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999 questions on contemporary living.

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

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

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

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

Edison is the main partner.

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

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

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wellness at work: Italy is increasingly sit-stand!

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

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

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Furnishing as well is adapting to this trend.

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

 

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

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#addmorecolour: a range of 302!

“Colors are food for thought!” says Christina Wiklund, and Kinnarps Color Studio is the tool for easy access to a wide range of colors and sustainable, creative and cool materials: over 300 colors and sustainable materials to create environments with different color personalities.

The intuition that colors influence our perception, our behavior and wellbeing is rooted in the culture of Kinnarps, this is why every three years the company updates the colors and finishes of its collection to anticipate trends and fashion. The 2017 update for the first time was created in teams involving 15 architecture and interior design studios (Tengbom, Wingårdhs, Krok & Tjäder, Semrén & Månsson, Spectrum, Note and White offices together with the designers Howl Designstudio, Idesign, Propeller e Brodbeck Design and the interior designer and blogger Hildur Blad) and has led to the insertion of 9 new fabrics into the already rich portfolio.

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“Our inspiring Kinnarps Colour Studio range gives you everything you could wish for in the way of creative and attractive materials (fabric, leather, laminate, veneer, metal, acrylics, plastic and glass). This sustainable collection with a wide choice of colours and patterns combines classic elegance with the latest trends. Everything you need to find the look that suits your environment”, explains Christina Wiklund, CMF Manager-Colour Material Finish in Kinnarps.
240 soft material variants, 54 hard material variants, 8 accent colors: over 300 finishes are available to “dress” the products by Kinnarps.

 

The website page “tools and resources” makes available to architects and designers this color universe and is also possible to download the dwg of all Kinnarps products.
The starting point is the insight that colours affect our behaviour and our feelings, along with the requirement for the sustainability, quality and safety of the materials. The Kinnarps collection is updated every three years, and it was time to do this again for 2017.
The colours make a major impact on how we experience interior design. Now, as many are daring to leave white behind, it is, of course, even more important to have both a planned strategy and an updated range in order to be able to design with colour. This new way of collaborating with architects and designers strengthens Kinnarps’ position even more. Our meetings have been both creative and fun and everyone really gave some of themselves.” said Hildur Blad, Interior designer, colour expert and blogger.

 

“It’s always the totality that determines which fabrics we decide to launch in Kinnarps Colour Studio. They should of course have the right colours and patterns, but also fulfil our requirements for sustainability, quality and safety. I always say that we should think of things our customers perhaps don’t always think of, so that they can feel sure that our textiles are always a safe choice – in terms of both aesthetics, function , environment and social responsibility.” explains Christina Calisir, Technical Manager Cover Materials, Kinnarps.

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Nine new trendy and sustainable fabrics.

Among 200 different seat cover textiles, the designers involved in the workshop selected the 9 new fabrics:
Step Melange, multicolored for a modern retro;
Rustico, durable, washable and multicolored;
Fenice, produced with recycled wool and eco-sustainable production processes;
Liv, reminiscent classic linen, but very functional washable fabric in Trevira CS;
Capture, vintage classic washable and fire resistant;
Fox, a very fashionable pattern inspired by art deco;
Bardal, antistatic and fire resistant wool in sober colors;
Synergy, wool in many colors for an ecological design;
Steelcut Trio, natural wool, a clear favorite of the architects.

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Ultra matt and metallic shades for durable surfaces.

The sustainable approach of Akzo Nobel includes components and to give long service life. The new collections Interpon Anodic III and D2015 Précis provide high aesthetics, super durability and “green” impact.

Collection Interpon Anodic III: anodization.

Interpon Collection Anodic III features 6 new products developed to meet the latest trends in anodization: Soft Silver, Soft Champagne, Gold Splendour, Steel Blue Platinum, Steel Bronze and Steel Bronze 2, all available from Stock.
Supplied in Interpon D2525 super-durable polyester technology to give long service life. These attractive matt and metallic effect finishes provide a great alternative to anodized aluminum with an extended warrantee up to 25 years.
Collection Anodic meets the demanding weathering requirements of the leading industry specifications: Qualicoat class 2, AAMA 2604, GSB Master, BS EN 12206.

