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Milan Design Week 2015: Workplace 3.0

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Zaira Magliozzi reports from Milan Design Week - today: workplace

Milan Design week is a precious occasion for gaining an overview on the most recent research and observing the directions in which architecture and design are moving.

This year the Rho fairground focuses its attention on workplaces, on new ways of working and new products for inhabiting the spaces in which we work.

This sector is changing rapidly: in an interconnected world jobs are increasingly more flexible and ephemeral. This affects the way architects conceive and plan workplaces. New technologies are reducing the boundaries between work and life. There is also a growing awareness that architecture, materials, forms and lighting affect the way we work, produce and live.

This is why the latest trends focus on humanising the working environment, moving beyond the idea of the workstation conceived in the ‘70s and ‘80s, when large open spaces were tastelessly crowded by desks.

Enjoy your workplace’ is the slogan of Spain’s Made Design, one of the companies exhibiting this year. This concept is well-expressed in ‘The Walk’, Michele De Lucchi’s installation focused on different ways of inhabiting the office today. Here we find a perfect mix of new types of spaces that best delineate the workplaces of the future. Small and private structures where people are free to use their space as best suits them.

But also communication platforms, where priority is given to informal socialising and exchanges, similar to a welcoming hotel lobby or airport lounge. The common ground is nature, expressed by the widespread use of natural materials such as wood and, above all, by luxuriant greenery. This year’s event is also an occasion to present two new prototypes conceived by De Lucchi for Unifor, part of the Molteni group: Studiolo and Hatch. Respectively a writing desk and a modular system that reshape commonly held ideas about the workplace.

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