Eco-sustainability and design for resilient flooring.

After creating countless styles of modular carpet, distinguished by high performances and sustainability, Interface launches a luxury modular vinyl flooring featured by the same green vision and based on biophilic design approach.

Level Set is the first Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) collection by Interface. It is environmental friendly and is inspired by natural elements like wood and stone, according to biophilic design approach.
It offers options that evoke distressed, reclaimed and exposed natural materials. The textures, colours and patterns available provide more light reflection to maximising the benefits of daylight.
Available in 28 variations of Natural and Textured Woodgrains & Stones, it comes in Interface’s standard (25 cm x 1 m and 50 x 50 cm squares) and is complementary to carpet tile collections.
Since it is fully compatible in size and height, you can combine existing carpet and new LVT for a unique space of varied textures and designs.


We’re seeing an increased focus on cohesive design throughout the built environment, as well as a rise in demand for soft and hard flooring that blends well and functions as part of a modular design system– said Mandy Leeming, Design and Development Manager for Interface EMEALevel Set embraces our customers’ interest in flooring that has the look of natural materials with the functionality, durability and affordability of LVT, while ensuring they can select a mix of hard and soft flooring from a single partner to create a unified look and feel.”


An eco-sustainable design aimed at environmental comfort.
To install Level Set is simple and clean thanks to glue-free TacTiles. It emits virtually zero VOCs and allows for an environmental footprint over 90% lower than installation with traditional glue adhesives.
Engineered to compatible height (4.5mm total thickness) with Interface’s carpet tiles, providing the ability to effortlessly move from hard to soft flooring without transition strips, eliminating an unnecessary trip hazard and reducing the number of materials for specification and purchase.
To improve acoustic comfort the sound absorbing “Sound Choice” is available for LVT collections.




Sit-stand and user-friendly workstation.

A user-friendly multimedia workstation with a light design, and without any cable thanks to the use of Linak‘s bluetooth technology: these are the features of Tecnus Evo -evolution of the height-adjustable table Tecnus- designed and produced by Emme Italia, a company that since 1995 marries innovative technologies with Italian handicrafts to offer customized and constantly in progress solutions.

The growth of Emme Italia continues with the usual passion: from the traditional drafting tables to the electrified sit-stand version using linear actuators by Linak and, recently, the most advanced step Tecnus Evo.
Tecnus Evo is a new result of the collaboration between Emme Italia and Linak: a multimedia workstation inspired by a common vision of dynamic ergonomics, well-being and IoT in the workplace.
It is featured by clean design and high performances:
the integration of Linak’s new bluetooth technologies allows the elimination of wiring and a user friendly approach;
the rechargeable Battery Pack makes the table independent by power supply;
height adjustment can be controlled either by the traditional push-button panel housed into the column or by a smartphone (for iOS or Android App).


The App Desk Control allows the adjustment of the table with a touch and also to save custom settings and set personal goals for wellness.
Standard height adjustment from 72 to 112 cm is perfect for workstations and informal meetings, other adjustments are available on request.


Height-adjustable table, structure in painted steel column (black, white or RAL tailored colors), desk top in melamine.
Dimensions cm 100 x 200; height cm from 72 to 112.


No noise and distraction wherever you work.

According to a research by Oxford Economics, employees ranked the ability to focus on work without interruptions as their top priority, with nearly 40% taking steps to mitigate noise. Plantronics a pioneer in audio and wearable technology and smart working, designed Voyager 8200 UC a business-grade headset to answer to the needs of digital nomads and smart workers.

The premium audio quality and clarity ensure an optimal experience whether you’re taking a conference call in the middle of an open office, listening to your favourite music on the train, or working in a crowded coffee shop.
Voyager 8200 UC is designed for the connected executive who needs to be in constant communication, and for employees in an open office space who find themselves facing distractions and noise.
“When a workforce is highly mobile, a business’ ability to ensure their associates can focus while collaborating becomes a top priority,” said Gavin Sear, Global Product Marketing Manager at Plantronics.
Voyager 8200 UC will be available in the U.S. near the end of July, 2017 and worldwide by early September (at Plantronics authorised partners with an MSRP of € 349 / £ 309).


