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.


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.





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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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Ways of designing, Design & Advisory: Metrica.

People appreciated two very interesting products presented at Salone del Mobile in Milan (Collaborative Room di Estel e Woods di Fantoni) designed by Metrica, while Boccaporto, designed for Koleksyion was awarded at NeoCon and Orgatec.
Metrica is a design studio based in Milan with an international reputation.
Their approach to contemporary furniture design consists of a strong mix of design management and technical advisory.
WOW meets Robin Rizzini, chief designer & partner, and Lucio Quinzio Leonelli, president & managing partner, to know their unique “ways of designing”.


Is your design approach the same everywhere and with all kinds of companies or does the approach change to the different situations?

Each of our projects has a double soul -imagination and manufacture- and the design of every piece of furniture always takes into consideration its engineering.
That’s why we called out practice Metrica, which evokes ties and stimuli set by production, market and commission, we call it educated design.
Every design is shared with the customer, according to Gantt, and mainly based on two steps. The fist one is the product concept (mood boards, researches and marketing analysis); it also included sketches and technical draws, renders and 3D.
Design & Advisory: the advisory service supports design for new or existing products. It is a flexible model able to adapt to different companies.
We can also offer turnkey projects, from design to manufacture. That mostly occurs abroad and sometimes with start-up companies.

You operates on quite different design markets. Do your analyses show new users life styles and requirements by the users?

Over 50% or our designs goes to the contract market. Pieces of furniture created for public and commercial spaces (offices, museums, libraries, lounges and hotels). Users, whose taste is moulded by the thousands of images found on social media, ask for products with a recognizable look yet offering the same kind of comfort, quality and functionality of a house decor.

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?

What has actually changed is the request for private places for concentration however not excluding light and shared open plan workspaces. The outcome is furniture looking like micro-architectures: collaborative rooms, private offices, hubs, seating like workplaces for informal meetings.

What scenarios and evolutions do you expect for the office and the ways of working in the near future?

Flexibility. “Responsive Space” suiting all the user’s changeable requirements. Waiting rooms that can transform in meeting room or individual workplaces; meeting rooms that can transform in shared offices.



1 Estel, Collaborative Room, design Metrica.
They are modular cells available in three different range of dimensions, all highly customizable by structure and finishes. Small (able to accomodate up to 2 people); Medium (suitable for meeting and focus group up to 4 people); Large (a real meeting area able to host up to 8 people). They are built with an aluminium structure, customizable with glass sheet or wooden panels covered up with sound absorbing foam. Entrance module with hinged or sliding door or without a door.


2 Fantoni, Woods, design Metrica.
A complete series of tables designed for the contract market and specifically for a dynamic working environment. The key feature of the project is the use of wood that accompanied to the comfort offered by the sit-stand table. The design of the leg gives the table a simple and sophisticated look, comprising two telescopic cylindrical elements, one of which is in wood. Inside, an electronic mechanism effortlessly adjusts the height of the table top.

3 Koleksiyon, Boccaporto, design Metrica.
A single freestanding seating unit designed for the contract market able to create a small hideout that interacts with the surroundings space, either be public or office. The upholstered and soundproof shell with integrated recharge and lighting facilities. 

4 Arper, Cross, design Metrica.
A table equally suited for residential spaces, boardrooms and collaborative working environments. Thanks to optional configuration arrangements, it offers a flexible and supportive workspace. Its substantial length, both minimal and architectural, features a sturdy structure with a generous surface that can serve as a temporary meeting ground for group gatherings or a wide co-working station. 

5 Intertime, Mesh, design Metrica.
A reclining lounge chair designed for the residential market. It is made out of a tubular steel frame dressed in a 3D mesh fabric combined with the textiles and leathers of the seating element. These elements are held together by a crafted mechanism that enables the chair to recline and the integrated footrest.






Quiet, please! We work here.

This furniture typology has no name yet: pod? box? booth? acoustic room? Call it what you may. It’s designed to define oases of privacy featuring levels of sound absorption that vary according to need. WOW has selected a few of the most effective systems.

