy, robotics and nanotechnologies.
The street artists are the same:  Marte, Fosk, Mate and Leos.

5, 6 Monforte’s headquarters in Milano. Monforte. The space designed by Monforte and its business developer Paola Miglio, is a “coworking of spaces and ideas”, the manifesto of the collaborative office. The areas of this colourful work environment recall models of different ways of more relaxed team working (eat and chat, meet, welcome).
“We want to take the experience we made in domestic spaces in the working environment, to build workplace for the individual and common well being, in which intellect’s efficiency and the emotional intuitions can easily work together”, Daniele Lago, by the 
Lago company, that supplies the furnitures, says.
7, 8 Neomobile’s office, Unispace. “The choice of the graffiti is linked to the old campaign “become a superhero of mobile monetization” that Neomobile was running when we designed the new spaces”, Salvatore Marinaro said. “The corporate communication manager wanted for the in-between and break areas, images of famous superheroes in unusual poses, such as a sleeping Superman or Hulk coming out of the shower”. In Neomobile’s offices there aren’t any graffiti in the operative spaces, where they preferred to keep neutral walls in order to facilitate the concentration.



The new International Prize Gabriele Basilico.

The new Gabriele Basilico International Prize in architecture and landscape photography, in memory of one of the last years most famous photographer, has launched its first edition on the 29th June in the headquarters of the Ordine degli Architetti P.P.C. of the Province of Milan.

Gabriele Basilico (Milan, 1944-2013) was an artist with a well-rounded language, always paying attention to a civil commitment in favour of the new generations, capable to grasp the most significant changes in a constant debate with architecture, city planning, sociology, literature, photography, and the art more broadly.
For this reasons the Prize is thought for under 35 photographers and it aims to become a benchmark in the research of new visual languages and to stimulate young artists in investigating the architecture and the landscape through all the figurative, social and cultural aspects.
The participation is “invitation only”: a jury of experts, headed by Giovanna Calvenzi, will choose the most interesting photographers from all over the world, and will evaluate the best project. The award ceremony will take place in December and the winner will have 8 months to realise his own project, that will consist in a photographic research, with a publication of a book.
Text by Gabriele Masi.




Cushions by Ares Line at Teatro Olimpico.

Ares Line has made and donated new ergonomic, red velvet cushions for 400 seats at the famous Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, designed by Andrea Palladio. The company’s president Roberto Zuccato points out that it is a gesture of civil responsibility, “a company builds its success in the world also thanks to its relationship with culture and the attractive features of a territory”.

One of the limitations of the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, highlighted by the vice-mayor of Vicenza, Jacopo Bulgarini dElci at the press conference presenting the project, was the uncomfortable seating that audiences had sat on up to now. Ares Line decided to solve this problem, becoming a player of a cultural patronage that has an essential role today in preserving a heritage that “encompasses values of excellence that not only belong to this city but also to the whole world”.
“The seats at the Teatro Olimpico, specifically created by our R&D department, have been made using the best products available on the market”, explains Nicola Franceschi, CEO of Ares Line. “Ares Line supplied the seating for the main hall of the Teatro Comunale in Vicenza so the city has already been our natural showroom for some time. By donating the new seats to the Teatro Olimpico we have begun a path that sees companies and institutions joining force to promote our cultural heritage and, in this case, we are helping the Municipality to preserve one of the artistic wonders of Vicenza in the best possible way”.
Proud of the project, the president of Ares Line Roberto Zuccato adds, “Our company is a protagonist and ambassador of new products because we invest in innovative human capital with top-level skills and especially because of our strong tie with culture and the territory, which we express in our products and through wide-ranging partnerships”.
The overall contribution by Ares Line amounts to a sum of about 30,000 euros. The numbered, ergonomic dark red velvet cushions will be put into place in time for the Galà destate on 21 June.
Text by Gabriele Masi



Coffice, the “all you can eat” co-working space.

Interpreting the constant changes of the new ways of working, with new spaces that are able to create new experiences.Coffice” is the new social cafè in Milan, a little revolution in the conception of the co-working, where the attention for a genuine food joins an environment designed for working, organizing meetings, events, presentations or just relaxing.

