As a digital communication agency, Monforte is constantly dealing with the languages of the digital world & the dynamics of big data. Big Data was introduced by Gartner analyst Doug Laney in 2001*, when he defined data growth challenges & opportunities as being three-dimensional, i.e. increasing in: Volume (amount of data), Variety (range of data types & sources) and Velocity (speed of data in & out).
We all deal with the digital world in one way or another & so we can learn from it. In this project, we draw on the metaphor of the 3 V’s (volume, variety & velocity) to understand & design the dynamics of a great collaborative working environment, a space where interactions flow. Volume, Variety & Velocity are the pillars of Architecting Interaction; AKKA’s vision in creating spaces that foster interactions. At AKKA, we believe that a successful work environment is driven by three forms of interactions: creativity, collaboration & learning. It is at the intersection of creativity, collaboration & learning that innovation emerges. This is why, at AKKA, we are dedicated to creating spaces that foster interactions.
By considering the Volume, Variety & Velocity of the space, its people & its activities, we do not simply design a physical space, but rather the ability of the space to behave as an active catalyst of interactions. This is how we can create a great collaborative work environment, an Ufficio Manifesto for Monforte. The space created becomes a hub of interactions among its people.
More information about this project Volume | Variety | Velocity | Interactions | Design Elements
In the context of creating a physical environment, the notion of volume would imply three dynamics:
1. Amount of space: Monforte’s space, even though quantitatively fixed, is never static. It can be reduced or expanded, by use of modular panels for example, by flipping a table open from a wall or by expanding to the outdoor garden or the rest of the city. The space achieved is elastic, modular, flexible & multipurpose.
2. Amount of people: Based on its nature as a collaborative environment, Monforte’s office will welcome different day, on different days, during different events or due to different circumstances whether internal or external.
3. Amount of activity: A collaborative work environment is never a still space. Monforte’s space will accommodate different levels of activities & buzz that will fill the space at different times of day, on different days, during different events or due to different circumstances whether internal or external.
Being in the area of the Fuorisalone, it is important that Monforte’s space is connected to the other Salone locations across the city. Whithin this larger network, the volume of the space expands in its immediate or larger urban context. In its immediate urban context, Monforte’s location gains from being associated with the network of other key locations in the city, as those locations can be considered an extension of the volume of the space.
Drawing on our design for the Impact Hub project as a case study, it is clear that the volume of the space, even when physically unchanged will be perceived differently depending on the volume of different activities happening in it. The volume of the space gains a different perception when used in different settings for different purposes. It is of course influenced by the volume of people & that of the activities it is catering for.
In the context of creating a physical environment, the notion of variety, from the metaphor of big data, would imply three dynamics:
1. diversity of space: Monforte’s space expresses it diversity through its different physical qualities, such as arched, flat, lit, shaded, open, closed…etc.
2. diversity of people: As a collaborative environment, Monforte’s offices necessarily cater for different profiles of people, including the team, clients, collaborators, (one day, one month, one year) guests, passers-by, local & (inter)-national events visitors such as the Fuorisalone for example. Another dimension to be taken into account is the fact that even the same profiles of people often use the space in different ways; two team members may have two very different ways of making a phone call for example.
3. diversity of activity: To cater for its diversity of people, Monforte’s offices also house a large variety of activities, functions & possibilities to satisfy the different needs of people using this Ufficio Manifesto.
Drawing on our design for the Impact Hub project as a case study again, we clearly see that different profiles of people use the space in different ways, a host will not use the space like a team member, a collaborator or a guest might.
To create a truly great collaborative environment, Monforte’s offices need to cater for a variety of activities. People will have different needs & the space will need to cater for different functions, sometimes simultaneously such as a quiet concentration area at the same time as a loud creation area. Furthermore, being in the area of the Fuorisalone, it is important that the space can transform into an exhibition space, entirely or partially, this will also allow events or gathering for further meetings, networking & exchanging.
Since Monforte’s space needs to be flexible, adaptable & modular, it needs to cater to different scenarios of uses.
a. Co-work: when functioning entirely as a great collaborative environment, the space will need to cater to the activities shown top right, in scenario a.
b. Not only is Monforte’s space in the Fuorisalone area, it is also an exquisite space with a charming unique character. The space can gain from being able to function as an exhibition space as well as an events space, being able to host speakers & networking gatherings. When functioning entirely as an open exhibition space, the space will organise itself in a zoning as shown in scenario b.
c. It is also possible for Monforte to host its co-working & exhibition functions simultaneously. In this case, depending on the scales of the exhibition & co-work required, the space can organise itself in different scenarios, including the zoning shown in scenario c.
In the context of creating a physical environment, the notion of velocity, from the metaphor of big data, would imply three dynamics:
1. speed of space: Through modular & flexible solutions, such as the Modular Panels Kit & the Cucina Operativa table, Monforte’s office space will be able to adapt at different paces & frequency based on the need.
2. speed of people: As in any great collaborative environment, people move through the space at different speeds & different paces, at different times of day, on different days, during different events or due to different circumstances whether internal or external.
3. speed of activity: Being a modular & easily reconfigurable space, Monforte’s offices will cater to activities of different paces & varied levels of intensity. A group’s brainstorming session will have a different speed that a group of people having lunch or a person relaxing. A visualisation of what Monforte’s offices could feel like: a great collaborative work environment. Notice the green Modular kit panels that easily create a private meeting room. A visualisation of how Monforte’s space can reconfigure in a large open exhibition space. Notice the Modular kit panels that have here easily created exhibition panels.
Drawing on our design for the Impact Hub project as a case study again, it is obvious that the pace & level of intensity of the different activities are studied throughout the space as its heartbeat. This velocity of activities will vary throughout the day as well as on different days due to various internal & external circumstances.
Particularly in a collaborative working environment, people move at different speeds in different parts of the space. The different paces of people need to be supported by the space itself, this is why a modular, flexible & easily reconfigured space are a must.
When a space is designed with the 3 V’s in mind, the result is never a mere space but rather it is the sum of all the potential & opportunities that can happen in the space, the energy that emanates from it & the interaction nodes where people can co-work, collaborate, meet, exchange, chat, eat…
We do not aim at designing a quantified space but rather a qualified space, a space that hosts people, a space that can grow into a larger space, with more flexibility, more chances for creativity to be expressed & competences to be shared, a space that stimulates more collaboration in the most effective & pleasant way, a space where everyone feels comfortable, & can be more efficient, a space where people interact, concentrate, collaborate, relax, chat, meet, feel like they belong in the community & can reconfigure their space to suit their needs.
The space created increases the value of Monforte’s services to their clients. Monforte’s new offices are designed to foster interactions, including collaboration, learning, creativity, co-working, creating, relaxing, gathering, eating, chatting, meeting, exhibiting… etc. The result is a truly collaborative environments, created through AKKA’s collaborative process.
To achieve the vision for Monforte’s offices, the overall space design is complemented by the custom design of two interior elements, used to expand the space, accommodating for more or less people and different activities. More about these interior elements:
More information about this project is available upon request here.