A versatile system coming in several sizes and flexible when fitting, featuring high-performance acoustics, agility in in-use times, expanding over time and designed for the application of ICT technologies: that’s what “personal bubbles” require, a territory which man uses both to leave out his own kind and establish relationships (do you remember the “personal bubble” of Edward T. Hall?)
A dual identity of “shelter” to cut oneself off and not disturb the others, but also of “lodge” suitable for teamwork.
They are free-standing, pre-fab, modular systems to ensure a quick fitting and custom-made solutions. The walls don’t reach the ceiling of the building so a covering is required, however allowing the air-conditioning circulation. The sound insulation is a must.
There are boxy shapes available commercially, but the most advanced systems also provide for curved, blind or glass modules, lending these interior design units the look of a small “Pod” just landed in an open space and already waiting for takeoff.

Estel: Collaborative Room.
They are modular cells available in three different range of dimensions, all highly customizable by structure and finishes. Small (able to accomodate up to 2 people); Medium (suitable for meeting and focus group up to 4 people); Large (a real meeting area able to host up to 8 people). They are built with an aluminium structure, customizable with glass sheet or wooden panels covered up with sound absorbing foam. Entrance module with hinged or sliding door or without a door and a wide range of optional floor finishes. Top feature of this product are the high level of acoustic isolation, efficient air-conditioning and the possibility to customize the electrical system.


Fantoni: Acoustic Room.
It can be equipped with sound absorbing panels, glazed walls and flooring. Two modules in different sizes (254 x 254 x h254 cm – 254 x 134 x h 254 cm) allow you to create acoustically protected islands. The module is made of 4akustik sound absorbing panels.


Universal Selecta: Chakra – The Inner Sound.
Design R&D US with AMA-Albera Monti and Ezio Rendina.
An architectural, prefabricated, modular partition system covered by 5 patents; it is freestanding and requires no anchors on the ceiling nor on the floor. It ensures ideal conditions of customized acoustic comfort and tailor made conditioning air system in any kind of collective environment. From phone booth to large meeting rooms for 12 people. The patented assembly system ensures flexibility, simplicity and speed in the assembly.


Citterio: Sound System.
Design Franco Mirenzi andVittorio Parigi
CSS is a family of cubicles made of aluminium, glass and wood fibre panels that ranges from phone-booths to medium-sized meeting rooms. Each cubicle is finished with highly-soundproofing patented finishings, flat or pyramid-shaped.


Faram: Bubble.
A design oriented space that accomodates an individual and his/her needs. The curvy shapes ease the positioning inside environments. Everything can be customised, upon customer’s request: finishings, chair, top, electrical function, lights, air conditioning, phone and PC charger. The Bubble Meet version accommodates 4 people.


Orangebox: Air3.
Launched in 2014 and award winning, it is one of the most advanced room system: Interchangeable panels allow you to swap, change and refresh your colours and fabrics anytime. The patented opening room system featuring an advanced fire safety system, it is demountable and therefore can be moved, re-positioned and fully re-used.
There are 17 standard Air3 pods providing a variety of curved, square, small and large private meeting rooms.



Working in a cloud: Lavazza HQ by Cino Zucchi.

Nuvola, the HQ Lavazza designed by Cino Zucchi, is a project that aims to regenerate an abandoned multifunctional area, opening it towards the city of Turin, while creating and transmitting the brand identity of the company. Conceived to facilitate smart and activity-based ways of working, the environment of the “Cloud” highlights some contemporary office trends as connectivity, interaction and the rediscovery of the importance of conviviality.

Nuvola, the Lavazza HQ by the arch. Cino Zucchi is based on the renovation of an 18.500 sqm. industrial complex in Turin, with a particular attention to the energetical and environmental sustainability (the project is running for the LEED Gold certification) and to create a space open towards the city. The office spaces, that will host about 600 employees, is conceived as the centre of the “Nuvola System”, that will include a public parking, a green square and an archaeological area dedicated to an early Christians basilica, discovered during the excavations.