Additional Voyager 8200 UC features and benefits include:
Four “beam-forming” microphones detect and amplify the speaker’s voice, while two additional microphones detect and block environmental noise for the Voyager family’s business-grade audio experience, which ensures crystal-clear call quality in a boomless form-factor.
Enhanced voice alerts announce caller names, mute and connection status and talk-time level.
Wireless battery life offers up to 24 hours of listening time and a 3.5 mm audio cable facilitates in-flight use.
Microsoft Skype for Business certified; compatible with Cisco Jabber and other softphones.
Using Bluetooth technology, Voyager 8200 UC can pair to Windows and Mac computers, and many IP phones through Plantronics’ BT600 USB audio processor, as well pair directly to both iOS and Android phones and tablets.
Wireless range of up to 98 ft/30 m from supported Class 1 Bluetooth® devices.
Smart sensor technology detects if the headset is worn – pausing streaming media when removed, and resuming media play when the headset is put back on.


A skillfully planned acoustics.

Mascagni, manufacturing office furniture since 1930 and also working in the field of home and contract now for many years, has addressed the unavoidable issue of acoustic comfort thoroughly and in a structured manner, like a path that has developed consistently, by tackling the acoustic problem through customizable solutions of interior design, which have no competitors on the market.

The unique features of the products supplied by the Bologna-based company come from the adopted approach and find their roots in the company’s experience and know-how made of testing, synergies with suppliers who work in different industries and technologies never used before in furniture design.
The product presented at the last edition of Workplace 3.0 in Milan perfectly explain how Mascagni creates its products with love and care for the tiniest detail.

TréS is the new versatile, comfortable interior decoration range of modular soundproofing panels, easily and quickly rearranged.
The vertical wired metal partitions of TrèS spine, with their overlapping modules, divide space creatively and efficiently, without preventing communication from going on with its flows, through different levels and plain modules, made up of cabinets, metal, melamine or upholstered panels, and special tops. The last evolution is TrèS Screen: the panels structure are enriched through panels or courtesy, to create a personal space reconfigurable with extraordinary acoustic performance.

By partnering with 3F Filippi, a leader in lighting located near Bologna, was born Lux Sound, the sound-absorbing panel which turns on a feature essential for a comfortable all-round, light.
TréS Sound Sky System is like the beefed-up version of the Sound panel. Using modular and changeable articulated joints, the triangular ribs of the sound absorbing panels, in wood, melamine or textile, come to life and mould the space into peaceful areas that can be turned into extensive workplaces.

ALLinONE Slim is the range of partition walls that hides the secret of its polymorphism and adaptability inside its extruded aluminium sections. The construction can accommodate the panels of single, double or solid glass with an inner steel frame, regardless.
ALLinWOOD is an exploration that brings the natural products, again, in the insulating dividing partitions, a solid wood profile which welcomes in its quarries either single, double glazing or full façade.

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Co-design and graceful design for an Undecided Sofa.

Undecided Sofa is a graceful lounge seating designed by Raffaella Mangiarotti and Ilkka Suppanen for Manerba. The talented Italian-Finnish designers intrigue the user with sensitivity and irony, by enabling them to “decide” on the final looks of the sofa by choosing colour and size.

After the colour code system, that lent new moods to Manerba’s furniture systems, the clear vision of the sisters Grazia and Elisa Manerba -heading the Mantova based company with the art direction of Raffaella Mangiarotti- could construe the looks of the workplace and carry out an original soft product.
Undecided Sofa was successfully launched during Milano Design Week at Palazzo Litta and at the showroom Manerba inside the concept store Jannelli & Volpi.
The attractive cushions it’s made of provide for the adequate sound insulation to satisfy the need for relaxation or informal meetings by carving out a privacy area within in-between areas and public spaces.

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Most of all, what arouses emotion is the ability to render the concepts of fluidity and transformation in a poetical manner, which underlies today’s living and working environments.