Coffice, the new social cafè of Milan located at Porta Romana’s area, was born to answer the need of new informal working spaces, which are becoming the favourite places for running business and professional relationships or meetings.
That’s why Coffice offers a wide range of services such as unlimited wi-fi, workstations for tablets and laptops, scanners and printers, as well as unlimited coffee and a “all you can eat” buffet of delicious sweet and salted snacks. There are also some break areas with couches and armchairs, where it’s easy to relax, maybe reading a book from the free booksharing shelves.
The fees are also innovative. You don’t pay, infact, what you eat, but you pay the time you stay in: the first hour costs €4 and from the second hour it costs 1,50 every 30 minutes.
Coffice is a place that gives a familiar atmosphere where working and delight can melt togheter, surrounded by a relaxed and essential environment, made in a typical “northen design”.
Not just a co-working bar and restaurant, by the way: Coffice is also a cultural space adaptable for lessons or for vernissages or different kind of expositions, events and presentations.
Text by Gabriele Masi.




Multifunctionality and multiculturalism: MUDEC, Milan.

Designed by the architect David ChipperfieldMUDEC, the Museum of Cultures of Milano, shows its intercultural vocation in a project capable to meet the call from a cultural public in a landscape that is in continuous transformation for museum institutions, their sustainability and their identity are concerned.
17.000 sqm of archaeological recovery live again in multifunctional different spaces to offer a complete experience, with several cultural events and services.

The MUDEC started its life as an operation of archaeological recovery in one of the most lively districts of Milan, the Tortona area.
The project for the Museum of Cultures originated in the 1990s when the Municipality of Milan acquired the former Ansaldo industrial area to give it over to the cultural activities. The disused factories, which are true monuments of industrial archaeology, have been transformed into workshops, studies and new creative spaces.
The very architecture of the building mirrors the many spirits that dwell in the MUDEC. The building features blocks of squared-off forms clad in zinc and a crystal structure, lit around the clock, that bursts geometrically upon the area hosting it and appears very different from the adjacent rooms. The MUDEC sets itself apart by its central hall in a free and organic shape which generates an internal ‘flower’-shaped courtyard , a covered piazza, meeting place for cultures and communities. Around the hall, there is a dedicated area which hosts the section of the museum itinerary holding the works from the permanent collection and the halls given over to the large temporary shows.
Within the building spaces are laid out offering the visitor and the city a multiplicity of cultural proposals and services, such as a multifunctional conference room, the auditotium – a 300 seat-theatre for art performances- and a library with an heritage of more than 4000 works and bibliographic funds.
On the second floor, you can find the MUDEC Club restaurant, a space that aims to be also a container for events linked to the art-world. Finally, MUDEC Junior is the space specifically dedicated to children, where it is proposed bringing the younger ones closer to the diverse cultures of the world through activities of play, multimedia stations and manual workshops.

An innovative aspect about MUDEC is also the public/private-partnership governance. The partnership is an important and pioneering solution that is capable of respecting the identity of the cultural hub and at the same time meeting demands of efficiency and sustainability. Scientific management, preserving, cherishing of the heritage and coordination of activities of the Forum of Cultures are entrusted to the Municipality of Milan; 24 Ore Culture on the other hand deals with bringing about the large temporary shows and managing the services of hospitality and entertainment.
In this way a significant experience has been brought about – the first of its kind in Italy – of cooperation between a for-profit party and a not-for-profit one that, in addition to being founded upon sharing of know-how, generates a virtuous dynamic in cultural management and gives life in Milan to a new cultural hub that alongside the museum and temporary exhibition events offers a multiplicity of occasions for entertainment, from the bistrot to the design store, from the restaurant to the public car park, from the teaching spaces to the auditorium, from the MUDEC Academy to the junior culture space.
If becoming familiar with other cultures really help us to become more hospitable, the Museum of Cultures is a very good strating point, a strong contribution to know who seems “different” from us.

