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THE WIDESPREAD OFFICE

THE WIDESPREAD OFFICE

New concepts for nomadic working. In association with Microsoft Italia.

In the second year of its association with Microsoft, Scuola Politecnica di Design has continued to explore the concept of widespread intelligence in everyday objects. Work remains the central theme of the research, which focussed last year on the design of technological tools (Personal Viewer, SMAU Industrial Design award).

The 2002-2003 project, coordinated by Piero Lissoni, shifts attention toworking environments. Spaces crossed by a decisive transformation that dematerializes the traditional office and makes technology invisible. This means that the working environment tends to get humanized owing to the research into atmospheres and sensations that until now have been connected to the domestic, personal sphere.

The Master’s in Industrial Design students have designed a family of objectswhich includes sofas, lamps and light sources, desks and separating elements. Technology allows all these tools to offer flexibility and freedom of movement by encouraging unification and individual comfort.

Forget office-grey and the pointless waits before meetings. Among thetwenty projects which marry performance and emotion, irony and functionality, you can find offices with living areas to continue working while resting on tatami with foldaway drawers, monitors, LAN connectionsand relaxing light sources. Or a diffusor within a library so that scents and colours can be chosen to fit in with the state of mind at a particular moment. Or even islands for working which have been gained from naked space thanks to transparent panels covered with special multimedia film. And sophisticated water distributors with sensual forms that become places for meeting and relaxation.

Technology has overcome the boundaries of consumer electronics hidden in objects of everyday appearance. Even the totem pole thought up for airports and transit areas – with a server allowing wireless web and network connections – has the interesting and unexpected appearance of an enormous mushroom.

Project leader: Prof. Piero Lissoni
In association with Microsoft