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These concepts turn into a co-design tool and intellectual game involving the user’s active participation, to create their own Undecided Sofa according to their requirements.
Three steps to create the Undecided Sofa:

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Choose the height: two pillow cases for the lower version, three at headrest height and four for the “meeting setup” that transforms it into a charming and comfortable mini-meeting room with high acoustic absorption.
Choose colors: make your own “chromatic playlist” – monochrome, bicolor, for nuances or random – is the atout of this couch; and the plus is that the composition can be updated at any time, removing or replacing the pillows, even in a corner or a delimited area.
Make a decision: sit back, breathe, think; deciding it has never been so simple, beautiful, and comfortable.

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Storage systems, plants and air quality (Dieffebi, hall 24, B19 / B23 stand).

At Salone del Mobile (hall 24, stand B19 / B23) Dieffebi will show new features for DotBox for a Workplace 3.0 devoted to wellbeing. The flexible storage system able to configure workspaces, today integrates planters equipped with air purification system.

Plants and vegetation inside workplace help to improve air quality, contributing to wellbeing and productivity.This is why DotBox integrates now a “smart pot” with Itair® technology, an innovative natural air purification system for indoor environments.
Plants make more pleasant the workspace and make a better air quality, too.
The plant becomes a real filter able to metabolize harmful agents present in the air and, thanks to Itair® technology, provides for a forced mechanical ventilation.


DotBox is a multifunctional modular storage system made of sheet steel laser-cut, fully recyclable. It can also be customized with pillows and panels in different shapes, colors and fabrics, including fireproof and sound absorbing. It allows to efficiently organize the space with a unique personality.


Biophilia and industrial archeology: Mutti’s Offices.

Connecting tradition and sustainability through the light: the Mutti’s offices by the architect Paolo Bedogni renovate and expand an 18th century industrial building, unifying the 1.000 sqm. of the old and the new environments with a long solar promenade and branding chromatic choices.

Light is fundamental for agricolture, and it so also for productivity and wellness in the office. That’s the idea that links the Mutti’s offices in Montechiarugolo (Parma, Italy) and the company’s activity based on tomatoes.


Though all the environment, connecting the renovated edifice and the new spaces, a solar promenade links the offices over the two floors: an indoor street, with trees, enlighten with skylights, as the work environments, exposed to south to maximize the natural light.

Every workstation has also a lighting system based on a dimmable LED system, regulated by sensors. Workers can adjust the lighting through the smartphone or the computer.
Lights is also the key of the energy efficiency of the building, with a 18kW photovoltaic and a solar thermal system, and the air recycle that uses the solar irradiation.


A second feature of the project is the “tomatoes inspiration”: the hall at the entrance recalls the shape of the vegetable with a circular and regular shape, while the color over the space is based on red, that along with the gold, recalls all over the Mutti’s brand.


The flexible working environment, that includes also two meeting rooms at the first floor, is characterized by the ergonomic seats by Bross and the technical channels designed on the grès floor that allow to easily reconfigure the partition and the organization of the space.
Text by Gabriele Masi.



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COAF Smart Center by Paul Kaloustian.

The COAF Smart Center in Armenia is “more than a building”. As its designer Paul Kaloustian says, the project was based on a new approach regarding the relationship between architecture and nature, a ribbon shape walkway that, embracing the landscape, makes it the heart of the construction. The space becomes the image of its function: a school where experiences and competences made inside can be positively transferred outside, in the local contest.

The Smart Center in Lori, north of Armenia, is an example of how some projects are designed to be more than a building. The building is thought to support and represented the work of COAF in the area, delivering superior and regionally-relevant educational, sustaining community programs and encouraging progressive ideology, in respect with the rural society and environment in which it operates.
This idea led Paul Kaloustian to create a walkway that, as a sinuous ribbon, envelop a portion of the landscape, creating a fertile 7.000 sqm courtyard. The one-level walkway will host interconnected virtual classrooms, computer labs, youth clubs and meeting areas, a library, a restaurant, and studios for languages, arts and music, all made with ecofriendly materials and supported with green and sustainable energy.

The Smart center will have also guest quarters where visiting collaborators and program participants can be accommodated and space for feature outdoor activities, indoor workshops and greenhouses where children and adult will learn relevant skills for the region’s development.
After the Moukbel Award and the Order of Architects Award, Kaloustian was at the 13th Venice Biennale with his “House in a Forest” and at the exposition “Atlas of the Unbuilt World” at the Monde Arabe in Paris. The COAF Smart center represents Kaloustian’s first major project.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
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Orgatec 2016: the better new chairs.

