Creativity is already there: instructions for use.

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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Communication via architecture for a new WOW-effect office.

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

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

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


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


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


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


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“Be”, being well: a human-centred redevelopment.

Being well, productive, connected, innovative: the verb “to Be” is the centre of the contemporary workplace. The requalification of the business district in Cassina De’ Pecchi, next to Milan, by InvestiRE, design a modern vital village, thought to promote a productive interaction and wealthy working environment, through different services and integrating the outdoor and indoor space in the same concept. CBRE is the exclusive agent.

Nowadays revitalizing a working environment can’t be just about re-designing spaces and furniture. Evening if the “packaging” still plays a fundamental role, the core of the Real Estate project must be the “human experience” created by integrating internal and external spaces and services given by the company.


That’s the concept that has driven the project of the requalification of the 40.000 sqm of the business district in Via Roma 108 in Cassina de’ Pecchi, few kilometers from Milano: productivity, engagement, and collaboration, good health and well-being practices for the people, all these key concepts of the modern workspace are expressed in the simple name that has been chosen: “Be”.


The main building, re-designed by Park Associati, is created to promote socialization and collaboration, balancing private spaces with different environment to share among the companies and external professionals: co-working, meeting rooms, temporary offices and event rooms (up to 110 people).


The peculiarity of the project, however, is the focus on the wellbeing and on the work-life balance of the workers. Along with dedicated space and services such as an healthy restaurant, a full-equipped gym and a nursery school, outiside pedestrian walkways pass through a private green park, with movable and fixed facilities, that aims to create a “continuum” between the space indoor and outdoor, recalling the idea of “The Walk by De Lucchi of a “peripatetic office”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.








The term Backpackcracy expresses the “power of mobility” opposed to a static Bureaucracy, the etymological meaning of which is “power of the office”. “A change of perspective, a prerequisite to cope with the volatility, agility and complexity of the current job market” explains Leonardo Previ, professor of Human Resources Management at Università Cattolica in Milan and author of the book “Backpackcracy”, the e-book will be soon available in English, too.

Bureaucracy counts on norms, no provision for exceptions, while Backpackcracy is based on improv elements in addition to the structural ones. So, should our organization require unforeseen solutions, Backpackcracy could be the right answer.
Backpackcracy is based on the key principles:
Mobility, Nimbleness, Miniaturization, Quickness, Exploration, Conviviality.
A lot has already been written about Mobility, Nimbleness and Miniaturization,
while rather new is the concept of Conviviality, something that smart business enterprises are already reclaiming through comfortable kitchens and break areas for their employees to improve informal meetings.
Quickness is a new concept of the Millenials’ culture, it means that the way of working can be changed no less quick and fast than software is changing.
The word Exploration evokes journeys to remote countries and discovering of different cultures, yet the desks, offices and ways of working of our fellow workers can be explored with equal curiosity, thus generating value added.
Following the example of the Wandering Clerics in the twelfth century, even the Backpackcrats help greatly to the dissemination of knowledge.

Here are the things a perfect Backpackcrat usually carries:
First, the Void, a space for those things we thought couldn’t be of some use.
Of course a tablet or smartphone, a small connected device,, you can always be sure, together with traditional writing tools like a pen and paper notebook;
a along with something absolutely necessary such as a book of tickets for public transportation to move and contribute to sharing economy and a folding rule to measure all that can be measured.
Finally, a black box -a cybernetics symbol- to show how impossible it is to establish transparent relationships with people we are talking to: being aware of it allows an easier solution of misunderstandings.

( In the photos backpack by Nava)



Desk systems: is a really groundbreaking desk possible?

Can a product design make a desk “groundbreaking”? While I’m asking myself that question, the video, posted by Curioctopus, about the desk of the future enabling us to perform any task by using very simple intuitive gestures is raging on Facebook. But maybe that’s not the only possible way to breathe new life into a furniture unit, that still remains the archetype of the office.

The video picture of the lively and interactive worktop by Curioctopus is the opposite of the emptying out shown in that “Evolution of the Desk posted a couple of years ago.
In the hybrid domain of the Workplace 3.0, the desk should still be an analogue unit made for comfort or should it turn into a digital object?


