Creativity is already there: instructions for use.

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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Neocon: hub of inspiration for new workstyles.

Neocon at its 49th edition confirmed itself as an amazing hub of inspiration for solutions and trends: workplace design is becoming essential for attracting and retaining workers of the Gig economy, Millennials and Generation Z, new faces of this modern work style dominated by the “sharing culture”. Pleasant, warm and healthy interiors answer to the new co-officing, co-creation and collaboration norms.

Adaptive furnishings, privacy on demand, acoustic comfort and sound control, biophilic design and new technology for wireless charging device and immersive visualization experiences are inspiring the new workspace design.
Versatile, modular, reconfigurable, multi-use, highly adjustable products offer flexible and dynamic solutions enable the maximization of different workspace settings: from privacy when desired for one or two users, to collaborative work sessions or impromptu meeting areas.
Lighting, wall partitions, desking and seating, all the components can be reconfigured time and again offering virtually endless configuration options for inspiring and supporting the work, from formal to casual. Serpentine shapes, straight models, transitional units are the new geometries.


Floors, wall partitions, products in general are incorporating natural materials, nature views and other experiences of the natural world, drawn by the biophilic design trend.

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“The office is unoffice
is the evocative proposal by West Elm, an home furniture brand based in New York expanding innovatively in the workplace solutions.
Neocon always deserves the trip especially this year with the celebration for 100 years of Florence Knoll, legendary and visionary designer, former President of Knoll and founder of KnollTextiles, and the master lecture from Antonio Citterio at the MCA in Chicago, considered one of the most important appointments in the Windy City, together with his month-long retrospective hosted at Luminaire.
Looking forward to see what the 50th Edition will be, it is better to book the trip on time!

Text by Silvia Fattore.

1. West Elm, Haus, design by Qdesign.

A private workstation, inspired by traditional architecture and first-class airline cabins, designed for individual and small group work. Clustered together, the three Haus configurations transform an open office into a dynamic village, a creative community landscape.

2. Buzzispace, BuzziPleat, design by 13&9Design.
Vnner of Best of Neocon 2017 Gold.
Category: Acoustic Panel & Solutions.
BuzziPleat reinterprets ancient techniques used in fashion design, like smocking and pleating, to create large-scale, yet lightweight sculptural forms, made of sound-absorbing BuzziFelt. It combines the hanging acoustic pendants with a light source to marry sound control and illumination in one multi-purpose product.

3. Arper, Parentesit, design by Lievore Altherr Molina.
The bold, graphic forms are available in three shapes a circle, a square or an oval that can be further customized with the addition of a speaker or ambient light, to create a visual element that is as functional as it is modern. The collection is now complemented by the freestanding version, a modular stand alone system for concentration or quiet conversation in shared workspaces or collaborative environments.

4. Fluidconcepts & Design Inc., Orbit, Inline Systems.
Orbit workstations conform to how people actually work by providing single location access to a user’s work area in one continuous ergonomic circumference. They can be complete circular workstations or partial segments. Workstations can be linked in various configurations in snake like configurations, tangents, or as independent pods. Orbit can be specified in multiple diameters, radii and heights. Curved dividers are available in a variety of materials such as laminate, fabric, metal printed and acrylics. Circuit electrical and date system can be specified. The system offers installs extremely fast to create flexible and dynamic workstation environment.


5. Steelcase, Surround, design Steelcase Design Studio.
Winner of Best of Neocon 2017 Gold.
Category: Healthcare Guest/ Lounge seating.
A collection of healthcare furnishings designed to support family members in healthcare environments. Surround with 3-seat sleepers, available in 2-seat and 1-seat options supports the family’s dynamic role and involvement, eases their burdens and fosters their wellbeing. Surround supports the activities and moments that matter most from rest and rejuvenation, to productivity, hosting guests and communicating with clinicians.