The quality of the new chairs launched at Orgatec 2016 shows a very high quality level; chairs for every price range, work activity and environment. Design is an important to create an identity in a very conformed scenario.Task chair offer sophisticated mechanisms for an automatic dynamic comfort. Above all, executive chairs are focused on comfort rather than on status. Many new sustainable seating family are launched for contract.

Sedus, se-line.
The central bearer which connects the seat with the moveable backrest and arm rests is the most innovative achievement that detects its users at the first contact. The body’s forces are transmitted to the backrest via the arm rests and converted into the appropriate backrest pressure for an ergonomic comfort.


Vitra, AM Chair, design by Alberto Meda.
The synchronised mechanism automatically responds to the user’s weight, providing a personalised comfort. It adheres to functional requirements and avoid structurally superfluous elements.The plastic frame and translucent mesh cover offer a sense of lightness.


Haworth, Fern.
Inspired by nature, this human-centered task chair offers high levels of balance, flexibility, and performance. The Wave Suspension™ system is the heart of the chair and the key to its back comfort and flexibility. Fern accommodates the diverse working population with new levels of all-day comfort, regardless of size, posture, or work mode. It provides total back support and respond to your every movement.


Segis, Camel, by Bartoli Design.
A versatile seating family suitable for many uses.The simple and joyful shape expresses creativity without missing the comfort; it is available in various multifunctional options respond to multiple context from workplace to residential. It is made with recyclable polypropylene in various colours and can also be covered in fabric or leather combined with a number of bases.


BuzziSpace, BuzziFloat, design by Alain Gilles.
Home and contract chair with a simple design and a strong graphic personality. The seat is “floating” on the base. It is available with three base options and upholstered.


Luxy, Italia, design Favaretto &Partners.
This executive chair is a perfect palanche between innovative technology and handcraft. It has an exposed metal structure in high-strength steel-rod (available in chromed or embossed black or white painted version, too) provides a stylish support to a cold-foamed shell of varying density. Different versions are available.


Diemmebi, S’Mesh, design Basaglia Rota Nodari.
Contract chair selected by ADI Index 2016 for Compasso d’Oro; it is stackable up to 50chairs; thanks to a patented interlocking system, the structure does not use screws so the disassembling and the recycling are very easy. The backrest maintains the fabric’s tension so that it adapts to the user.


Offect Phoenix, design by Luca Nichetto.
It is a sustainable chair for contract and home, designed respecting the Life Circle. A simple structure composed by only four elements. Each damaged part can be easily replaced and the old part are renewable.


Interstuhl Bimos, Labsit.
Thanks to its hygienic design it is the perfect seating solution for pharmaceuticals, chemistry and health care field. The clever combination of material, form and processing provides all properties needed for use in the lab.


Wilkhahn, PrintStool One, design by Thorsten Franck.
A renewable, biodegradable and customizable stool collection made by 3D technology. The very strong three-dimensional structures stand out for efficient use of material.



A “Spine ” for a 3D set up of the workplace.

Mascagni meets to the Orgatec’ s topic “Creativity Works” (Hall 10.2 Q1) with TrèS Spine, a user friendly architectural system for interiors designed by Ergon Design that allow to set up workplaces in a creative way: from individual workstations to shared areas thanks to the central “backbone”. The TrèS Sound integration improves the environmental acoustics.

TrèS spine is a user-friendly, plain geometrical piece of design by Mascagni. The vertical scans of the system, running along in modules, may be laid out in panels made of plate, melamine or upholstery to create customised spaces and shared areas, where a capacious backbone may be easily and quickly wired.

Its desks and storage units,, which are secured to a main frame made of risers and crossbeams, make the worktop three-dimensional and highly customisable, in addition to personal requirements, meeting the needs of an increasingly shared use of communal space. A mechanical interaction between its parts offers a very high level of customisation, from individual to in-line and highly private uses, such as cubicles. Interaction with the TrèS Sound provides acoustic comfort.