The first outlook, generated by Internet of Things, refers to an intangible desk, to a smart and interactive technological tool, provided with information systems, where what matters is software design rather than industrial design.
The second concept means a tangible furniture unit, increasingly pleasant and versatile.
A comfortable, ergonomic, equipped, customized piece of furnishing … maybe inspired by the San Girolamo’s Studio painted by Antonello da Messina …

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The distintive features are fittings that become an integral part of the system and the perceptive and design components, in particular colours, finishes and materials. Last but not least, the functional performance: customisation, both aesthetic and anthropometric; sit-stand, easy wire management and installation, versatility and disposition to fit different requirements and jobs and space organization.

WOW selected some of the more innovative desk systems launched at Workplace 3.0 and during Milano Design Week.


Estel, I Pianeti – Evolution.
A versatile and integrated desk system that allows to create different and extremely customized configurations for the workplace. From the single desk to the 3 or 4 cluster stations, available with sit-stand with height adjustment devices harmoniously inserted inside the wooden frame. The range of accessories also includes Lockers that houses personal boxes and Chairboxes that accompany the user moving in the different working areas.

Fantoni, Woods, design by Metrica.
The key feature of the design is the use of solid beech or oak wood that gives a natural mood to the system. It includes large executive and meeting tables, fixed office desks and sit-stand workstations.The sloped design of the leg gives the table a simple yet sophisticated look, comprising two telescopic cylindrical elements, one of which is in wood. Inside it is an electronic mechanism that effortlessly adjusts the height of the table top.The table’s electrical connections are hidden under the top, while the modesty panel can be fitted with storage accessories and with a USB socket for recharging electronic devices.

Herman Miller, Atlas Office Landscape, design by Tim Wallace.
A work system which brings together height-adjustability and collaborative working in one elegant solution. The ‘no beam’ structure, frees the workspace from clutter so people can sit or stand in comfort, adapting postures to their activities. The desk system includes sit-stand height-adjustable desks, screens, tables and storage elements to create a whole office environment. “To me the problem wasn’t in creating a single desk, there are plenty of examples of those- the designer explains-The real challenge comes when that single desk needs to be multiplied and then fitted into a space. I saw the opportunity for a system that really benefitted the working environment, both today and in the future.”

MDF Italia, 20.venti, design 967.
The technical challenge starts from the use of a slender frame generated by a 20×20 profile. The collection includes both individual tables and double workstations, which can be aggregated, and a wide selection of screens and accessories. An intentionally iconic system that renounces unidentifiable stylistic solutions.

io.T (intelligence of Tecno), design studio Gtp and other partners.
io.T is a smart system of connected furnishings with the capacity for integration with IT systems, devices and hubs, designed to offer information and real time solution to owners and managers of smart buildings and end users. A project combining the tangible, analogue world with the intangible world of digital through a smart furnishing system designed to improve the well-being of the end user. The missing link that transforms users into recognized people.
Tecno picks up on studio Gtp’s intuition and creates a working team of experts such as TIM, STMicroelectronics, Digitronica.it, Ilevia, InfoSolution and Videoworks who have worked for the past two years on developing and optimizing the io.T furnishing system.


Reset: adapting the space to your stress level (Scape and UNstudio at Workplace 3.0).

Reducing the stress level in the office adapting constantly space to whom is living in it. At the Salone Ufficio 2017’s installation A Joyful Sense at Work, UNStudio and Scape will present Reset, a living laboratory where the ambient intelligence will demonstrate which stress reduction methods work best for different individuals, through the experience of the visitors.

Investigating how technology can be used in order to reduce effectively the stress level in the office, focusing on individual needs, is the main goal of the Responsive Emotional Transformation pod (RESET), a fully immersive, modular structure that features scientifically proven stress reduction methods in an interactive way.
The project has been developed thanks to a multidisciplinary teamwork consisting of UNStudio, SCAPE, the neuroscientist Teresa de Sanctis, Jurjen Söhne and Diederik Veelo, specialized in interaction design and ambient intelligence.
“The uniqueness of the RESET pods is that space actively responds to you”, Jeff Povlo, Founder of Scape says. “The wearable technology enables personalized experiences based on the input of your stress levels.

