The WOD (Women in Office Design) group has extended its reach to over 2,500 members across the globe with chapters in the UK, Spain, India and now Italy. Founded in May 2018 by Harsha Kotak, an interior designer with a vision to inspire and empower women working in all areas of the office design industry, WOD’s success demonstrates a definitive need for fellowship, networking, knowledge exchange and learning.
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“WOD is about providing a platform for women around the world to learn from each other,” says Harsha Kotak. “Many men also participate in our events demonstrating our commitment to inclusivity and openness to ensure equality for all. The value anyone brings to a project or business is not gender specific.”
“Being at the heart of the design industry, Italy has a particular significance to WOD,” continues Harsha. “We launched on 6th September 2021 during Milano Design Week with leading players in the sector coming together at Flokk’s Milan showroom to discuss aspirations, developments, and the efforts to introduce greater sustainability within projects and product design.”
Speakers at the launch event included Elena Caregnato, Principal Design, Unispace; Francesco Dompieri, Designer, Nichetto Studio; Filippo Taidelli, Architect and Founder, FTA; and Paolo Zanon from fabric manufacturer, Gabriel, Italy; as well as an overview presentation by UK based environmental ‘champion’, Georgia Elliott-Smith.
The first WOD Italy event was also hosted on Zoom enabling WOD members from around the globe to listen to the speakers and experience the next step in WOD’s expansion.
“Our first launch event was extremely well received,” observed Lauren Thompson, WOD’s ambassador for Italy and Senior A&D Consultant and WELL AP for Flokk. “Participants appreciated the spirit of collaboration and learning within a non-competitive environment. We can all benefit from the insight gained from everyone’s different talents, skills and backgrounds.”
WOD Italy is planning an exciting programme for 2022 with new events to be announced shortly.
As well as the events, the WOD-Digital app provides an additional platform for collaboration, learning and networking with the rapidly expanding community across the globe.