6. Davis, Q6, design by Jonathan Prestwich.
Winner of Best of Neocon 2017
Innovation. Category: Furniture Collections for Collaboration.
Inspired by how people work today, Jonathan Prestwich has created an all-inclusive line which addresses the need for different kinds of working spaces. Comprised of open seating, screens, benches, tables, and ottomans, Q6 provides a versatile line of stylish and highly functional pieces. 

7. Snowsound USA (Caimi Brevetti), Snowsound Diesis, design by Alessandro Mendini, Francesco Mendini.
Winner of Best of Neocon 2017 Silver. Category: Acoustic Panels & Solutions.
Diesis is a sound-absorbing element with steel base and drapes based on Snowsound-Fiber technology. These pieces feature steel frames at the top that create the sound-absorbing drape, thus assuming precise rays and layers, designed to optimise acoustic performance. Diesis is available in both ceiling mounted or free-standing versions.

8.Interface, Global Change. Design by Kari Pei, Interface Lead Product Designer.
It is the most versatile collection to-date, pairing nature-inspired biophilic design with Interface’s modular flooring system expertise. The collection offers an integrated range of design options that can be composed in a custom-made design. It evokes foliage through artistic interpretation of tree and leaf shading patterns. Biophilic elements and references are also reflected in random patterns and fluid transitions inspired by textures found in nature.


9.Herman Miller, Prospect, design by Richard Holbrook.
Winner of Best of NeoCon Gold. Category Furniture for Collaboration.
Collaborative and individual creativity in today’s workplaces and learning environments need just the right amount of privacy, Prospect is mission control for individuals and small- to medium-sized teams replete with whiteboards, tackable surfaces, and media display. It’s an ideal place for brainstorming, pinning, and visual thinking that allows people to easily transition between working together and alone.

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When design-bulimia replaces innovation.

I’ve now fully recovered  from the usual indigestion from design in April, so a few considerations on the Milan Design Week are almost de riguer. I must admit it: after attending 40 of them, my enthusiasm and curiosity are beginning to wane, but my impressions have been confirmed by the comments of WOW! reporters and some practitioners I hold in high esteem; to mention just one of them, the sharp “Perlina” posted on Facebook by Enrico Baleri, which I find incomparable.

First of all I’d like to congratulate the Salone del Mobile on its new attendance record (343.602 visitors!).
Many exhibitors actively contribute toward this success through their luxurious stand booths, conceived by important designers as temporary architectures, able to attract visitors and emotionally involve them.
In many cases the design of the container seems to be prevailing over the products, that hardly palpitate with true innovation even if their quality is top-notch.
Many companies stop to invest in technological research.
Kartell should be mentioned as one of the exceptions: under the title “Contaminations” ( upper photo) it presented many nice and innocvative chairs… and it is not easy to offer quality and quantity!
The dangers lurk when the company has run out of ideas and dusts off the look of the fifties, or penetrates fields that defy common sense and ergonomics, bordering on ridicule.


And I’m sorry I have to say that Alias is following this trend. Hybrid design is okay, but how can you even conceive a chair -uncomfortable- integrated inside a bookcase?
That could be explained by the obligation to present something new at all costs.
Maybe we should also reflect upon the very format of the“Fair”: is such a rigid subdivision in different furniture sectors still relevant? Isn’t it anachronistic compared to the fluid way living, working and recreation environments are blending?
For example why Lapalma presented its “Light Office” collection at Salone del Mobile instead at Workplace 3.0?
If the office is increasingly fluid –as the installation A Joyful Sense at Work confirmed- changing a somewhat outdated format might increase its attractiveness: what do you think about a more dynamic Salone Contract & Workplace?

And then there is the festive occupation of the Fuorisalone… son et lumière everywhere in the city, amazing installations that can enhance disused locations, yet also damage historic buildings with ugly setups fit for a funfair.


I’ve asked about dozen people lying on sofas inside the Orto Botanico in Brera: “Excuse me, do you know the name of the manufacturer of these sofas?” Answer: eyes wide open and an uninterested “no idea!”.
Unfortunately that company (who was it?) invested money for attending that location…
I’m considering writing a “Guide to prevent design-bulimia”. It could be useful.

Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine


inEDI: coworking + barber shop for digital professionals.

The vertical coworking space inEDI, was officially opened for the professionals of computer graphics, visual effects, production and post-production of video and digital contents. A 1300 sqm in Milan unifying centre implemented by Edi Effetti Digitali Italiani, offering 50 workstations, theatre, cinema, relax areas and, among other facilities, even a barber shop. 

The aim is to bring together artists and workers and to foster brainstorming and exchange of experiences, as well as to organize training courses together with universities and school we collaborate with. We really would like it to be an incubator and accelerator for freelancers and start-ups.” explains Francesco Grisi, EDI’s founder and associate.

The co-working area provides for over 50 workstations, made by recycled materials, available in three patterns, coming in different colours. from the simple workstation (green), to the shared desks with computer (blue) to the workstation equipped with professional hardware and software (orange).

Also at the digital coworkers’ disposal there are a stage and a cinema, meeting rooms and workshops, restaurant- bar offering organic food, relax areas with billiard table and videogames and even a barber shop corner. 



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.




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.


A Creative Campus in Milan: Jenner 19.

“Turning a sad, empty property into an inviting, creative campus presented a huge challenge, overcome thanks to the vision and determination of everyone involved”. The architect Jacopo della Fontana’s words summarize the project of the Publicis Group’s Creative Campus in Milan: a place designed for all the workers’ well being, an office that “people have no desire to leave, simply because they feel good”.

A garden, a playing field, a vegetable garden, a kindergarten, a restaurant, a gym, a bar and a cinema: “It sounds like the description of a holiday resort, but it’s actually an office, where bedrooms are replaced with flexible workstations with a new, colourful, modern appearance.” Publicis Group and Jacopo della Fontana (D2U) focused the project of the Creative Campus of Jenner st. 19 in Milan, on the main garden, designed by HW Style, the centre of the social life and interaction for the over 700 people that live in the building everyday. A space where the workers of the different companies, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis meet and enjoy the areas for breaks or informal meetings, the basketball/futsal court, the vegetable garden, or gym.

Although exchange and interconnection are the core of the project, the companies have their own distinct working environment, with three different doorways, equally visible on the facade where screen-printed, coloured film was applied, which creates a highly colourful, dynamic effect.
Also the ground floor is dedicated to areas serving all the agencies, with a cafeteria and a large theatre with 100 seats, numerous meeting rooms of different sizes and a crèche.
An uniform approach has been used also for the upper floors, where the different offices follow the same design, marked by some variants in terms of style: modular desks, perpendicular to the windows, occupy the open space , shielded from the corridor by 1.80 m partitions, in different colours and shapes according to the company they belong to.
The interior has been enriched with designed furniture from different brands as the dealer Cardex, and the top level suppliers; among them: Caimi Brevetti (Snowbound sound absorbing panels), dieffebi (storage),  Interface (floor covering), Universal Selecta (partition walls).
Text by Gabriele Masi.


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Art at the milanese Chapman Taylor’s offices.

An efficient and flexible space, a place with a strong identity: for their milanese office Chapman Taylor have chosen an old oil and distillery warehouses, restructured into a functional environment capable to promote the new WOW and to integrate different professional competences. The symbol of the creativity and the mutual exchange, fundamental principle of the company’s  history.

When the Chapman Taylor offices in Pietrasanta st. in Milan was inaugurated, more than 150 people attended the event in which the company told its story, through videos, installations and live performance. The inauguration involved directly the public in an interactive game/exhibition where the attendants were invited to show themselves establishing a relationship of mutual exchange.