The concept of ambient intelligence refers to responsive and sensitive environments that use electronic systems and devices to adapt to the presence of the people.
Reset, one of the four environments of the A Joyful Sense at Work installation is based on biosensors that will provide information on how visitors will respond to stress reduction experiences with a factual and immediate feedback.
Using design to benefit human health on multiple levels is one of the most important things that architecture can contribute”, Ben van Berkel by UnSpace concludes. “Stress is one of the essential issues we need to tackle in today’s workplace.”
Reset set a new concept: it is not the man adapting to space, but it the other way round.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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The AB Medica’s speadboat: speed and comfort, productivity and leisure.

Giuseppe Tortato designed an iconic headquarters inspired by fast boat hulls to reflect dynamism and innovation of the Italian pharmaceutical company AB Medica; space planning and interior design by DEGW aim to wellbeing, too and interact with the architecture and outdoor.

The project for the headquarters of AB Medica, designed by Giuseppe Tortato, incorporates all the functional/symbolic features the client specifically requested in a landmark building designed to develop and enhance a suburban location right alongside the Milan-Varese motorway.


Inspired by the hull designs of super-fast speed boats, the architectural design embodies the dynamism and innovation of a group at the very cutting edge in the realm of research, combined with a real focus on energy-saving and the psychophysical well-being of the company workers.

My activity has always been aimed to break with conventions, proposing projects that focuses on sensory experience in a larger whole that is the urban territory. Create a place in which to work and live, but also refuge, an oasis, a refuge regenerator, showing where possible the presence of nature. A project in which the viewer never loses the dialogue with his sensory side, as opposed to what happens in many artificial casings which tend to cancel the man in established patterns. My projects at the center put a conscious man, who feeds on true experiences as opposted to what happens in many artificial casings, which tend to cancel individuality with established patterns”explains Giuseppe Tortato.
2000 m² of offices over an overall area of 9000 m² serving about 130 people.
The distinctive shape of the building lot and all the motorway restrictions/constraints dictated the design of a triangular-shaped form reminiscent of a ship’s hull gliding between man-made hills designed to provide heat and sound insulation for the entire construction.

The cutting-edge plant-engineering, which even exploits geothermal power as a renewable energy source through a hybrid system of heat pumps: a multipurpose water-water heat pump using groundwater and a multipurpose air-water heat pump exploiting heat in the air. Using groundwater for air-conditioning the premises by means of high-performance heat pumps is optimised by a supply of water for fire-extinguishing purposes. The groundwater also supplies the irrigation system for the extensive area of greenery.
The greenery blends indissolubly into the architectural object to become part of the building material itself, contributing to its insulation and the quality of life of its users.
The structure, which is sculpted at the base by the large sloping stanchions of the ventilated curtain facades, opens up at the top floor into an airier and more brightly-lit section composed of a column set on the prefabricated construction below but structurally freestanding.


This free and totally-glazed floor accommodates the open space offices, where all the structural features are set around triangular patios and the irregular perimeter of the building.
The roof, which, in turn, is rotated in the direction of sunlight compared to the ground floor’s fixed position, has major overhangs acting as sunscreens and featured by the triangular perforations of the patios, which provide comfortable natural lighting throughout the entire operating level.
Natural lighting for the office floors is guaranteed by positioning the facades appropriately and the carefully-gauged use of overhangs in relation to almost fully-glazed walls.

Space Planning and Interior Design.
DEGW worked with Giuseppe Tortato on certain design features: the space planning of the offices, concept for the corporate canteen, the reception desk and general mood of the colour scheme and materials.
The Space Planning for the offices area was aimed at making the most of all the surface areas and different depths of each floor, setting out the enclosed and open space workstations around the perimeter, which, in turn, is focused around an elaborate central support hub: a diffused Hub consisting of a photocopying area, break area, lockers, niche informal areas and meeting rooms, which wind around a long and sinuous customised bench designed for touchdown stations and create a mixed-use environment where formal work comes together with more spontaneous and informal operations.


The Interior Design was focused on new finishes, the concept for the canteen, the reception desk and the general mood of the colour schemes and materials, based on a palette of two main colour: fluid watery blue and cool technological shades, enhanced by qualities like transparency, care, reliability and comfort coming from the materials used.
Special features were studied for the executive offices, the reception, and the ground-floor canteen area (featuring a combination of a “set” of niche chairs and more conventional tables) and an area accommodating meeting rooms, open-space stations and informal areas to provide multiple potential uses between productivity and leisure, work and rest.