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Collection Interpon D2015 Précis: ultra matt.

Interpon D2015 Précis super durable ultra matt powder coating opening up new possibilities in aesthetics and the interaction of light with surfaces.
Ultra matt surfaces are a designer’s dream that become reality with Interpon D2015 Précis. Using a high innovative technology, this hard wearing powder coating has gloss levels of only 10-15 (a typical matt is 25), delivering an attractive flat matt finish.
The super-durable backbone of Interpon D coatings, with a proven track record spanning over 30 years, ensures long term resistance against hard weather conditions.
This new technology is available in a range of stylish metallic shades to enhance objects and achieve a look never before seen in a powder coating.
Interpon Précis enhances objects and achieves a look never seen before in a powder coating. Interpon D2015 Précis is non-reflective, aesthetically pleasing, with a selection of metallic colors, is the perfect ultra matt finish.
Designed to meet the demands of Qualicoat Class 2, AAMA 2604, GSB Master approvals where required, BS EN12206 “enhanced durability”, and Interpon D2015 Précis will maintain its appearance long-term, having been developed to survive 5 years in South Florida without major change in color  or gloss level.

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Upper photo: Les Rives de L’Orne by Valode & Pistre Architects.

 

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From Smart Working to Smart Living.

BTicino, a brand of Legrand Group, commissioned a survey to Ipsos and Osservatorio Internet of Things of Politecnico di Milano. The study investigates the Italians’ perception about IoT devices at home: safety, energy efficiency and comfort are their main requirements.

AfterSmart Working is successfully growing in the workplace and technologies have become more and more user friendly, the desire for “smart” objects grows at home, too: from Smart Working to Smart Living.
The study shows that 76% of interviewees know the meaning of Smart Home and 66% has at least a connected device at home, and it is interesting to note that 39% intends to buy another one in the next 12 months. System reliability and easy installation underlie the processes of purchase, while safety and energy efficiency and comfort are the needs the connected devices can meet specifically.
33,6% considers as absolute priority the control of what is happening in the house, especially when nobody is at home, also through the use of smartphones. But with an aging population, smart home technologies are even a system that can help “frail” people according to 15% of interviewees.
The connected thermostat is a decisive factor of the Smart Home: 44% of interviewees is interested in a connected thermostat to adjust the temperature remotely. Energy saving and lower consumption are the main levers.

BTicino/Legrand respond to the desire for a Smart Home with a new product of the ElioT program:

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Smarther, a user-friendly Wi-Fi connected thermostat. 

The future of IoT is already here with the prototypes Entrée and O-tune:

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new archetypes of products meant to enhance the users’ experience.

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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.

Acoustic cocoons and meadows (Ares Line/Fonology, hall 24 stand D15/E12).

Acoustics, ergonomics and proxemics, offer suggestions for new design approaches presented by Ares Line and Fonology at Salone del Mobile inside the Contract Design Network shared stand (hall 24, stand D15 / E12) designed as a “parliament” to display the different brands, by the claim “Space to your time”.

Base, Ares Line, by Frigerio Design.

A modular sound proofing screens system to create protected individual or relational spaces; places to meet up, focus, relax or participate; affording privacy when necessary, or room for interaction and sharing as needed.
It can be used as a simple sound screen, as a seat or a meeting space, since it is versatile by vocation.

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Prà, Fonology, design by Sandro Rai.

Prà is inspired by the iconic Pratone by Gufram (design Ceretti / Derossi / Rosso 1971) and offers new acoustic performances.
The blades of grass, covered with soundproofing fabric, have a metal structure that makes them flexible and allows twists 360 °.The base is designed to be a closed container or a library.

