Salone del Mobile.Milano: Workplace3.0 2017

The workspace of tomorrow is a new blend of the virtual and the physical, of sharing with individuality, interior and exterior, and the personal and the social

The Show dedicated to workplace environments returns between 4th and 9th April 2017. Rebranded Workplace3.0 in 2015, this exhibition confirms its new vocation as an exploration of brand-new approaches, forms and solutions to the workplace “of the future”, in which the human factor and smart technologies have a vital role to play.

The 2017 edition of Workplace3.0 spans a 10,000sq. m. display area and occupies two Pavilions (22 and 24), hosting some 110 exhibitors that will be showcasing solutions catering to new approaches to work and new design needs so that we can truly “live” our workspaces. A Joyful Sense at Work, an event/exhibit curated by Cristiana Cutrona first announced in 2015, will be part of this exhibition, giving form and life to the latest theories of office product and workspace design.

Workplace3.0 is conceived as an irreplaceable think tank for finding out about and understanding upcoming necessary changes to workspaces, going beyond the most widely held opinions and putting all of our certainties up for discussion. More than just an exhibition, it is a starting point for stimulating forward-looking ideas capable of catering to a changing market and changing needs. Furniture and furnishings manufacturers will be showcasing their finest products designed for procurement plans, reception areas and office spaces.

With all this in its DNA, Workplace3.0 is an excellent springboard for Italian and international exhibitors’ business. Italian companies are blazing the trail thanks to exports posting a solid growth trend. With more than €80 million worth of exports, France is Italy’s no. 1 export market. From January till September 2016, Italian office furniture companies performed exceptionally well in the United Kingdom (up 33.1%), in the United States (up 23.7%), and in China (up 34.3%), the world’s three most important contract and design markets.

As well as the business opportunities it offers, Workplace3.0 is set up as a wellspring of ideas, reflecting and promoting the very redefinition of the idea of the office as no longer a place of mere production-led efficiency but as a permeable and dynamic habitat for work sharing and cross-pollination with other activities. Workplaces are becoming organic, capable of reacting and changing in real-time to cater to our needs. Moment by moment, these spaces are defined more by the needs of the people who work there than by classic workplace environment functions.

Within the macro framework of this expression of ever-more hybrid lifestyles – in which the border between private and working life, personal interests and competencies, social life and professional life are all blending into one another – the emerging trend is for offices to be the ultimate place for pushing the design envelope.

Workspaces are being conceived as open, destructured places without fixed workplaces as companies turn to smart co-working solutions. With their hallmark informal environments and reconfigurable furnishings that cater to the needs of the moment, shared workspaces have become fertile ground for the circulation of ideas and creative energies, and places for incubating innovation.

Offices are going nomadic, following professionals wherever they may roam. Mobile “portable” modules are coming to market that can be installed where they are needed, whether it be a domestic garden or an open public space. A consequence of the great liquidity of contemporary lifestyles is an increasing overlap between living space and workspace, with homes and home furnishings adapting to dual home/office use. This explains why companies are showcasing aesthetic codes of domesticity while at the same time ensuring high levels of ease and salubrity, not just through meticulous research into lighting and the adoption of cognitive and physical ergonomic solutions but also thanks to areas dedicated to relaxation and meditation, pods and places to lie down and rest, as well as equipment for sports and leisure.

A new approach to customization is gaining ground so that not just whoever works in a room personalizes it, but rather spaces are built on a bespoke basis to take into account human and professional relations on the basis of specific values and needs like environmental and economic sustainability.

The 2017 edition of Workplace3.0 introduces this highly human-centric approach to the places we work in and showcases design solutions conceived to positively impact our work-life balance and motivation by ensuring that the places we work are a “nice place to be”.