Photo by Dario Tettamanzi and Daniele Domenicali.



Let’s trust the Agile Working!

“What’s the meaning of the agile working? Trust. An extreme trust in people and in their ability of self-controlling their way of working and, at the same time, a way of living, a simple path full of benefits. But why is still so difficult to carry it out?” With this question the Milan Council Member Chiara Bisconti opened the first round table “Agility and Wellness” of the WOW! Island Agile Working’s week at Cozzi swimmingpool of Milan, the last 23rd March.

“Smartworking and agile working are based on the self-determination of the space and of the time, overcoming finally a tayloristic concept of work. It’s a new way of working that measure the quality of a job on goals and results, giving to everyone a lot of benefits. In particular it raises the wellness of the employers, allowing them to regain hours of life that can be dedicated to self-care, family, hobbies or social activities. We as women, in particular, are really satisfied when we can ‘put all the things togheter’”, Chiara Bisconti said, “Maybe the cultural change can be encouraged also by the ‘extreme moment’ we are living: when buildings are well conceived, they are already predisposed to answer to different needs”.

In fact as also Luca Ghezzi, Milanosport managing director of external relations and comunication, declared “The view of the water down there and, in the meantime, of a lot of people up here talking about agile working is really something amazing. In nowadays families where both parents work, agile working is necessary”.
So what are the obstacles?
The answer was given by Antonio Borgese of Great Place to Work Italia: “Realizing the agile working in a company is not a logistical or technological problem, but it’s only a matter of trust. On one side the manager has to trust the fact that his collaborator will do his job with the same effort without being strictly controlled, and on the other side the collaborator has to believe that his best working performances and his carrier are not linked to the time he is spending in the office. A way of working based on goals is a process of cultural growth. As a survey made bu the company TNT has shown, people working from home dedicate 5 hours more to the company, and this is not accidental: agile working is especially the expression of the attention and the care a company has to their employers, and that makes workers put more effort for the company’s goal”.
Alberto Cannistrà, member of IFMA Italia and Siemens Real Estate manager, has then pointed another cultural obstacle out: “Why don’t people choose the agile working? Beacuse of the common fear of losing the clear separation between our private life and our working time. We fear we would be on duty 24 hours a day”. But this problems can be easily solved as the Siemens experience shows.
“Our work-life balance is crucial to our lives in the new ways of working”, Fiorella Crespi, supervisor of the Politecnico of Milan’s Smart Working Observatory, confirms, showing some really encouraging datas about the agile working in Italy.
The 8% of the italian companies has choosen this way of working. This made them increase their productivity up to 40%, and their workers are now able to do the same amount of work in less time”.
In a dedicated article Francesco Zurlo and Marco Predari speeches will be summed up as an answer to the question: how is design responding to this progressive change of mentaly towards the agile working?
Text by Gabriele Masi.



The workplace by RAAAF announces The End of Sitting.

The End of Sitting is an installation at the crossroads of visual art, architecture, philosophy and empirical science, carried out in Amsterdam by RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] and visual artist Barbara Visser in collaboration with Looiersgracht 60 (Soraya Notoadikusumo and Nadine Snijders), a new space for contemporary art, design and architecture.

The starting concept is that in our society almost the entirety of our surroundings have been designed for sitting, while medical researches suggest that too much sitting has adverse health effects. Especially in workplaces.
The designers have developed a concept wherein the chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points.
Instead, this surreal and futuristic installation solicits visitors to explore different standing positions in an experimental work landscape.
The End of Sitting is a spatial follow-up of “Sitting Kills” the recently released mute animation by RAAAF and Barbara Visser, developed for the Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands. It marks the beginning of an experimental trial phase, exploring a new ergonomics, the possibilities of radical change for the working environment and to invent innovative and unknown “ideal” postures.