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The recipe of quality in the office: Cameo’s Campus.

“Quality is the best recipe”:  Cameo’s Campus, by Ackermann+Raff , is inspired by company’s payoff. The project is based on energetic sustainability (LEED certification) and a people-centered organization of the space, focused on the wellbeing and on a continuous interaction.

The working environment of Cameo’s Campus in Desenzano del Garda (Brescia, Italy) reflects the company’s view and products throughout all the space. The 200 fixed workstations, 30 team working environments, the project areas and the 10 phone boots, are organized over three floors inspired by the most famous products of the company: the “Pizza walls” at first floor contains the business, marketing and management’s offices; the second floor, with sales services and logistics points, recalls Cameo’s cake; while the third floor – Dessert – hosts the HR service and the general management.

The core of the project is represented by the ground floor, open to visitors, where all the common areas are placed, with the restaurant, cafeteria, auditorium, and three meeting rooms also dedicated to three other main products of the company.
The sustainable and people-centered campus is designed with the “essential features to ensure our future growth” as Alberto de Stasio and Peter Irle, Cameo’s general managers, say.
The sustainable architecture, based on photovoltaic and geothermal energy and an efficient lighting and air-conditioning system controlled by a Building Management System, was rewarded with the LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

The people-centered concept is based on the green areas, such as the garden at the first floor, the informal social hubs, the meeting point to relax, as well as the wellness balls used as comfortable seats in order to improve the posture during the working hours.
The replacement of landlines with Voice Over IP, an internal integrated communication system, and a free WiFi all over the campus also contribute to an overall mobility and interaction.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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A color code for a vivid headquarters.

The concept design by GaS Studio for this new headquarter in Rome is inspired by smart working approach to optimize the space and it is marked out by a “color code” to identify various functions, to underline the unusual shape of the floor plan and encourage team work, creativity and energy.

The principal objective of the project was to regroup separate departments in diverse locations into a single complex thereby facilitating communication, efficiency and cost control as well as creating an opportunity for the renewal of new workplace standards towards smart office concepts.
The project consisted of roughly 6500m2 distributed over 6 floors (reception, various meeting typologies, closed offices, multi purpose work areas, employee break areas and some specialty labs).
This specific project represents this company’s first forays into the concepts of the smart office and integrated some of it’s predominant features such as unassigned task oriented spaces, remote reservation of conference spaces, BMS control of many technological functions, phone booths and some collective services.
The base building presented the unusual characteristic of being split into two distinct zones on every floor: one relatively shallow and the other unusually deep for Italian standards. This, in turn, lead to a design solution that took advantage of this characteristic.
In fact, service and traditional closed offices are organized in the narrower half of the floor plate while more flexible and multi-use spaces occupy the deeper half. This was purposely proposed in order to encourage movement and communication amongst a larger segment of the companies employees.


The shallower side of the corridor was treated with silk-screened black and white graphics
to control somewhat privacy and the spaces on the opposite side of the corridor were treated with brightly colored blinds of various shades. The result is a very vivid and ever changing prism of colors that create combinations as one looks thru multiple spaces and perceives the colors in transparency and depth.
Brightly colored vertical blinds
make meeting areas particularly recognizable and appealing, but also help identify various functions within each floor following a simple color code.
On the other hand, the more traditional side of the office space is characterized neutral colored soft furniture reflecting the more sedentary functions within. This approach produced a very vibrant yet serene working environment, constantly changing as users close or open the vertical shades and allow the client to modify almost unconsciously his spaces by simply using them.