MUDEC Restaurant
At the third floor is located the restaurant, designed by Studio Rotella and managed by the renewed restaurateur Giacomo. A “forties style” bourgeois look connotes the environment. The pleasant view of MUDEC and the former industrial area creates an interesting contrast with the elegance of the interiors.
Text by Gabriele Masi.




A workplace that inspires people to take action.

Disused factories, raw materials, concrete, chaos, bright colors, bicycles among the desks, creative environments: these are the essential ingredients for the coolest workplace 3.0. The new office of the creative agency Upshot designed by Chicago Creative Space proposes this “start-up” aesthetics.

To inspire is also the aim of the new Upshot office built by the Chicago based “holistic” general contractor Executive Construction. “Our purpose as an agency is to inspire people to take action,” says Brian Kristofek, Upshot’s President and CEO. But the agency likes to take the same approach internally, realizing that inspiring each other will “help create more inspiring marketing.”
An entrance hall with red painted walls shocks most people into paying attention; the polished concrete floors wind through the library, happy hour areas, places for informal meetings, and myriad other nooks and crannies filled with boisterous team members.
It’s clear that Upshot’s space isn’t just gratuitous visual mayhem: there is some serious method in this madness.
In fact, before the move, Upshot employees were interviewed on their priorities for their new office, so the space not only reflects their wishes but is a function of the company culture. With Values such as inspiration, there are surprises around almost every curve (there are no straight lines in the office). Ideas reign supreme and there are plenty of spaces to both nurture evolving ideas and share and debate with collegues.



Studio O+A: Cisco offices, San Francisco.

The panoramic view of San Francisco’s waterfront visible from Cisco’s new offices sets the theme for Studio O+A’s design. From any angle the visual impact is of light, spaciousness, bright color, long sightlines.

Meraki, which was recently acquired by Cisco Systems, makes wireless routers focused on design. O+A sought to create the space the way Meraki builds its products, with an emphasis on simplicity and seamless ease of use. But it was also mindful of the importance to the company’s identity of the Cisco-Meraki merger.
At the outset O+A surveyed Meraki’s employees, a consensus emerged for natural light, plenty of collaboration space and preservation of the company’s tightly-knit culture. The hangar-size (110,000 square foot) of the new space and the prominence of its floor-to-ceiling windows made collaboration and natural light. O+A’s design offers a variety of meeting spaces formal and informal, indoor and outdoor; they create a medley of small gathering spaces within the large footprint. Sunken seating brings intimacy to horizontal common areas while preserving broad sightlines. Yurts, cabanas and phone rooms offer varying levels of enclosure. And throughout the office informal lounge spaces allow passing colleagues to sit down and talk. In lieu of pervasive branding graphics, O+A provided ubiquitous chalkboards, whiteboards and corkboards so that employees could sketch, write and pin-up graphics meaningful to them. As might be expected of the company’s strongly do-it-yourself culture, mobility and adaptability were big factors in the selection of furniture and workstations: these are people who like to move things around.
Photo by Jasper Sanidad, courtesy O+A.


The design blogger, a strategic figure in 2.0 companies.

Web and mobile devices are changing the ways of marketing and communicating. We thought that it could be much easier to do the usual things through the web tools, but we were wrong.  We agree what Francesco Morace  have said in his last book “What is the Future?” (Che cosa è il Futuro?) Only those companies, that have really something to teach, will be able to communicate effectively in the future!” 
Newsletters, DEM, Social network are not the digital version of an advertorial on a magazine or a “paper mailing”. Social media have their own rules and work in a fast-evolving world and market. The new keywords are prestige, credibility, trust, culture, reputation, story, attitude, share, contamination, emotion, experience, participation, niche.
To be up to this ever-developing situation, the 2.0 company has to get organized and act on the basis of a collaborative approach.
The blogger carries its own research and coordination skills, and filtres the “qualitative” data through the value added of passion. To devote in-house resources, trained and motivated, is therefore a strategically essential requirement.
Text by Alessandro Barison, design blogger.
In the photo EmmeItalia offices, digital – analogic balance.