In addition, by 2018 the Lavazza Museum, De la centrale, will be inaugurated: an event space with a 1000 people capacity, including also the gourmet restaurant Condividere by Lavazza, designed along with Ferran Adrià and Dante Ferretti.
Also the relocation from the old offices has followed a sustainable process, recycling part of the furniture and donating over 3.000 pieces to schools, hospitals, and charities.
“The Hq represents how we conceive a contemporary company. It is not just about moving desks, it is moving forward towards a more integrated, stimulating and human-centred dimension. A comfortable and, at the same time, technologically advanced headquarters to connect the 90 countries where we operate”,  Giuseppe Lavazza, Vice Presidente Lavazza, says.

“We have based the space planning on the concept of an activity-based office, stressing the role of technology and environments in creating connectivity”Michele Aruanno by GTP comments.

“This advanced open space is not composed of separated environments and repeated lines of desks, but it is designed with adjustable and, at the same time, functionally defined environment, all furnished with acoustic partitions and recharge areas for devices, along with space for quick and informal meetings, as well as separated meeting rooms that allow to easily connect with the outside”.


The value of “conviviality” and the importance of the ”coffee break” are two of the main feature of the project, literally translating the company’s activity into the ways of working: interaction and socialization are also expressed in different environments as the gym, the relax area and Bistrot, an innovative restaurant, designed by Cino Zucchi Architetti with RGA, in collaboration with Slow Food.


Also, the new furniture is chosen to improve a smart working approach, encouraging wellbeing, comfort and sharing. Estel, as a contractor, has supplied tailor-made solutions, while also Arper, Sedus, Vitra, Artemide furniture has been used. Tecno has designed the mobile partitions, Underline the graphic communication, while the IoT and technological solution have been furnished by Samsung, Cisco and Acuson.
Text by Gabriele Masi.


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The best stands at Salone Ufficio – Workplace 3.0.

As usual the Salone stands out for the excellent quality standard of companies and exhibits and the refined and original installations full of charm.
Each stand is a temporary architecture carefully designed and it’s really hard to sort out the finest ones, that share bright and fascinating atmospheres, the use of plants and rich drapes.

WOW! has selected at Salone Ufficio – Workplace 3.0 edition 2017 those stands expressing the key words of the new ways of working in the best possible way.

Dieffebi: IOT, Wellness and “smart plants”.


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The stand designed by 967 is focused on wellness and biophilic design, key concepts of the Workplace 3.0.
On the occasion of the 2017 edition of Workplace 3.0, a new element is added to the minimalist design and clean lines that characterize the DotBox series, an element capable of making the workplace healthier and more pleasant: each storage module can be customized with a built-in flower box, with the dual functionality of purifying the air and giving a touch of style to the environment.

Inside the DotBox there is a ‘smart vase’ that uses Itair® technology, an innovative system of natural air purification for indoor environments. Thanks to this, the plants not only have the function of furnishing the space and making it more visually pleasing, but their natural purification properties are also amplified by a technological core inside the ‘smart vase’. The plant thus becomes an actual filter capable of metabolising the harmful agents in the air, and, thanks to the Itair® technology, which has a forced mechanical ventilation, the system increases the air flow inside the plant and amplifies its effectiveness exponentially.

Estel: 80 years of expertise for Italian Smart Office.


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Estel celebrates its 80th anniversary. The claim Italian Smart Office inspired the 400 sqm exhibiting space designed by Progetto CMR characterized by an elegant mood and a perfect lighting. The stand was organized around the main environments of the Smart Office:

“Personal Workstation”; “Comfort & Relax” with lounge and reception and informal meeting areas; coffeeshop and shared workstation entitled COffice; and last but not least executive desks and meeting-teleconference tables for the “Common Area”. Some Collaborative Rooms in different sizes – from phone booth to meeting room- offer solutions for acoustic comfort

Universal Selecta: Inner Sound and privacy oasis.


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The design of the stand by AMA – Albera Monti & Associati was inspired by the claim “The Inner Sound” and display the features of Chakra, the innovative prefabricated modular system for interiors that delimits areas of privacy and ideal conditions of acoustic comfort.

At the center of the stand a bed, expressing silence and calm, around it four different Chakras able to offer the same calm and silence in open plan offices and public areas.Outside the stand a smallest Chakra was available as phone booth for visitors.

Caimi Brevetti: acoustic comfort and artworks by Gillo Dorfles.