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Corporate Garden at Boehringer Ingelheim: good practise and CSR.

Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the 20 biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has been started a corporate garden at his HQ in Milan. The gardeners of the social cooperative Cascina Biblioteca have planted vegetable and fruit in special containers and now the employers are looking after them. The workers appreciated this initiative, part of a Corporate Social Responsibility project.

Vegetables and fruit on the workplace. The phenomenon of the Corporate Garden is spreading in giant multinational companies and also in small companies.
WOW! talks about this good practise and presented, for example, Sedus and Unicredit corporate gardens where the workers can grow vegetables during their break time.
Vegetables garden have recently become an healthy hobby for over 20 million Italians, according to a Coldiretti/Censis survey and the companies are contributing to save the environment and they are really showing concern to sustainability.
Advantages for the workers are many, because working in a vegetable garden lower stress caused by working rhythm, boost energy and seems to improve relationship among colleagues.
The corporate garden of Boehinger Ingelheim in Milan is one of the initiatives of a bigger project, started by the company, which aims to make workers more and  more sympathetic in the care of their workplace and also aims to make them feel of creating a more human workplace fit for them to live in.
This is a matter of social responsibility towards its workers and the site where the company is located; the company, in fact, has appointed the social cooperative Cascina Biblioteca, to look after its green spaces.
Cascina Biblioteca is an important social reality working for the work integration of disabled people, part of the brand Cooption , a brand comprising six social cooperatives and a “consorzio” (Cascina Biblioteca, il Cedro, La Goccia, Solaris Lavoro,  Ambiente, Verbena, C.S. & L) in the Milan area.
The fields  where they operate are mainly project, realization and maintenance of green, environmental education together with interventions in the Energy and Environment Sector, Facility Management and Work Area.

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The best of Biennale Architettura: the WOW!’s selection.

The Jury of 15th International Biennale Architettura assigned the Gold Lions to the best pavilions and projects. WOW! shares the jury’s choices to some extent and offers its own selection of a few extremely interesting pavilions among the National Pavilions visited at Arsenale and Giardini.

Many articles were published about the Lions assigned by the Jury composed by: Hashim Sarkis (President, Libano, USA), Pippo Ciorra (Italia), Sergio Fajardo (Colombia), Marisa Moreira Salles (Brasil), Karen Stein (USA).

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We posted an article about the very interesting Italian Pavilion and -before knowing they are winners- we talked about “Unfinished” (Spain Pavilion) awarded Golden Lion for the “concisely curated selection of emerging architects whose work shows how creativity and commitment can transcend material constraints”.

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We also appreciate the floating school “Waterfront” by Kunlé Adeyemi, transported from Makoto to the Gaggiandre at Arsenale. It was awarded Silver Lion for”a powerful demonstration – be it in Lagos or in Venice, that architecture, at once iconic and pragmatic – can amplify the importance of education.”
We also share the Jury’s choice of the Special Mention to Japan Pavilion for “the poetry of compactness to alternative forms of collective living in a dense urban space.”

En:art of nexus (Japan)
The main concept of the Japanese Pavilion is En a word of the ancient buddhism, however very used nowadays, it means the space between people and the space able to link people and things, in-between area, nexus, boundary.
In contemporary Japan, where unemployment, particularly among the young, has become chronic, and inequality and poverty grow worse every day, the high-growth economy of the postwar era is now a historical event that belongs to the distant past. Though there are several world-renowned works of architecture that emerged in tandem with economic growth in modern Japan.
The architectures exhibited in the Japanese pavilion are focused on En concept in its different meanings. Architects are interested in situations that incorporate spaces where people can encounter each other in buildings in which numerous people live.
For example Yokohama Apartments designed by Koichi Torimura -a complex of rental apartments designed for young people to live, create and exhibit their work in a vivid manner- and LT Josai by Masao Nishikawa -a prototype of house that creates an irregular 3D space that expresses the potential for an architecture based on lifestyles and conditions, in which individuals are linked through increasingly fluid movements.
Another meaning for Boundary Window by Masuda+Otsubo, a renovation project where the wall facade is entirely covered with an expanded window with two functions both dividing and connecting the individual interiors and the outside areas.
(Foto Francesco Galli, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia)

Dou Pavilion (Cina)
Dou is focused on the concept of Play.
It is originated from a prefab building product – Checkered Playroom” for pre-scolar education program for remote northwestern China.
It is developed by Unitinno and Chinese University of Hong Kong team led by prof Zhu. Playing underlies this shelter to test and interact with, 70 m2 composed of concave and convex squares, causing surprise in kids and adult people, too.