Coworking in a bookstore: Open by Lago, Milan.

Open is new concept of retail outlet created by Giorgio Fipaldini and Daniele Lago. A setting to foster experiences. “More than books” and even “More than design”. A 1000 sqm designed by Lago with the consulting of UdA Architects (A. Marcante and A.Testa Architects), devoted to culture and design, food e relax, books and coworking.
To reinvent the retail outlet is by now commonplace, but in case of Open we are confronted with a hybrid format of bookcase, not only meant to sell, but also to “spread culture”. Open is a place, where you can refer to and buy books (paper or digital format), live and buy also the design products carried out by Lago, a company that has always experimented with new ways of retail sale (for example the Lago Flat as living showrooms).

Furthermore, at Open’s you can eat, rest, mingle and work. There ia a coworking area equipped with bench tables and small conference and meeting rooms. “Making Spaces and Leisure Spaces”, Giorgio Fipaldini explains. Even the atmosphere is a perfect work-life balance: homelike, informal yet with functional and ergonomic rooms equipped with Internet and wi-fi connections.
A rough container, that emphasizes the long table in Wildwood, used also as a socializing component, surrounded by the colour of chairs and lamps, the irregular geometries of the wall-mounted bookshelves, Lastika easy chairs, standing desks with stools, lounge corners and comfortable sofas
The basic idea is to enrich the ordinary selling purpose with a social purpose, to meet the new life and work styles.

FM & new WOW: workplace vision towards 2020.

Workplace will become an experience, not a facility. What are the new challenges, planning models and workplace strategies developed by the companies and how they will influence the role of Facility Management?

New Ways of  Working – the workplace of the future is developed by ISS in close cooperation with Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies and IFMA, it is based on in-depth research among more than 600 Facility Management experts.
Peter Ankerstjerne, Head of Marketing & Business Development ISS, explains the workplace towards 2020 will be qualitatively different; and will change the realtion among the three strategic themes Work-Workforce-Workplace and for each of them identifies the FM industry’s role. The Facility Managers have to combat office entropy and operate at the center of the four main drivers for developing: strategy, culture, brand, workplace.
Focusing on the strategy changes and the impact on the role of facility management, the survey explores social topics (sustainability, the increasing labor market diversity, the developing of the urban areas that allow companies to leverage surroundings) and psychological topics (growing need to focus on employee well-being and personalization of the workspace).

“By definition, people are essential to workplaces. Without people, workplaces are simply places. The primary purpose of a workplace is to benefit the people in it, and benefitting the processes between them. Designing smart and cost effective workplaces, which will accommodate more collaboration and increase efficiency, is a major opportunity for most organisations,” said Jeff Gravenhorst, Group CEO, ISS and continued: “There is no doubt that the workplace as we know it is undergoing dramatic change as it will increasingly become a place where people meet, socialize, build relations and have fun. ISS is committed to remain a market leader in developing tools, technologies and solutions for these challenges in collaboration with our customers and partners.”
The survey analyses the boundaries that define traditional and future workplaces and organisations. Increasingly, employees work from the office, home and third workplaces; thanks to Smart Working they work in private offices and open offices as well as from hot desks and touchdown points. Meanwhile, mobile devices are overtaking the laptop and the PC as our primary interfaces to the digital world.
Jeffrey Scott Saunders, Futurist, Senior Executive Advisor, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies said “The accelerating pace of change is driving a wedge between managements’ vision of the workplace and the reality experienced by workers. Most workplaces are not designed to efficiently or effectively evolve as the dynamics of business change. Facility management professionals will have a key role to play in ensuring that workplaces are continuously aligned with core organisations’ changing needs.”



The future of the City? Sharing, in-between areas,technological infrastructures.

The Global City Report 2013* presentation, developed by Scenari Immobiliari and Generali Immobiliare Italia ,offered visions, that show much more than quantitative data about changes and competitiveness between cities.
The formula for a sustainable development? “We can change the city by using less concrete and more infrastructural technology.