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In view of the 107th anniversary of Gillo Dorfles, Caimi Brevetti pays homage to the Master. The Snowsound panels made precious with some graphic works, designed by Dorfles from 1937 to 2017 are a perfect example of  how to combine art and industrial production can merge.

This evocative “art gallery” was the core of the installation organized in different sets partitioned by Snowsound Fiber curtains were new products for workplace and in-between areas were displayed.
Another amazing set was the sculptural suit designed and made by Moreno Ferrari.


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.


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


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.


Furnishings for task area at Orgatec..

The desk systems launched at Orgatec 2016 allow to bring people together around a table or separate them with small screens; they are ergonomic and very often height-adjustable for sit-stand work.
The storage systems become interior design elements: useful modular dividers in open plan offices. High customization and space saving are the common elements to the desking and storage system selected by WOW!

Sedus, Grand Slam + se-Wall.
Clever combinations of desks, storage system, screens and transparent elements, to create a functional storage and working area in open-plan landscapes. The multifunctional elements can be configured as required with a wide range of flexible options, which can also be expanded into corporate communication areas.


Estel, I Pianeti.
This desking system removes the classical rigidity of the office. It is constructed along a horizontal along a central point of sequenced containers that supports cabling functions for the desks, interspersed with sound-absorbing wall partitions.


Unifor, Teamer, design by Michele De Lucchi + Cases, design by Jean Nouvel.
Configuration of four facing workstations with ends fixed and designed to accommodate brief informal meetings. It is supported by a central steel column that taper down from below the table to the base plate fixed below the raised flooring. A freely composed group of Cases modular containers and open storage elements in natural wood provides the workstations with filing and storage space.


Haworth, Be_Hold.
A storage system to support different work styles – from highly collaborative to focused – while leveraging design elements(perforated metal, colors, fabric element, lockers, sliding cabinets…) create functional workspaces with an individual personality.


Vitra, Cyl, design by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec.
The Cyl system encompasses a variety of different sized tables. Solid wood emphasises the clean lines of the system with its smooth planes, structural frame and cylindrical elements. As an intentionally ‘analogue’ system, Cyl dispenses with integrated power solutions. “It was originally conceived for the home… I think the simplicity of Cyl responds to a demand for clarity and fosters a welcoming atmosphere in the office world”, explains Ronan Bouroullec.


Sinetica, Stay, design by Paolo Mantero + Use Me.
A complete abacus of modular surfaces with nicely rounded shapes to create endless compositions, stand alone   or integrated, with cabinets and libraries  from the Use Me collection. The table in all its functions and forms, from the operative office to managerial, from the meeting room to collaborative environments. Wood and fabric suggest residential and contract situations.


Ersa, Edge, design by Claudio Bellini.
In addition to the different leg design, the metal construction of the system and the recyclable felt-covered partitions also make the system stand apart with its style, function and acoustic capabilities. It can be fitted with cabling, planters and lighting.


True, Wing, design Parisotto + Formenton.
The table was born for workspaces, but is also suitable for home-office and residential. The light structure, is inspired by the work tables stands, the top has rounded “soap bar” shapes.


Vitra, CDS, design by Antonio Citterio.
A desk system with an industrial aesthetic. it is available in a variety of configurations and models, including the sit-stand one. Structural sophistication and logistical efficiency are the plus.


Kokuyo, Rolling Workspace, design by Nendo.
.Circular whiteboards can be freely rolled around in the workplace and leaned against the wall. Desks, benches, and high counters that match these circular whiteboards were also designed with slits cut into them, enabling combinations with large and small boards.




COffice by Estel at Orgatec: multifunctional Islands.

Estel consistently develops for several years his own vision of Smart Office that inspired the ever wider range of solutions of COffice program; following  the launch at Salone del Mobile 2016, Estel will present new “islands” at Orgatec (Hall 6.1, B48 stand).

The complex and holistic path to the Smart Office is summarized in the Latin motto “Per aspera ad astra” chosen for the Orgatec participation. The installation in the booth stand is a comfortable open space without barriers that provides answers to the needs of the new ways of working thanks to  dedicated areas that easier improve wellbeing and productivity.