“Mutual exchange” is the idea that stands behind the project that involves 350 sqm space with more than 40 workstations, some of which are dedicated to coworking for professionals, freelancers an collaborators.
An exchange also with the history of the building, a location that has already gone through many adaptations over the years from warehouse as well as a creative centre for theaters, photography studios, and a design school. That why the approach applied to the reinvention of the buildings is soft and conservative, as it is shown by the retention of original window frames and and the use of steel to realise them, the curvature of the vaulted arches in the roof is retained, the restoration of walls to bring out the red bricks, and the reopening of two previous closed windows.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Pillow Table: sit-stand-nap desk.

Displayed at Salone del Mobile,at Danish LIVINGroom,(hall 10 stand B03) the very first height-adjustable desk (linear actuator systems by Linak) coming with a cushion for a comfortable power nap at work. Tine Mouritsen, inspired by new WOW, designed it.

A lot has been said about how healthy the height-adjustable desks are, a real symbol of a new dynamic ergonomics, and this trend is spreading in Italy, too, where  companies more conscious of the employee’s wellbeing don’t give up the pleasure of a sitting standing workstation.

The benefits of a nap are also well-known, especially after lunch, a real drive for multitaskers. Not accidentally, nap rooms are often considered in smart offices and several major companies have already started to study functional furniture allowing to take a nap.
Yet, we’ll see something original at Salone del Mobile that combines these two must-haves to feel at ease and way happier in the office.


Pillow Table is a sitting-standing desk equipped with integrated pillow in its top.
Linak Danmark A/S has been invited to participate on the Danish LIVINGroom booth –  stand B03, hall 10 – at Salone del Mobile in Milan. The Danish manufacturer of linear actuator systems is the only sub supplier on the Danish joint booth, as the other participants are well-known Danish manufacturers of furniture and famous designers. The company presents a range of solutions featuring top design, comfort and ergonomics, including a sit-stand desk, designed by the Danish architect Tine Mouritsen, who took inspiration from the thoughts behind New Ways of Working into consideration. The desk shown at the exhibition is therefore mounted with a pillow intended for a powernap.

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Adjustable height desks require a new office design.

Adjustable height desks are becoming more and more popular and soon they are gonna be the new standard in the office. The Gensler’s interior designer Amie Keener has defined them a new challenge for the workplace design that has to rethink the space in order to include these agile, dynimc and “well-being oriented” workstations in the best way.

“Sitting-standing” desks, as any other innovation in the beginning, offer indisputable benefits, has we already talked about, but they also need some change to give their best.
The downsides, has we are going to see, are not about the object itself, but problems that can be easily solved with a different office design, capable to give an answer and integrate all the new working environment’s trends like flexibility, smart, activity based, hybrid, sharing.
Amie Keener, on the magazine GenslerOn, has counterposed the ergonomic, physical and psychological benefits of the dynamic posture (that supports a flexible use of the workstations and helps to prevent health problems) with some downsides, she has personally experienced in her everyday’s office life, mostly linked to wires and power sources, noise and eyesight.

First of all, Amie Keener had to deal with length of wires problems and the need of having the power sources in the proximity of the desk. This, of course, has a strong impact on the position of the desk in the space: motorized adjustable desks and mobile devices, as laptop, needs power to work properly. So, as the designer said, it is useful “to consider a neat wire management spine or enclose to hide wires and cords”.
An interesting issue is the relationship between adjustable height desks and acoustic comfort. In fact the acoustic design of the space need to be changed, because an higher position requires different solutions to avoid the voices and the noises of the office to disturb.
Dealing with a new position of the subject in the space, it is necessary to rethink the partitions and the dispositions of the workstation and of the sound absorption elements.
The last problem Amie Keener has pointed out is the terrible eyesight given by a messy high desks, striking more at a glance due to the fact that it is closer to eye level than a standard desk height.
“Even the most elegant workspaces can quickly come resemble barely organised pig sites”, she writes.
That’s why adjustable height desks require an higher level of responsibility from the workers, something, however, that is  already required by the new ways of working, that are based on the concept of space and object’s sharing.
As also Keener has to admit, adjustable height desks are growing more and more popular in the office, and they are becoming the standard that the office design and the management need to consider in order to create spaces where they can be perfectly integrated.
Text by Gabriele Masi.