Blue: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Mission (The Nederlands)
Dutch Pavilion is centered on the Case Study of Camp Castor in a desert region in Mali where the UN is carrying out a peacekeeping mission the metaphor for the conflict and the element that combines architecture and human rights: the UN Blue Helmets and the Toeareg, known as “blue men”.
Blue presents a new series of narratives for architecture in conflict areas, central to which is the potential to improve the lives of people. The project is based on conversations with military engineers and architects, anthropologists and economists, activists and policy makers. It links cultural and architectural research, provides the prerequisites for a new spatial conditions and aims to make visible the spatial challenges and opportunities of this complex situation. UN camps are no longer strongholds with a barbed wire fence and change into catalysts for local development. 

Heroic. free shipping (Serbia)
Blu is a ship, too, taking up the whole Serbia pavilion at Giardini with a refined architectural design; an empty, dream-like and meditative space only filled with the tapping on keypads and the click of mouses. Metaphor of a heroic space that can host many connected people. Energy isn’t just what is needed to charge our devices, but what is produced when people meet.

LifeObject : Merging Biology & Architecture (Israele)
A completely different approach for the studio of the Israel team T -Bnaya Bauer, Arielle Blonder, Noy Lazarovich, scientist Dr. Ido Bachelet and curator Dr. Yael Eylat Van-Essen-
focused on the relationship between architecture and biology.
At the center of the exhibition is the LifeObject, a free standing structure inspired by a 3D scan of a bird’s nest. It integrates artificial and natural elements into an organic system and combines composite, smart and biological materials to form a “living structure” that responds to its environment.

The conceptual foundation of the exhibition centers upon resilience, an essential element of biological systems that refers to their ability to cope with shock or trauma. This concept bears increased significance upon Israel and its geo-political context, where states of crisis continually rise up, greatly influencing quality of life and spatial design.


The Squero: waterfront music hall in Venice.

The Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s new venue for music on San Giorgio Maggiore Island in Venice was recently unveiled with the complete Beethoven string quartets. The building of former boat repairs yard has been converted into this stunning modern auditorium, thanks to the design of  Cattaruzza e Millosevich Architetti Associati.

The Squero building dates back to the mid-19th century. Its design was inspired by great Venetian architecture and was mainly modelled on the Arsenale shipyards for the design, materials and functional layout. The building was converted by the Venetian architects Cattaruzza and Millosevich Architetti Associati and refurbished as a modern 200-seat concert hall featured by an exceptional acoustics.
Thanks to its wonderful position giving directly onto the lagoon, the Squero on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore is a unique venue combining music and a splendid view. In fact, in front of the audience and behind the musicians, the plate glass windows become a natural backdrop with a remarkable lagoon vista, thus providing audiences with the unique experience of  waterfront concerts.

The restoration of the Squero is a perfect example of public-private collaboration. The funds for the conversion were partly provided by the Provveditorato Interregionale per le Opere Pubbliche del Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia and partly in the form of a donation from the Fondazione Virginio Bruni Tedeschi. The Fondazione Enzo Hruby was also involved, since it designed the latest-generation integrated security system.


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Actions upon matter: Sempering #21Triennale.

Sempering is the trick-title of the exhibition host at MUDEC Museum for 21 Triennale and inspired by the German architect Gottfried Semper, who in a book written in 1851 during the 1st World Exhibition in London, listed the components of ideal house which can be considered as the basic elements of architecture of all ages and places: the fireplace, the roof, the foundation/earthwork and fence. The same approach is today used by the curators Cino Zucchi e Luisa Collina, to identify eight constructive actions on a material or component that leaves a significant trace in the end product.