“Islands”, more than furniture (Lounge Island, Video Island, Ergonomic Island, Break Island, Snack Island) designed to answer various activities and needs: this is the COffice program approach which aims to “boost relations and pleasure at work” creating in between areas for informal meetings: for example Break Island for self-service buffet during lunchtime, or simpler ones for coffee break.
COffice also provided hybrid workstations as Island Snack to play a meeting while dining.
The range includes more technical Islands, for example Ergonomic Island equipped with sit stand workstations and height adjustable desks or settings  that include technologies integrations: Island Lounge, for waiting rooms and Island Videos, conference areas, integrate monitor inside the furniture.isola-snack-estel-orgatec-wow-webmagazine


Linak & partners at Orgatec: Design Meets Movement.

The outdoor area on 260m² – passageway between halls 10/11– is one of the attractions at Orgatec 2016; Linak participates in this multifunctional environment with the installation named Design Meets Movement, involving some of the best partner companies producer of height adjustable furnishing that use linear actuator by Linak.

The benefits of Green Living in the workplace is well known and we alla experienced that our own personal creative space –working or relaxing- might as well be outdoor.
These concepts inspired the innovative idea to move outdoor workstations and living rooms that will break the usual barrier between indoor comfort and outdoor spaces.
Linak enthusiastically embraced this approach involving some companies (Estel, Fantoni, Brunoffice, Frezza, ICF, Sinetica Industries e IVM ), creating two different environments around two of the four seasons, mixing ergonomic movement with the best design to offer an installation that aims to surprise and challenge conventional thinking about adjustable furniture by moving interior design… outdoors. 



The kitchen in the office, the office in the kitchen.

No more boundaries between kitchen and office, that was confirmed at Salone del Mobile 2016. The office is a dynamic set to foster social relations and if it gives the possibility to share a drink or a bite it gets convivial and cheerful; but even the kitchen turns into something new when it contains some components of the working environment.

The office is changing and enables conviviality in an informal meeting, a snack break or during lunch-time. So the kitchen, too, is planned to allow a smart worker to use their devices while preparing dinner and to suit the new ergonomic and functional standards; so we have a height-adjustable worktop, just like a desk, to fit the user’s height, to be either dinner table or workplace.
At Eurocucina Estel has applied these concepts in the lively units of Coffice and Work in Casa. Different settings designed with SmartOffice-SmartLiving collections.

Also, the new line “Isola” was specially carried out for the purpose. To meet two functions: quick snack and meeting. Formed by two tables (desk + table available in different heights 75 or 90 cm), spared by a central volume equipped with small appliances such as toaster or microwave, coffee maker and top access for recharge your devices.


A perfect kitchen-workplace integration could be seen at String’s, the Sweden company presented at Salone del Mobile a wide range of minimal and strict shelves and storage units.


The Danish company Hay, too, has displayed at Pelota an iper-modular system of shelves, with horizontal or vertical development, completed with tables, brackets and other components suitable for all kinds of environment, from the office to the kitchen.


Adjustable height desk trend is spreading in Italy.

The “sitting-standing” desk trend is spreading in Italy, too. As confirmed by the turnover of the companies producing it and by Linak, leading producer company in electric linear actuators. Italy is discovering the advantages of the adjustable height desks, which was the theme we already dealt with in some of our previous articles.

A few companies- Kinnarps, Estel, Sedus, Emme Italia- have recorded a rise in sales ranging from 10 to 30% and their remarks help us investigate this new request coming from the market.

In the pictures electric linear actuator by Linak.

The sensibility to the wellbeing theme is the most interesting fact, a real “cultural swing” in Italy.

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Sedus.

When we speak of Ergonomics, today we think of the workplace in its entirety, not just of the task chair. Actually in desk sharing offices and in companies focused on the employees‘ wellbeing.

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Kinnarps.

Now let’s come to the drawback pointed out by Gensler: to what extent does the electrical control affect the cost compared to the fixed desk?

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Estel.

The percentage increase for a standard desk ranges from + 38% to more than the double.

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Emme Italia.