Client: RAAAF i.c.w. Looiersgracht 60
Installation: Ronald Rietveld, Erik Rietveld, Arna Mackic
RAAAF studio support: Clemens Karlhuber, Bastiaan Bervoets, Elke van Waalwijk van Doorn, David Habets, Mees van Rijckevorsel, Marius Gottlieb, Janno Martens
Production: Landstra & de Vries supported by Schaart Adventures
Team production: Bouwko Landstra, Alko de Vries, Basile Mareé, Boris de Beijer, Chris Bakker, Dino Ruisen, Ellik Bargai, Frits Ham, Hans Jansen, Jasper van Heyningen, Jolanda Lanslots, Kier Spronk, Koen van Oort, Koos Schaart, Lika Kortmann, Lucas van Santvoort, Luuc Sonke, Mark Jooren, Patrick Mulder, Syb Sybesma, Tim Mathijsen, Tomm Velthuis
Made with support by: Mondriaan Fund, Stichting DOEN, The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK), Looiersgracht 60, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Status: completion 2014
Photography: Jan Kempenaers (color), Frederica Rijkenberg (black&white)
Client vision Sitting Kills: Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands
Vison Sitting Kills + The End of Sitting: RAAAF | Barbara Visser
Animation: Olivier Campagne, ArtefactoryLab


USM: Office Affairs.

How to design the future workplaces to reflect global trends? The effective USM’s answer is Office Affairs, a project developed in collaboration with Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. On the occasion of Orgatec, USM implements a real Connectec Office at Dock.One in Cologne: part of the USM team will be able to work live on-site there and some showrooms will be networked through various different channels.

The project is focused on some mega-trends like: sustainable resource-efficient economies, meeting the needs of multiple generations and digital living. However, the answer is not just theoretical: USM management and employees have decided to shift part of their administration to Cologne, occupying over 1000 sqm of exhibiting space at Dock.One to show a living future-oriented workplace.
The responsible use of resources requires some rethinking as well as the new technologies, for this reason the site will be supplied with power via an off-grid solution by MultiCon Solar AG; visitors will also use a shuttle service to and from Orgatec with the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.
The topic of Multi-Generational Office will be sponsored by the Deutsche Post’s All-You-Need Service and by fitness coach Jan Wiedenbach.
The USM’s Connected Office makes Smart Working possible showing different branches and their employees networked with one another by  technologies without setting up in-person meetings. However, video conferencing, home offices and hotel-based workplaces create demands for new furniture and technologically intelligent solutions that can easily be adapted to individual needs.
In addition to the evergreen USM Haller modular system, the Swiss company will launch newly developed products the first mechanically height-adjustable desk without a gas pressure spring, Kitos M and USM Privacy Panel.
Title event: Office Affairs
The New Yorker | DOCK.ONE Hafenstraße 1, 51063 Colonia
When: October 20th to 22nd (8 am to 9 pm)




UniCredit’s real estate reorganization: smart working, sustainability, wellbeing.

Smart working, wellness of employers and improving of customer relations are the keyworks of the UniCredit real estate reorganization. Nearly a year after the move in the new UniCredit Tower, the Group opens new working and “leisure” spaces and presents two important initiatives: Piani Città project and the consolidation of the new Branch Model in 25 European cities.

In line with the Strategic Plan, the Piani Città (Town Blueprints) project – a vast reorganization of the Headquarters in 25 European cities – continues, and the new Branch Model is being consolidated at international level: an innovative format based on a redesign of spaces, making them more modern and functional, with a more direct contact with the customers, interactive technologies and cutting edge service model.
The two projects foresee a structured saving of €400 million within 2018 (€200 million as of today) and asset divestiture for €5 billion, of which €3,4 billion has already been achieved.
“Thanks to the new Branch Model, over 1.500 are under redesign to increase the possibility to attract clients, to improve the service with last generation devices and more modern, flexible and accessible spaces”, states Federico Ghizzoni, CEO of UniCredit “and within the Piani Città project we will vacate over 700.000 square metres by 2018. Having completed the UniCredit Tower project, we will concentrate the various business districts of Munich and Vienna into new multifunctional areas over the next three years”.

The “Piani Città” project, launched in 2010, include the main European locations of the Group and is a great challenge to implement a sustainable rationalization, based on four main criteria:
consolidation with the release of 150 buildings;
decentralization: over 80% of the remaining locations are in the major areas of the city;
more efficient usage of space: average target of 10/12 square metres per person;
environmental impact: a reduction of approx. 50.000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
One of the key aspects to be introduced within the changes is Smart Working, workspace environments  based on a layout organized according to different activities and needs (for example, concentration, communication, team work) and supported by IT solutions designed for working mobility.
With Smart Mobility, in experimental phase in Milan, it is possible, to work from home, once a week, or from one of the four main hubs located in the urban city districts, “third spaces” made available by the Group.
The Smart Working project started as a pilot three years ago, involving approximately 1.000 people in Italy and Germany, and will be extended to approximately 20.000 international colleagues within the next three years.