How to face the radical change in contemporary design? The curators’ challenge was to as to bring up to date Semper’s classification and create a grid to organize such a complex environment as the artificial one.

Eight elements instead of four, no objects but actions that the mind, the hand or the machine exert upon matter: .
stacking, the action of the mason;
interweaving, the action of the wicker-worker and weaver;
shaping, the action of the smelter and the sculptor;
connecting, the action of the carpenter or metalworker;
bending, the action of the tinsmith;
arranging, the action of the tiler and assembler of parts;
carving, the action of the decorator and engraver;
blowing, the action of the glassmaker.

These Actions are expounded in the exhibition area, stressed by light wooden walls.
On the vertical partitions there is a selection of pictures of well-known and little known architecture works (including some unknown original drawings), while a few objects representing the diverse Actions are set in the middle of each section, on a horizontal plane or hanging from the ceiling.
A varied and structured scenery, that includes objects of everyday use, architectures and landscapes, in order to tell the action of “thinking through one’s hands, of going ahead in planning through repeated and recurrent tests and mistakes, by simulating volumes, patterns, knots and weaves.”

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Planning methods for Smart Offices in a changing era.

The planning method is the same, also for smart offices. That’s how Alessandro Adamo’s speech begins. Adamo, partner of Lombardini22 and Director of DEGW Italia, was speaker at the seminar Designing Smart Working places,held at Isola WOW! Lavoro Agile 2016. The chief steps are: the brief, the valuation of the property, space planning methods and new trends to be taken into consideration designing smart working places.

The brief.
First of all, it’s necessary to pinpoint the needs of the organization and be technically prepared to understand the features of the building. Not all companies are alike, and to define the layout we must understand the managerial style, work styles and models, the technologies available and most of all the mobility models. The only driver cannot be space optimization to design a Smart Office.
Building evaluation.
Once the organization requirements have been established, we evaluate the property and the building supply, keeping in mind that the design has to be projected  5 or 6 years into the future, at least.

Worksettings menu.
The types and size of the office used to based on the people’s role, now they are task-based according to a non-territorial logic (teamwork, relax and interaction, individual work, ancillary space). Companies are asking for a wider menu of diversified and multipurpose rooms and ancillary areas take up  35/40% of the total space.
Office spaces trends.
The changed use of space led to an increase of teamwork areas and open space. The new corporate goals are: teamwork, space flexibility and brand importance, and brand doesn’t mean logo, but the analysis of values and how they can be changed into physical components by conveying emotions and sense of belonging.



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.



The Green Project by Mattel: HR and sustainability.

A sustainable natural environment starts from the office. From this insight Mattel Italy has developed the Green Team, a working group made by voluntary employees, to enforce a “Green” activity capable to engage all the company. All the initiatives were presented during the dedicated Earth Day.

The Mattel Italy’s HR Team initiative, activated & leaded by Paolo Davoglio, Office & Facilities Supervisor, has involved the 12% of the company, mostly women, from five different departments, to conceive some initiatives to engage the community over the role we play in the defence of our environment.
The Green Team has worked on three initiatives inspired by three different natural elements: earth, air and water.
Earth is an event to engage and educate the children, a playful activity to teach the importance of respecting and preserving the green spaces.
Air, instead, promotes the use of car sharing in the company, by a test drive of the Green Team branded electric car organised during the Green Office Day with the motto “Turn off the light, use the stairs and… print just the essential”.
Water is the initiative to promote the use of the tap water in the office in order to reduce the use of plastic glasses and bottles.
Testo di Gabriele Masi.




Safilo: activity based office and dynamic layout. 

A dynamic active based layout office can be the first step towards the smart working. The Safilo’s HQ and logistical centre in Padova begins its revolution with an innovative space: waving and coloured workspace’s layouts, movable partitions, informal furniture, and a great attention paid to the worker’s comfort.

Safilo, the world famous italian glassware company, is starting a dynamic transformation, embracing the new ways of working’s paradigms. A delicate transition that the internal team, leaded by the CEO Luisa Delgado, have decided to begin from a space transformation, from individual offices to an open space.
The redeveloping of the workplace was curated by the project team composed by: Roberto Lazzaroni -Facility Manager, Caterina Cedrone -Interior Design manager, Sofia Silvestrelli -Design Facility Specialist, Veronica Tamiazzo -Graphic Designer. The new layout fits the evolution of the company towards a more international approach. A change still in progress, with more than 1300 sqm already completed and capable to host up till 900 people, based on precise drivers.