“The city reaches as far as the Net, where the terminals of infrastructures get to and meet” said prof Mario Deaglio (Centro Ricerca e Documentazione Luigi Einaudi). Mario Breglia (Scenari Immobiliari) stressed the importance of the benchmark “attractiveness of the cities” not foreign investors only, but Talents from all sectors also attracted by the Culture and New Ways of Knowledge.

Prof Deaglio agrees on that and shows three kinds of attractiveness to revitalize the Italian cities: “from the bottom” (immigrants from countries where there is no work for them), “from the top” (educated immigrants attracted by the new frontiers of Knowledge) and the value of Made in Italy and Italian lifestyle.

The survey presented by Alessandro Balducci (Politecnico di Milano) shows a new vision of city; the “Mega-City-Region” is no longer based on the centre hierarchical concept , but on the size of the Net. City Nets, developing in in-between areas.
Carlo Ratti (MIT Senseable City Lab) talks about Shared Economy and finds the key to improving the quality of life in transports, the Net, technological infrastructures and in a possible sharing of data (with presentation of in progress projects in Singapore and NY City) Carlo Ratti closes “We can change the city by using less concrete and more infrastructural technology.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor of WOW! Webmagazine

*The 2013 GC Report, studying the economic and territorial changes in twenty European cities, show that London and Paris are still at the top, while Milan ranks first for the progress made in the field of Culture. At the bottom, Lisbon and Athens.

WOW! jelly session #4

At Showroom BTicino Milan, the monthy fluid and nomadic meeting on lighting.


The structure of the webmagazine WOW! is based on a nomadic, fluid and jelly editorial staff. Jelly is also the structure of the session that offer other subjects or stimuli.

The starting point for the debate is given by Jean Nouvel’s “j’accuse” against the standardization underlying the design of working and common environments, finding preposterous the use of dull lighting systems set in contact ceilings in office buildings.

The WOW! Jelly Session #4, at  Showroom BTicino Milan, was attended by:

Jacopo Acciaro (Voltaire), architect; Jessica Astolfi (PoliMI), architect; Daniela Carta (MQA), architect; Luca Colombo (Zumtobel); Massimo Facchinetti (Facchinetti & Partners) architect; Marco Fiorentino (BTicino); Gianni Forcolini, architect; Silvia Gervasoni (assistente PoliMI), architect; Luigi Guadagno (Studio Marco Piva) architect; Lenka Lodo (Goring & Straja Studio), Tatiana Milone, architect; Gianpaolo Monti (BTicino), engineer; Marzia Morena (PoliMI, Rics), architect; Lorenzo Palmeri, architect; Manuela Scisci (BTicino), Corporate Communication; Andrè Straja (Goring & Straja Studio), architect; Renata Sias, editor WOW! webmagazine; Maximilian Speciani, web designer WOW! webmagazine.

Everybody agree with Jean Nouvel’s “accusation” and the fact that saving at all costs is the chief “motive”, but there also other reasons. Often it’s a multitenant building forcing to the most extreme flexibility, in contrast with a vision of personalization and quality. Almost always the building is considered a “financial product” that must guarantee profitability, while the designer would rather aim at beauty, but these two worlds are not “on speaking terms”. People are carried away by the debate on the architect’s role… the designer’s model of quality is often made of “image”, status, fine quality is less considered. Someone maintains that, while for retail shops or hotels the lighting is a basic component to “sell”, unfortunately that’s not so important for work places: employees work in any case. Definitely in conflict with those, who claim that the quality of light affects motivation, good mood, off sick, productivity. Only if the architects has a specific lighting-technique skill can offer solutions; but other people think that the architect has not to be an all-round expert and must turn to consultants for any special problem, and act as a coordinator in an integrated planning team formed by experts. Actually, lighting is often dealt with at the end of the project, when the budget, too, is almost finished and, although the project was carefully defined, they tend to simplify, trivialize, distort the initial project to cut costs. Yet there are examples of good designs made by a team, offices of companies that share their employees’ vision and are quality-conscious. Basically is a matter of Culture: you can’t convince a customer of the value of Quality, so as you can’t “convince a fish to fly”.

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