Is there still a place for sharing in the world of work at the time of Covid? The answer seems obvious: no. Too many are the anxieties that the pandemic has sown by changing the color of our lives and pushing back into smart working the ambition of a space, mental and physical, in which to feed on vital exchanges.
Appearances, however, deceive: "In reality, if we go beyond the phase of the very first reaction to the emergency, we see that design has already given a possible response to the need not to completely abandon the coworking model", explains Ilaria Marelli, architect and designer with a long experience in setting up and designing showrooms and corporate spaces.
"Until the beginning of 2020, coworking had been a growing formula, because it combined the possibility of interaction between complementary activities and the economic convenience of a complete service hub available. Then came the pandemic and we asked ourselves what would happen, with the physical distancing, of all the initiatives based on sharing. The answer is that, after the first wave, new opportunities have arrived: the service companies that thought they could reduce the costs of large headquarters thanks to smart working, understood shortly after that working from home full time is not always the solution. best". In short, between expanding the offices to ensure new distances and focusing everything on remote work, a third way has emerged, which passes through a review of coworking as we are used to knowing it. Marelli explains: “This third way consists in renting stations organized and shared, but spread throughout the territory, to be used also part-time”. A mixed solution that does not go through the large headquarters where everything remains unchanging as in the pre-emergency era, nor does it liquidate the job issue by relegating the worker to home, but focuses on decentralized company offices, even in the province, to be used only when needed by resorting to rent if needs change.
This is the scenario that Marelli represented in a catalog for Gaber dedicated to solutions for post-pandemic work. "After all," explains the designer, "the scope of hybrid solutions is also expanding to other sectors such as hospitality: in fact, hotel chains are growing that host spaces other than large meeting rooms, but similar to small offices also equipped for video calls, more efficient than hotel lobbies or workstations in often uncomfortable rooms".
The pandemic is also changing those hybrid spaces - at the same time showrooms, offices and locations for cultural events - through which a brand tells its story and design continues, amid the difficulties of the moment, to open up to the city, mixing in the same places the insiders and the variously assorted public of the events. Here the new standard is Gio Tirotto's project for Fenix Scenario, the "home" in Foro Bonaparte, in Milan, of the brand of interior design materials that welcomes the other brands of the holding and the creative hub Musa. A space of the possible, a bit of an interior design center, a bit of a place for phygital relationships, where functions are constantly evolving.
The starting intuition, says Tirotto, dates back to the pre-pandemic, then it was strengthened: Covid did not block the idea of a maximum transformability of the spaces intended for offices, showrooms, brainstorming and the indispensable material library to squadernate employees the excellence of the brand is underway. “I thought of what we would once have called a showroom, but which is actually also a workplace physically open to the city, in Brera, like a constantly evolving stage machine”. Hence the idea of welcoming the visitor with Zaha Hadid's Cirrus sculpture and opening up a space with scenographic elements: ceiling structures that define flexible wings, full-height rotating panels that transform into screens for projections and videomapping, storage units (by Lapalma) equipped with wheels to be moved to maximize versatility. The hub tells the possibility of Made in Italy down to the smallest detail, set up as it is with excellent furnishings, among which the Touch Down mobile workstation by Studio Klass for Unifor stands out: conceived in pre-emergency times, here it shines as the wild card in the deck of the good post Covid designer.