The pervasive use of color is not derived from the corporate identity. Colors “energize” the deeper half of the floor plate which, by it’s nature is better adapted to collective activities such as team working.
This unusual feature of the building was used to zone each floor into a service half, treated in tones of grey and used for closed office spaces, copy areas and other sedentary functions; whereas the deeper half of the floor was organized to provide more collective or task oriented functions and to accomodate much more flexibility. Color is used to stimulate and encourage team work, creativity and energy.
An interesting feature of this approach is that the horizontal blinds are never in the same position and given the depth of the space, create a multilayered effect where colors combine and result in a space constantly in flux.
In order to balance this play of colors, neutral floor finishes were selected consisting of vinyl flooring in circulation areas for ease of maintenance and grey carpet in closed spaces in order to control acoustics.
Photo by Beppe Raso

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The best installations at Orgatec 2016.

The subject proposed by Orgatec “Creativity works” was carefully rendered in the design of the exhibition areas. The 2016 favourite material is natural wood and the lively colours play the lead. On the whole, we were favourably impressed, some stands were thrilling… and some disappointing. 

The competition between top-level fitting-out designs is high, yet finding the WOW! effect, captivating and enhancing the likewise top-quality products isn’t easy.

Creativity Works
At the boulevard close to the north entrance, The students by HSD Hochschule of Dusseldorf explained their vision. A not commercial yet most interesting design that shows a fresh and unconventional view combining different workplaces marked by a strong identity, however lacking the right communication, which makes the concepts hard to understand.

Kokuyo

Kokuyo’s is definitely the most exciting one. The space designed by Nendo is a bright, total white background sets off the pure geometric shapes and through their non saturated colours the objects seem to be floating in a space that wipes out the three dimensions to create a dream-like and festive atmosphere.

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Interface

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Well-done! The designers of Interface stand succeeded in finding an original way to present a hard-to-display product as carpets, based on a concept of sustainable development. The new collection exhibited on 180 sqm -with organic structure and texture inspired by nature- clearly express the biophilic design and the Interface’s philosophy.
The “entrance portal” brings up the subject of nature as a source of wellbeing; the most original setting is a residential one, fitted with retro units, that shows the new World Woven collection, designed by David Oakey, drawing inspiration from traditional weaves like tweed, mélange, loose –textured weave, but even pied-de-poule and tartan, that quote the optimistic prints of the 50s.

Sedus

Inside a1200 sqm space under the claim “Create space with personality, Sedus stakes on the holistic view of wellbeing. Inspired by nature, the stand concept was developed by Evolution Design in Zürich. They has worked with a range of cell structures, developing a spatial concept which creates a harmonic pattern linking the design of the furniture, the different zones and the gangways. The cell-like organic structure of the booth design generates openness while at the same time creating a framework for the various application areas of “conference and training”, “informal working and relaxation”, “workplace and concentration” and finally “meeting and collaboration”. A semi-transparent veil envelopes the stand like a membrane and stimulates curiosity. The really thronged stand could be admired from the bar area on the upper floor.

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Pedrali
An dreamlike and surreal setting at Pedrali’s, designed by Calvi Brambilla, elegant and charming, although the idea of three-dimensional pictures showing different environments recalls what Vitra has proposed some years ago.

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Sinetica

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“The evolution of space” – according to the architect and designer Paolo Mantero, who designed Sinetica’s stand and is new art director for the Italian company – creates a series of environments in which home and work life, private and collective life, develop seamlessly.

Vitra

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We expected more from Vitra after the announcement of a stand named “Work” taking up the whole 5.2 pavilion.  The “Collage Office” was expected to give ideas for the complex workplace scenario but has been a bit of disappointment. The urban scheme is predictable and the new, beautiful products displayed in several “collages” on the right or on high, plain platforms are not set off..
the design of the space involved two international architectural offices: –Pernilla Ohrstedt based in London and Jonathan Olivares based in Los Angeles– maybe it is a new trend in exhibiting design that we cannot understand.
Vitra was always a pioneer, it might be a new displaying style. Hopefully there will be not too many emulators…

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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. 

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Casa Alitalia concept: Italian feeling, hospitality and culture.

The new concept Casa Alitalia for the flagship lounges was designed by Marco Piva and reflects Italian culture, territory and daily way of life; spaces where passengers and nomadic workers can work, meet, relax and above all can feel the atmosphere of a typical Italian home and enjoy an exclusive live cooking service.