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 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.



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.


Secretair Sedus: an oasis of privacy.

Sedus cultivates the renaissance of an old type of furniture for casual work places, as a retreat in the open space, a cosy solution for the home office or useful desk in common spaces like university and library. It underlines the effect of productive well-being and close the gap between “main office” and “home office”.

This single workplace created by designer Rüdiger Schaack is small (1200 x 700 mm) but beautiful and easy to position thanks to its castors. A screening textile element and conscious avoidance of conventional table legs contribute to the special character of the versatile piece of furniture.
5-sedus-secretaire-Rudiger-Schaack-wow-webmagazine.The supporting structure consists of a tubular frame construction with a net-like fabric cover, which also functions as acoustic and visual screening as well as supporting the table top. This creates a small haven of well-being that allows concentrated working and further reinforces it with the slanted flanks of this screening.



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

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

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




Personalized ergonomic height adjustment.

Temptation Twin e Attention are the desk systems by Sedus that allows different individual, ergonomic height adjustment for meeting tables and desks.

The double desk Temptation Twin by Sedus offers double the advantages.On the one hand, more efficiency; as a unit with one shared frame it allows for a wide variety of desk formations. On the other hand, it offers perfect ergonomics, as the frame leaves lots of leg room and the height of each desk can be adjusted separately. When used in conjunction with the matching desk-mounted screens, also aids concentrated individual work as well.

Temptation Twin allows different individual, ergonomic height adjustment.
Manual telescopic height adjustment 650 – 850 mm.
Recommended as an inexpensive solution if the desk is not going to be raised or lowered very often.
Simple crank height adjustment 650 – 850 mm. A couple of revolution assets the desk to the correct height quickly and easily. This system is ideal when the desk user changes frequently.
Electric height adjustment 650 – 1250 mm. This highly convenient form of individual adjustment up to standing height facilitates dynamic seating and varied working postures, something which is recommended for healthy office.

Sedus also presented Attention, a collection that combines visual lightness and great function  and offers the right solution for  any workplace environments: individual workstation, grouped together for use in small teams or as a conference table.
The desk range is available with three different base frames.
In particular the T base type comes with – or can be retrofitted with – an electric motor, allowing it to be height-adjusted easily in an instant. This can be crucial in achieving a more ergonomic office. It also offers conference table types, where, depending on type, the seat height can either be adjusted without the need for tools, or moved from sitting to standing height with the motorized height adjustment feature.

“Agile”, even working at your own desk.

Movement is the elixir of our life, and it’s a source of wellbeing and health also at the office. That’s what the Michele De Lucchi’s installation “The Walkmaintains and is proved by several studies showing how unhealthy immobility is and the physical and mental advantages of a dynamic posture, starting from the desk, which should be of the “sitting-standing” type according to ergonomists.

Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all: people who sit for 11 hours or more a day are 40 percent more likely to die over the next three years. Of course, no doubt,  gym, walking, swimming, cycling, outdoor pursuits… but what can we do during the about eight hours a day on the job?
An office organized by activity settings proves to be healthier compared to the one keeping us stuck in front of a worktop, and those companies supplied with gyms, yoga areas and gym teachers offer their employees much more than a relaxing break; the same applies for companies, the offices of which are furnished with “sitting standing” desks, which is not yet so popular in Italy but quite widespread and even compulsory in several European countries, where Wellbeing Awareness is more deep-seated ( WOW! posted an article about sit-stand desks at Orgatec).
USM-cologne 2014-wow-webmagazine
(Caption upper photo: USM Kitos)
The quality of life can start from the desk: “We improve your life” is the motto of Linak a world leader in electric linear actuator (desk top height adjustment equipments).

Better safe than sorry, as they say, and health benefits (blood circulation, drainage, muscle strengthening,bone and skeletal systems..) coming from a sitting-standing posture are definitely proved.