In Italy the prices for a standard adjustable height desks (no accessories included) are:
From 700 to 900 euro Kinnarps.
From 1000 to 1500 euro Emme Italia.
From 1000 to 1700 euro Sedus:
Up to 1300 euro Estel.



A tailor-made smart office: the Customer Center BPM (Progetto CMR).

A welcoming space with a strong brand identity thought to answer to the needs of a dynamic working activity: the requalification of the BPM Customer Center’s offices in Milano, designed by Progetto CMR, has been inspired by the smart working paradigm.

“We worked on some areas of the two floors to design an unified and fluid environment. We focused especially on the in-between areas: the paths become meeting places perfectly integrated in a flexible working space that allows different configurations”, Antonella Mantica, Progetto CMR’s Partner and Project Leader, explains.
The main feature of the new 1.400 smq office area of the BPM Customer Center is the 150 not-assigned workstations over the two floors, gathered in different groups and supervised each by a group leader.
At the second floor two meeting rooms were designed with a movable wall that allows an easy reconfiguration of the space and equipped with video-conference systems. There are also areas for private phone calls, tech stations with internet connection and a break area with a kitchen and places for informal meetings or where is possible to relax.
A bright and nice palette was chosen in order to express the brand identity throughout the space, with the use of the “BPM green”, along with petrol blue and orange.
“We wanted to design a professional but comfortable working space, with a friendly atmosphere that could help the employees in stressful situations” Licia Micolitti, Progetto CMR’s Architect Leader says. “We worked on a palette that create a comfort feeling, almost like a domestic environment. That’s why we focused also on the acoustic, using several soundproof materials”.
A particular attention was paid to the choice of the furniture, with high benches, tables, stools, couches and pouf by Estel, while a more private corner was specifically equipped with the two customised couches Privé, designed by Progetto CMR, and realised with soundproof materials by Ares Line.
In order to reduce the noise pollution’s problems, linked to an open space where up to 80 employees work all day, mainly on the phone, Caimi Brevetti’s Snowsound technology coloured panels were arranged, allowing a well balance sound absorption.
Text by Gabriele Masi.



Ipad Holder: the elegance of the leather to keep high-tech devices safe.

The Ipad Holder by Arte&Cuoio is a case that emphasizes the elegance and ductility of the material, the “multi-sensory” stimulation of an high-quality leather treated with vegetable tanning.

Who loves the high-quality design and the handcrafted details will particularly appreciate this Christmas present. The Ipad Holder by Arte&Cuoio, an Estel Group‘s brand, shows the typical veining and marks of the leather treated with vegetable tanning.The Arte&Cuoio  products are guaranteed with the seal of the “Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale”, the only group capable of giving the material an unique versatility that allows to shape it in high quality products.

The multi-sensory stimulation of the Arte&Cuoio’s objects find its origin in the raw materials, the external and the most precious part of the leather, rimo the so-called ‘primo fiore’‘, tanned in Tuscany, between Florence and Pisa, and which comes from Germany, Holland, France and Switzerland.
An extremely malleable leather that “breathes” in new expressions and creativity: refined and unrepeatable furniture accessories and tactile artifacts such as containers, diaries, folders, personal, for home and office one-off objects, literally coming to life in the hands of those who use them.
Price: 180 euros. Further information:
Text by Gabriele Masi.



Estel: furniture and strategies to come up to Smart Working.

The meeting organized by Estel at Intesa San Paolo Pavilion in Expo Milano, proved that Italian firms, too, can adopt new approaches of Design Thinking to meet the complexities of Smart Working. In a lively and dense stream of presentations, interviews, videos and new installations, Estel hasn’t just shown products, but also a clear and consistent strategy.

Established 80 years ago and always working in the field of both home and office furniture, Estel is in a position to bring a domestic mood into an office, according to the Smart Working mode, and to supply a complete range of advanced ergonomic furniture like the height-adjustable desks, units provided with recharge points and acoustic comfort components.
There is no unambiguous answer to meet the challenges posed by the Smart Working. Explains Alberto Stella, CEO Estel “From our side, the strong belief of being what we have always been Flexible, proactive, open. We must know how interpret, decline, accompany, dialogue and often suggest by means of skills acquired on the field. In a word, we must be Smart, as the phenomenon to which we refer. To face the challenges of the Smart Working, translating Smart Office when it comes to interior design, it is a complex, articulated topic that affects us directly as design producer”.
Among the products that reflect this approach, there il EVO Sitting-Standing Desk System (electric linear actuator system Linak) that responds to the most recent indications on ergonomics by providing a tool that ensures well-being, efficiency and quality to the work day.