The concept named “Casa Alitalia” was conceived by Alitalia staff and designed by the well known Italian architect Marco Piva to be more like an Italian home than a public space.
The interior design have been designed to be as similar as possible to those of a beautiful Italian house: the reception hall, relaxation and conversation areas, cooking and dining areas. The materials used -marble, lighting and backdrops- are a journey in Italian culture.
The entrance door is inspired by the main door of an Italian palazzo, too.
And the kitchen is the real “core” of an Italian home … for this reason allso the catering service reflects Italian culinary excellence and includes a live cooking area where,a chef prepares a selection of pasta dishes and pizzas twice a day.

Casa Italia’s services also include VIP rooms and rooms for private meetings, a library, a prayer area, bathrooms with showers and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Casa Alitalia is located at Rome Fiumicino (800 square metres) and Milan Malpensa airport (500 square metres).
It was realized thanks to partnerships with some of the leading Italian brands: Poltrona Frau, Cantine Ferrari, Lavazza, Terme di Sirmione.

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Designing for the common good: Italian Pavilion at Biennale.

“Taking Care. Designing for the common good” is the title of the Italian Pavilion at Biennale di Venezia, designed by TAM associati that answer to the call by Aravena “Reporting from the Front” with a concept of community-based architecture, which isn’t just a project meant to foster public spirit, but it’s carried out in actual fact together with 5 associations involved in social work.

Definitely a low cost fitting out, that keeps the promise of sustainability – an imperative at the 15th Venice Biennale – carried out in raw wood recycled from the Irlanda pavilion at Expo 2015 Milan.
“Taking Care -say the curators TAM associati (Massimo Lepore, Raul Pantaleo, Simone Sfriso)– is an action that arises in the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2016 and then takes root and spreads outside it to generate a new civic awareness”.
It is a highly social vision of architecture, but also the root of its being.
The theme is divided into three sections, ‘Thinking’, ‘Meeting’ and ‘Acting’, resting on three specific issues involving the common good. It urges visitors to recognize it, when it is found around them, the institutions to promote it, even with limited resources, and designers to embody it in architecture.

The third area “Acting” is the most interesting.
It’s about time architecture gets off its high horse in order to meet places and people.
Also in this case, as in many other projects presented at the Biennale, nomadism, non stagnation and impermanency of architecture seem to be the possible answer to a territory and a humanity constantly evolving and in a state of flux.
The models of five modules suitable for vehicles by five studies of architecture are on show: five “architectural trailer trucks”.
The 5 devices will be:

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Culture Box:
AIB Italian Library Association with ALTERSTUDIO PARTNERS
Space for reading and an access point to information and book loans, to promote socialization among adults and children.

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Green Box:
LEGAMBIENTE non-profit organization with ARCò – SOCIETÀ COOPERATIVA Structure for monitoring the environment and raising environmental awareness.

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Health Box:
EMERGENCY non-profit organization with MATILDE CASSANI Mobile clinic for health care and cultural mediation.

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Legality Box:
LIBERA. Associations, names and numbers against the mafias with ANTONIO SCARPONI / CONCEPTUAL DEVICES. Center in the heart of a property confiscated from the mafia: a place open to the public, devised to involve migrants, schools and young people, a space for thinking and acting.

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Sport Box:
UISP – Italian Union Sport for All with NOWA (Navarra Office Walking Architecture). Permanent center for education in civil coexistence, respect and active citizenship through play, sport and movement.

With private sponsors and a civic crowdfunding campaign (Taking Care – outer cities in action, the first in Italy dedicated to the outer suburbs: www.periferieinazione.it), the devices will be built and tak

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Spotify: when the music shapes the space.

Energy and creativity: these are the key concepts of the Spotify’s offices in Milan, designed by Adolfsson&Partner. Two ideas connecting design and music, as a source of inspiration, freedom, collaboration and wellbeing. A colourful working environment where everyone can freely express himself.