First of all “invite and surprise” with a curvy layout of desks (Tecno), a coloured space that encourages creativity and encounters, informal furniture, as pouf or free-standing meeting room, to create a more relaxing and collaborative atmosphere.
Than a space that encourage the workers to look for their own most comfortable way of working, with ergonomic and flexible seats, and with a desk layout to optimise the angle of incidence of the solar light on the monitors.
That’s also why the Safilo’s internal team decided to design a multifunctional area for breaks and informal gatherings.
In addition there are meeting areas closed by glass partition walls (Universal Selecta) to provide  privacy and concentration. At last an “efficient space” easy to reconfigure and thought to give the best acoustic and climatic comfort, characterized by an engaging color design.
A big effort was also made to create a safe environment, controlling the access to the most “delicate” areas of the company, as the R&D’s area where all the products of Safilo’s brands, as Carrera or Polaroid, are designed.
Text by Gabriele Masi.



Toni-Areal: a cheese factory becomes a museum in Zurich.

From yogurt to pure creativity, from the cheese production to the “Exhibition Depot”, from a cheese factory to the house of the Museum für Gestaltung. The Toni-Areal building complex in Zurich has been called a “cultural hybrid” and an “art factory”: “a place of power” enriched by the USM Modular System in the offices, as furniture, and in the museum’s archives as items in its collection.

The Toni-Areal complex takes its name after its original function as the European biggest milk processing factory.
The Zurich architectural firm EM2N has been rebuilding and expanding the huge building complex over a period of just under ten years for its new purposes. Today, within its 10.000 mq, it is able to host 5.000 people, the Zurich University of the Arts and two departments of the University of Applied Sciences, a hundred apartments, and a school with an auditorium, a concert hall, rehearsal stages, ateliers, laboratories, film studios, a cinema and a bar.
In September 2014 also the renowned Museum of Design and its “Exhibition Depot” relocated here. The museum, whose original 1930s building is currently closed for remodeling and renovations, experienced a true quantum leap of options following the move: for the first time in the institution’s nearly 140-year history, the extensive archives collection, formerly scattered throughout the city, has been brought together in one place and made accessible to visitors. Overall, nearly half a million design objects, including chairs, lamps and cabinets, as well as ceramics and posters, can now be viewed in a free-standing, accessible high-bay warehouse.
The offices for the collections are furnished with recently purchased pure white and steel blue USM Haller shelves and pearl gray USM Haller tables, while the management office is fitted with mid gray USM Haller shelves that had been in use in the original building for several years.
According to Roman Aebersold, head of the museum’s Collaboration and Collections operations, people value USM’s long service life, systems that adapt to many different needs and an innovative corporate culture.
Several USM Haller shelves have also found a place in the museum’s archives as items in its collection and thus as an important contribution to the history of Swiss design. Visitors to the new Museum of Design Exhibition Depot are introduced to USM in two ways: as an exhibit item and as an item in daily use. A great recognition for the USM Haller system, celebrating this year its 50th anniversary.
Text by Gabriele Masi.




Dieffebi’s solutions for open space.

Launched at the Salone Ufficio 2015, the modular system DotBox Evolution by Dieffebi, designed by Hangar Design Group, provides some well-organized interior design arrangements for open-space typologies, made even more pleasant and lively through the possibile chromatic personalization.

The DotBox system can be used to define private areas,  as it develops both vertically and horizontally through a wide-ranging  matching scheme to reach a perfect blending of storage units and tables.
Dot Box also includes the wire management:  the wide open compartment allows to fit the cables under the base of the wall units so that they can easily reach every single workstation.  The table DotBox allows even the hooking of sound absorbing panels.

Besides the current white and dove grey, more hues are available in the wide range of epoxy coating by Akzo Nobel. A creative freedom also stressed by the transverse line of the drawer units Universal Colors.