What benefits can be derived by alternating the two postures? Professor Francesco Marcolin, Professor of Ergonomics at the University of Trieste and Udine, explains “Both a seated and a prolonged standing posture cause discomfort and possible risks for cardiovascular disease. Alternating between the two seated and standing postures has proved to the best solution for office work, even better if also associated with moderate movements. These are the ideal conditions that can certainly help the operator to work and feel better. Moving around while working, not tiring the osteo-skeletal structures like the lumbar spine or lower back, and not tiring the legs, but alternating positions, allows a natural regulation of breathing and heartrate.
This results in greater oxygenation, without compressing the chest and therefore better cognitive efficiency, performance and a general sense of well-being. For this reason, alternating the standing and sitting positions with desks that raise and lower to the correct height is necessary and absolutely preferable”.

How can you transform your employee’s needs into opportunities and “energy” for the business? How can you apply the concepts of Smart Working in the real office? These are questions we find the answers for in the recent BPM experience. At the end of 2013 the credit institution started investing in a rethinking of the spaces, including a concentration room, unassigned but bookable work stations, phone booths, areas for relaxing and socialization available for the employees.
The extraordinary results that have been obtained from the first project oriented towards the Smart Office, coordinated by
Progetto CMR with the Estel being involved for the furnishings, open the doors to a pathway that will also be applied in the head offices of the Group.


Welcome Design Workshop: VEDE and Iuav (Venice).

Six laboratories, 120 students, a network of companies, a foundation and the University. Are the stars of “Welcome Design Workshop” scheduled in Venice to Magazzini Ligabue from September 28 to 3 October and organized by the Courses in Design of the University Iuav of Venice, in collaboration with the business network VEDE (sponsored by the Foundation of Venice) and three well-known companies of the Veneto region’s furnishing chain, Caccaro, Dieffebi, Estel.

The workshop – in addition to a dialog between the productive, the institutions and the academia – celebrates reunification in Venice of the whole training program (three year degree-master-PhD) of Design, first located in Treviso.
The 6 workshops are lead by designers working on international scene: Giopato & Coombes, Sergio Menichelli / FM Milano, Paolo Palma / Metodo Studio, Federico Sandri / Something, Marco Zavagno / Zaven, Matteo Zorzenoni.
The aims are the creation of a new identity for the network VEDE and the development of systems and furniture in close collaboration with brands.
During the week will be performed also two conversations with designers, open to the city.

The VEDE network was formed in Italy by 10 companies each leaders in their respective production segments for quality, design, creation and export: Dieffebi, Elmar, Doimo Salotti, Venezia, Home Design, Idea Group, Lapalma, Arredoplast, Estel Group, Palazzetti.
Together they count 3.810 employees and a turnover of 530 million of euro, of which over 30% abroad, VEDE intends to go beyond a “district-based” production model and to redefine the very concept of territory as an element of cultural, as well as economic identity.
It joins the company Caccaro, which participates for the first time to the initiatives of the network VEDE.
The strategic partnership of the Foundation of Venice responds to the idea to propose a new “corporate culture” to meet the challenges of the global market.
The “collective local trademark “, created by the Foundation, binds the uniqueness of Venice, powers the identity of the territory and highlights the ability of combine “design” and “know-how” with different production subjects.
Further information: Chiara Pagani,

The Estel’s journey of the Smart Office.

The Estel’s journey of the Smart Working goes on. It started on the occasion of Milan Design Week 2015 and, after The Inner Edge Magazine #5 devoted to this theme and the new lay out of the Milan showroom according to the contents of the Smart Office Manifesto, the new philosophy was implemented inside the exhibiting spaces in Munich, Thiene and Barcelona. On stage, the whole series of new solutions developed by Estel to evolve into a dimension of Smart Office: performance, networking, open dialogue and creative exchange.