660 workstations, 75 meeting rooms over 5 floors and more than 8 thousands sqm, designed to satisfy the modern equation of the working environment design: happiness = more productivity. Spotify, the famous swedish commercial music streaming service, has put into in all its offices around Europe, including Milan, its mission and corporate philosophy through the space, making its employees experience it everyday.

The color is the main peculiarity that first strikes you entering the space, especially in the furniture and on the walls, where graffitis are a leitmotif that characterise most of the rooms. Other features makes the Spotify’s offices an example of the new ways of working concepts: the attention paid for the the break and in between areas, the informality of the space, the kitchen and all the space allowing to cook and eat directly in the office, the use of design elements as working tools, as the 700 meters wall paper that can be utilised by everyone as a blackboard.
An office inspired by the music, core business of Spotify, where music beats the time of the working day, emphasise the home feeling sensation and team working. “In our office we listen to collaborative playlist to be motivated”, Angela Watts, Spotify’s VP of Global Communication, says. “Everyone can contribute with his own taste and no one feels left apart”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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11Rooms,11 Novels, 11 Living Concepts. #21Triennale

Within the 21 Triennale in Milan, the theme of Interior Design has been broached by FederlegnoArredo -one of the first supporters of the event- with Rooms. Novel Living Concepts.”, a big exhibition intended to set off this branch of design and the small scale gems of cultivated architectures produced in the 21st century. Now 11 designers are facing the 21st century interior design under the clever direction of Beppe Finessi.

A collection of historical pictures shows some well-known masterpieces of interiors carried out by the great 20th-century Masters and we can enter the contemporary thanks to the full scale reconstructions of the “Rooms” designed for this exhibition by 11 designers (Andrea Anastasio, Manolo De Giorgi, Duilio Forte, Marta Laudani e Marco Romanelli, Lazzarini Pickering Architetti, Fran- cesco Librizzi, Alessandro Mendini, Fabio Novembre, Carlo Ratti Associati, Umberto Riva, Elisabetta Terragni), each of them expressing their own “living philosophy” by linking – sometimes a bit faintly – their design to philosophical or literary texts identified by the philosopher Francesco M. Cataluccio.
The design of one’s own Room involves emotions and feelings, the search for archetype shapes, metaphors and symbols in one’s personal experience and memory.
11 living cubicles in search of the “primary room” as identified by Joseph Rykwert in his book “On Adam’s House in Paradise”. Rooms meant as “Rooms of the Heart” as Dante puts it.

Captions (from left):

La petite chambre by Umberto Riva
Resonances by Andrea Anastasio
Lift-Bit by Carlo Ratti Associati
Ursus by Duilio Forte

The Absence of Presence by Marta Laudani and Marco Romanelli
La vie en rose by Claudio Lazzarini & Carl Pickering
My Prisons by Alessandro Mendini
Intro by Fabio Novembre

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Balancing privacy and open space: Casio Offices (D2U).

Privacy is one of the main concerns of an open space working environment. That’s why D2U – project manager arch. Corrado Caruso– has included an informal office in the redevelopment of the Casio Italia’s headquarters in Milan: an in-between area equipped with special furniture for private calls or network surfing or for arranging comfortable informal meetings, protected by soundproof elements.

The redevelopment of the Casio offices in Milan had to deal with the reception desk on the ground floor and a narrow and long space (8 x 90m) with a single exposure. Re-arranging the layout, Design to Users (2DU) moved the work areas in an open space located on the southern façade in order to get maximum natural light, keeping three separate closed offices for the management, and building a dedicated space for the privacy need of the workers: the informal office.
This is a non working area where employees can go for private calls or network surfing by standing in touchdown areas or sitting on wooden stools, or  organising informal meetings with colleagues or customers, by sitting in comfortable sofas protected by acoustic panels.