“Smart Working – says Paolo Fiorentino, UniCredit Deputy General Manager, allows colleagues to experience more flexible workspaces, making collaboration easier and promoting a greater autonomy in managing activities, based even more on trust and focused on results. We greatly believe in this model which we aim to offer in 2015 to 4.000 colleagues working in UniCredit Tower, the Groups’ Headquarters”.

The new spaces of UniCredit Tower.
The multidisciplinary nature of the environments is the predominant characteristic of the different spaces, designed to create welcoming environments and adaptable to different business needs.
Meeting rooms and open areas that are equipped with reconfigurable furniture, peninsulas and couches allow for individual work and group work. Three terraces overlooking Piazza Gae were created for outdoor informal meetings or relaxing. Some examples of common areas in the UniCredit Tower are: the Tree House, The Garden, the Gymnasium and the new spaces worksetting Smart Working.

1,2 The Tree House, multifunctional spaces used for individual work, group meetings and informal interiors are located on floors 2 nd / 3 rd of Towers A and B.
3,4, The 16th floor of Tower B is hosting the first  Smart Working space that allows to choose between different environments according to different business needs.
5, “Touch down” workstations.
6, “The hive” meeting room.
7, A “corporate”vegetable garden in one of the  the terraces of the tower A.
8, The Garden Restaurant & Café reserved for UniCredit Tower’s employees.

08_Milano Moderna_Un laboratorio urbano-padiglione-italia- biennale-zucchi-wow-webmagazine

Biennale Architecture: Italian Pavillion by Cino Zucchi.

Innesti/Grafting is the title, but most importantly it is the interpretation that Cino Zucchi – nominated by the Ministry curator of the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2014 – has chosen in order to develop the direction suggested by Rem Koolhaas to the national pavilions, “Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014”.

“If last century’s functionalism sought out a blank canvas, contemporary thought pursues new aims and values through a metamorphosis of existing structures. It would appear that this is the original contribution of our country’s design culture over the last century: an ‘anomalous modernity’, marked by the ability to innovate and at the same time to interpret previous conditions. Not simply adaptations of form of the new compared to the existing in retrospect, but rather ‘graftings’ capable of acting efficiently and sensitively in stratified urban contexts” explais Cino Zucchi. .
Innesti/Grafting is thus an account of our best architecture from a fresh point of view. Historical, recent and contemporary works are chosen with the eyes of a botanist rather than that of a historian, and reread according to original methods, to reveal their capacity to indissolubly combine interpretation and innovation, existing material and future form.
The Pavilion’s fundamental proposition, grafting as a leitmotiv of Italian architecture through the centuries, is represented both through the reading of the projects exhibited as well as through the actual structure of the exhibition route and its installation, to create a unique large portrait of the strong visual and formal impact, where each element portrays the thesis according to its own methods.
In the Italian Pavilion exhibit, there is not an idea of linear evolution, but rather a look at individual design episodes or events connected over time by unexpected relations. If modernization has involved the entire peninsula over the last century, the case of Milan has been used as an example of “laboratory of the modern”, whose architectonic and city planning affairs of the last 100 years – but also several key moments in its past history – demonstrate the particular means employed by projects with a large transformative role compared to the preexisting urban structure. But Milan is also the place that is hosting Expo 2015, an example of great territorial transformation over recent years which will be observed in its various content and present and future developments.
The exhibit continues with a series of architecture collages, with a suggestive representation of a large contemporary landscape made up of images of recent projects where architects from various generations are challenged with difficult settings. A series of “postcards” autographed by non-Italian architects will give a concise interpretation of the particular Italian condition as seen by various corners of the world.
The section Inhabitated Landscapes presents a collaborative video installation curated by Studio Azzurro, a choral work that collects a selection of videos, made by videomakers and ordinary people, that can interpret places of collective life in Italy.
Opening and closing the exhibit are two marks, two physical “grafts” in the context of the Arsenale designed by the same Cino Zucchi: the large arched portal of the entrance next to Gaggiandre and a large bench-sculpture that winds through the trees in the Giardino delle Vergini (both produced by De Castelli).