“The Smart Office is an extraordinary place, in the sense that every day is different and new in its configuration, exceptionally fluid and spontaneous.
The workplace 3.0 is already a reality, a phenomenon that has been revealed quickly and to which both companies and urban spaces must respond with optimal solutions.” Explains Alberto Stella, CEO Estel and continues “As is evident, there is no single recipe or a perfect solution. The interventions and variations undertaken on this path are important examples for synthetizing the guidelines for a new generation of furnishings that can only be the fruit of the confluence of very different skills and details. Only those who are able to produce with sufficient logistic and structure, demonstrating a production flexibility that responds to numerous changing needs, can fullfil requests where they have to synthetise the skills from the office and domestic fields, and furnish appropriate responses to the language of the Smart Office: because today’s and tomorrow’s office will be more and more an environment that communicates with the home and vice versa. A perfect osmosis that we, at Estel, have been writing for decades in our history and in the culture of our company. We realise that we must offer our field more and more customised solutions with respect to the products in series that we offered in the past. This is the real challenge today, that we have accepted, fielding our expertise and skills a full 360”.

Showroom Estel in Milan.

Showroom Estel in Barcelona.
Among the furniture solutions inspired by smart working there are
Embrace Lounge Areas, the evolution of the workstations Altagamma and Desk, Kite Family acoustic solutions, the domestic look of the Polpetta armchairs and More Kitchen, because the kitchen is the place where the social emotions become tangible, inside our home and office too.3-estel-smart-working-manifesto-barcellona-wow-webmagazine



Combi: wall and height adjustable desks.

Combi by Estel is a smart desk system solution that combines Acustic Wall system with the expansion of Joint system. The desktops are available with top access, sliding equipment and with electric height adjustment.

Acustic Wall is a wide cabinet which supports More Asterisco work tops series of various dimensions and thicknesses with height adjustment from 65 to 85 cm.
Joint, a 46 cm deep storage unit of various dimensions, act as support for Asterisco, In-More, Scrivimpiedi desktops.

By the use of different Acustic Wall, Joint or Combi it is possible to create many compositions (either fishbone right, left, angled, crossed , and “T” or “C” shaped) wire management is available from the top access or sliding, tops too.


Apple Campus 2: the construction of the Foster’s spaceship in Cupertino is progressing.

The project for the realisation of the Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California, the new company’s headquarters designed by Studio Foster, started in 2012 and will be concluded, as planned, in 2016. After two years of competition, the Italian furniture company Estel has been awarded a project worth $80 million, for the realization of the glass partitions of the new headquarters, beating off the international competition.

Apple invested a huge amount of money for its new “home”: $5 billion for the whole project, of which more than $161 million will be used for building an 11,000 sqm auditorium and $74 million for a 9,300 sqm futuristic fitness centre which will be available to the 13,000 employees to be employed by the company.
The Apple Campus 2 will be an integrated, unified and secure 21st Century campus surrounded
by green space. This new development will provide a serene environment reflecting Apple’s brand values of innovation, ease of use and beauty. The entire 176-acre site will be redeveloped with sustainable, state-of-the-art office, research and development facilities, which will replace the current disjointed assemblage of aging corporate facilities with a single high performance office, research and development building, with supporting facilities. The buildings are located in a unified and secure landscape, which extends and connects the interior workplaces to outdoor facilities for relaxation, recreation and reflection. The entire Campus, indoors and out, is intended to promote shared creativity and collaboration, and spur invention of the next several generations of Apple products.
Estel, a company with 350 employees and a turnover of about €60 million, has been awarded the contract, beating off the international competition and winning “the final” against the last American company in the competition.
The work for realising the earthquake-resistant walls will begin in the summer of 2015, to be concluded in 2016. The project envisions mounting double glass walls, including blinds realized with wooden slats, for 1.3 kilometres suitable for furnishing every sector of the 280,000 sqm complex.
Estel will be taking care of all the production and supply, while the actual installation will be carried out by local workers trained and monitored by Estel.
Text by Gabriele Masi.


Trends for contract and office seating.

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

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

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

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