UNI Rule EN 527-1:2011
There is a UNI rule still valid, yet rules are voluntary and maybe an incentive to make companies aware of this theme could be useful. The newest release of the European standard EN 527-1:2011 “Office furniture — Work tables and desks Part 1: Dimensions” replaces the previous edition EN 527-1:2000.
The EN 527-1:2011 specifies dimensions of work tables and desks for office tasks to be undertaken in a seated, a sit stand or standing position.
Compared to the previous edition the new standard updates the sizes of desks taking account the technological progress of PCs, now all flat screen (and no longer CRT), which allows to get office desks with depth significantly lower.
The standard divides the desks classifying them into four types:
Type A: height adjustable (the height can be changed anytime by the user
Type B: height selectable (the height can be adapted to the user at installation)
Type C: fixed height
Type D: height adjustable or selectable, with limited range of adjustment

The EN 527-1:2011 also introduces the concept of “sit standing desk” allowing the user to vary between standing and sitting position during the working day and obviate to spend several hours sited. This type of height adjustable desks are mostly used in the northern Europe.
The new release also presents new requirements, room available for legs has been increased with more freedom of movement or, regarding desks with fixed height, that height is raised.
Walking …at your desk.
Why just stand at your desk when you can walk? A walking/working posture should be healthier than standing still… The answer is a ridiculous treadmill desk. It’s not a joke, a Canadian research reported in the journal Computers in Human Behavior shows that treadmill desk has a beneficial effect on attention and memory. A good solution to save your fitness center admission fee!

Status and dynamic vision also for the executive table( lower photos).
Element, designed by Foster + Partners for Unifor, is a board meeting of great elegance that responds to a more dynamic vision for the executive workplace. For the manager who does not like the static, it provides the twice use as large round desk or conference table, both allow the standing or sitting posture. The height adjustment of the heavy desk top sets magically pressing a hidden button.


The Walk by Michele De Lucchi: the workplace as a communication platform.

“We should think of the workspace as a gymnasium for the mind, conceiving it as a place where relationships generate new ideas and possibilities. The office of the future should be visualized with the focus on lifestyles unfettered by convention, evolving spaces that perpetuate an endless stream of new ideas”, says architect Michele De Lucchi on the occasion of the press conference of Salone del Mobile (April 14th to 19th) hold at the 35th floor of the Allianz Tower in CityLife, Milan. Nicolas Bewick, partner aMDL, examined in depth the concepts of the installation during the Seminar by Assufficio “Nell’Ufficio che verrà” devoted to workplace.

The Walk (La Passeggiata) is a large loop, a workspace-based installation, conceived by Michele De Lucchi; it will be showcased inside Salone del Mobile’s Pavilions 22-24 of Workplace3.0 from designed to transmit design ideas and thoughts for the workplace.
In a continually and rapidly evolving world, the office is the space most susceptible to transformation triggered by social, economic and cultural change.

This was the inspiration behind “The Walk”, a metaphor for the importance of never standing still because “The art of walking is a visual art that gives us the ability to see the world in a different way”, as Wu Ming2 says.
Even in the office, it is more important to keep moving than to stand still, and both internal and external landscapes have a fundamental bearing on how an office comes to be.

Paradoxically, in-between spaces like a reception area or a kitchen, a patch of green where least expected, a particularly comfortable meeting room and a pleasant means of accessing one’s own workstation matter a great deal more than the workstation itself.
The installation is the expression of this vision, reflecting the designer’s theories about the workplace. It is divided into four themed areas: Club, Free Men, Agorà, Laboratory  and surrounded by a “wild” garden.
The Walk: four themed areas and a garden.