The brand identity of the space is given by the use of the corporate colour Casio electric blue, that create a pattern throughout all the environments over the “tone on tone” grey and white combinations of the structures and walls, the beige PVC floor and the dove-grey work surfaces of the working furniture.
Smart features of the project are a flexible and reconfigurable space, the use of natural, recyclable and sustainable fit-out components and materials and the break area/kitchenette conceived as a central area for staff relationships.
A careful acoustic control of the environment is given by the sound absorbing panels Snowsound Caimi Brevetti’s Snowsound (Mitesco, designed by Michele De Lucchi), storage elements located between the individual work areas, along with the Gyptone acoustic ceilings.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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A mediterranean workplace: the Mosaicoon’s offices by Lago .

A new Lago at Work’s project is born in the Mosaicoon’s headquarters: a sea view open space with a citrus grove, image of the mediterranean culture. The interior design by Squar-e Architettura, Francesco Brigulia and Giuseppe Di Prima, with Francesco Librizzi Studio, in collaboration with Lago, focused on the concepts of relationship and individual and collective well-being in the workplace.

Empathy is the foundation of every kind of innovation. It was from this idea that Daniele Lago, Lago’s Managing Director and Head of Design, with Ugo Parodi Giusino, CEO Mosaicoon (Tech Company leader in the web video production and distribution) join together in the project of a space capable to express the “mediterranean” workstyle.
“…We have to use our great cultural and genetical heritage to define our own identity, based on conviviality and wellness, that will become really appealing for the rest of the world”, Daniele Lago says.
The Mosaicoon’s headquarters in Isola delle Femmine (Palermo, Italy), is located on a triangular space between the land and the sea, 2.000 sqm over 3 floors.

In order to answer to the need of a flexible space in the operative areas, a movable version of the “Et Voilà” walls has been placed, allowing to connect and separate different spaces in different ways. In addition, comfortable couches, swings and table footballs give a playful touch to the environment, while a Community Table Air gives is the ideal place where to share ideas and projects.
Lago has also made the furniture of the common area in the basement: the cafeteria provided with a 36e8 kitchen and a 12m Community Table; the conference room with a 6m Air bookcase and a break area with Slide couches, that can be arranged in different compositions.
The home feeling sensation, that dominate the whole project, is emphasise in the executive offices at the first floor: a kind of apartment-office with divided in an operative and relax area with a big domestic Air couch.
Testo di Gabriele Masi.

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Beautiful Thinking: green design inspired by nature.

The connection between nature and people is in Interface’s DNA, it is litterally and figuratively woven into every square and plank of carpet the company produces.
Sustainability, the core every product and manufacturing processes of the company, is also enhanced by the Biophilic design and the Beautiful Thinking in the new products.

Art, design and architecture inspired by Nature have been around as long as we have. What’s taken shape over just the last two decades is evidence that designs that mimic Nature not only please the eye, they also change the people who inhabit them: people are more engaged, more collaborative, more creative. The design inspired by Nature promotes a sense of wellbeing.
For this reason Interface’s approach is Beautiful Thinking oriented -that means to create a product and a planet that are good for people- and the new products are inspired by Biophilia.
The new collections are sustainable (made with 100% recycled content nylon yarn and manufactured respecting the green life cycle of the product from production to disposal) and create a sense of well-being because they reproduce the tactile and visual textures present in outdoor scenery: cobblestone paths or grassy fields, stone or gravel paths.
Captions

Equal Measure collection is inspired by the traditional cobblestone streets found all over the world, creating a sense of the familiar and the original at the same time. The classic, irregular look of a lived-in street is combined with the soft luxury of carpet tile and all its associated benefits.

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Narratives
collection tells a fascinating tale about contrast and minimalism. A figurative pattern created by differences in pile height and construction.

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Near & Far Collection is somewhere between made and found. The organic reference is clear, but we can see the artisan’s hand in the shape and materials.

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Digital Entity: a workspace for the smart working.