The Club
It is the area earmarked for meetings and get-togethers, a sort of communication platform. The space is pleasingly informal, reminiscent of hotel and airport waiting rooms, hospitable and comfortable. Waiting rooms have evolved to become reference points for open, deconstructed offices, with no desks and no duty to be present. Everything inside the Club is arranged to maximise the work process and to cater to the need for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat whenever it strikes, day or night. club-La-Passeggiata-Michele-De-Lucchi-Salone-del-Mobile-2015-workplace-3.0-wow-webmagazine

Free Men
Workspaces should serve to promote the exchange of ideas and skills – on which the creative and productive process is founded – while fostering the correct balance between “me” and “us”, between the need to concentrate in private and the need to collaborate. The office environment should be a stimulating, exciting and creative place in which relational context plays a decisive role: nourishing the creativity of individuals and boosting the power of group work. It should also allow people to feel protected and separate, with the facility to see people in private and work undisturbed if necessary. uomini-liberi-La-Passeggiata-Michele-De-Lucchi-Salone-del-Mobile-2015-workplace-3.0-wow-webmagazine
A pavilion designed to cater for meetings of various different kinds: conferences, presentations, screenings, exhibitions, shows and special events. An area where individual ideas can be presented and those of other people aired, where colleagues can meet and share information and opinions, an area that fosters a sense of community. agora-La-Passeggiata-Michele-De-Lucchi-Salone-del-Mobile-2015-workplace-3.0-wow-webmagazine

It is inside the laboratory that the creative process takes shape, producing documents, presentations and 3D prototypes, images, software and applications. This is where people can learn manual work, explore new tools, invent and stay updated because these processes all contribute to the creation and consolidation of the community. laboratorio-La-Passeggiata-Michele-De-Lucchi-Salone-del-Mobile-2015-workplace-3.0-wow-webmagazine
Connection with nature
“The Walk” workspace is surrounded by greenery: a “wild” garden offering ample choice of where and how best to accomplish one’s work. An office deliberately left “untended” could provide the ideal ground for the most fertile seeds to grow. natura-La-Passeggiata-Michele-De-Lucchi-Salone-del-Mobile-2015-workplace-3.0-wow-webmagazine


Arper: collections inspired by work-life balance.

Do you remember the Arper’s “Life-Work” presence at Salone del Mobile? On the occasion of Orgatec 2014 the motto overturns “Work-Life” to launch (Hall 10/2-J19) the new collection inspired by the work-life balance vision of workplace.

The Kinesit Chair, design by Lievore Altherr Molina, is Arper’s first office chair that is one hundred-percent compliant with regulatory requirements while still maintaining a light and minimal form. A built-in weight sensitive mechanism system and seat height commands hide discreetly under the seat replacing excessive visual clutter with a streamlined, elegant silhouette. An invisible, adjustable lumbar support bar is concealed within the backrest’s thin frame giving additional support without taking unnecessary space. Adjustments to the seat and back allow the shell to conform to the individual’s body type for optimal seated comfort, even during more time consuming projects.
Cross Table, design by Fattorini+Rizzini+Partners is an adaptable, open and generous, table.
It is equally suited for the boardrooms, residential spaces or for collaborative work environments thanks to optional configuration arrangements. A temporary meeting ground for group gatherings or a communal workstation with room enough to share, Cross’s substantial length is sculptural and architectural––engineered with aluminum die-cast technology and forming a solid and reassuring space to create. A central channel outlet allows multiple people to plug-in.


Architectural and protective seating.

During the ‘70s the ergonomic chairs were the “hart” of Orgatec, real seating machines. Today seating design becomes softer, friendly and technology is hidden. The most common typology is the multifunctional lounge seating.

Neither sofa, nor cubicles nor sound absorbing screens: yet they are all these things… and more. The functions of the lounge chair expand. The armchairs are snug and envelop like a cocoon to make you feel a total comfort, they become informal workstations for meeting or concentration.

Brunner, Banc Seating System, design Jehs and Jurgen.
Estel Kite, sound absorbing Lounge Seating.
Haworth, Windowseat, design Mike & Maaike.
Cascando, Team seating system, design Peter Van De Water.