The project for the new offices of Digital Entity, the NTTdata ’s business unit, in Milan is something that goes beyond the traditional research that aims to alternate open spaces and individual offices. The space, designed by the firm deamicisarchitetti, is divided using only furniture in a continuum of formal, informal, individual and collective environments: places with a definite character, built with a content-centred approach.

The aim of the new Digital Entity offices’ project was to test the efficiency of the new organisational set up of the space and to let the employees live personally the same freedom of expression offered to customers, in a smart working environment. The workspace represents tangibly what the core business of the company is.
“Starting from this briefing, through shared reflections, we tried to understand how this concept could be translated into reality. So a new principle was born: the ways of working don’t depend on the task or the employee’s status, but on the efficacy and on the opportunity”, the architect Giacomo De Amicis explains. “ Observing the worker’s habits, it was clear that people tend to use different places, not only for different tasks but also depending on different time and seasons. Today, meeting in the same  location means first of all the chance of using different environments that allows to nurture relationships, exchanges and sharing. We think that the interior design has to give a certain character to the place, an intangible feature that gives it an identity, which is the result of all the parts it is composed by, either geometric elements, materials, lights or furniture”.
It’s the idea of “flexible space” that is changing, creating a space without any hierarchy, an open space with large working desks, with stools for workshop and informal meeting, a relax area with carpet and armchairs, and a big writable wall.
The use of natural materials, combined in a simple way, and the leit-motiv of the square section iron profile grid pattern in different configurations, allow to keep a formal continuum on the background, from where several accents emerge: colours, materials and objects of other kind.
A great deal of attention was also was paid also in the furniture, all originated from a square iron tubular, the same geometry used for bookshelves, displays and semiopaque diaphragms.
On the black false ceiling, the traditional modular partition with recessed lights is replaced by lanterns: vivid lampshade in different shapes and dimensions made in parchment.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by Gabriele Leo.

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The home-feeling coworking: Lago at Work Paris.

A new way of living the office dedicated to the Paris’s designers, architects, creatives’ community: on the 17th september the new Lago at work Paris @Patchwork will be inaugurated in Rue de Clèry 8. The first Lago’s coworking space in France will be a meeting and working place, inspired by a strong sense of home-feeling.

Lago at Work in Paris @ Patchwork is one of the first project of the new strategy “Welcome Home” of Lago, leader company in the design system production, that aims to take its experience in the domestic field into “everyday-life” places, such as shops, offices, hotels, restaurants and bars.
“We are living most of our day outside our houses”, Daniele Lago, Lago’s Head of Design, said. “Lago’s design is following the changes of our society, bringing the “home-feeling” into the workplace. That’s why we think about the office as a comfortable and welcoming home. For us design is a powerful instrument of social transformation and we are happy to start our 52nd Lago Interior Life Network’s space here in Paris”.
The main drive of the Lago at work Paris’s project is the color. Ultramarine blue, lilac, red, lobster, sun, straw, acid green, pale pink: all the environment takes after the Patchwork’s logo, clearly visible at the entrance, with a 4 meters high anamorphic projection.
Lago at Work @Patchwork is designed on two levels: the ground floor is furnished with Air Tables, School chairs, Air suspended bookcase and an Air Wildwood bench where everyone can have a break, reading or having breakfast.
From the open space, through a vintage stairway, it is possible to access a walkway where, thanks to the LagoLinea system, you can find more private and quite workstationsThe basement is designed for gatherings or workshops, with a 36e8 kitchen for lunch breaks.
“We decided to realise a space with Lago after visiting the Lago Other Store @Open | More than Books in Milan”, Mikael Benfredj, owner of Patchwork and of the two Lago Store in Paris, says. “This hybrid environment where u can work, read, design different projects and also buy furniture, has really striken me. In particular, the open and flexible coworking spaces with their essential design that suit perfectly with the new ways of working’s needs. An environment that a city like Paris must have”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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