A Joyful Sense at Work

Evolving workspaces: from product design to anthropodesign


The purpose of A Joyful Sense at Work is to breathe new life into the theory of office and work place design by setting its sights squarely on people, in terms of their needs, emotions and experiences. This stunning installation was created especially for the biennial Workplace3.0 exhibition curated by the architect Cristiana Cutrona.

The title, A Joyful Sense at Work, reflects the notion that, going forward, work will need to “make sense of things and relationships, generate new quality of life, and deliver excitement and happiness. Taking a humanistic and anthropological approach to designing offices means responding to the real needs of people today.

Within an approximately 1,600 m2 area, A Joyful Sense at Work will showcase this new workplace concept. 4 architectural practices of international renown and standing, chosen on the basis of geographic area of provenance, will explore the relationship between cultural identity and globalisation in relation to happiness and quality of life in terms of workplace design.

O+A (USA)
The Water Cooler perfectly distils the concept devised by Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander: water as a perfect metaphor for the workspace of the future. This space will aim to feed the imagination, restore motivation and regenerate the people who work in it through its ability to adapt perfectly to their physical and emotional needs, as their satisfaction is the secret to optimum performance. The space can be marked out into different area according to the needs and activities of the workers.

Ahmadi Studio (Iran)
Arash Ahmadi has come up with an adaptive and constantly evolving workspace, capable of bringing the personal and social spheres together to respond to people’s competing demands. The architect has drawn inspiration from two iconic Iranian spaces: the Persian garden, an intimate and private place, and the bazaar, a place of exchange and discussion, which mirrors the dynamism and variety of contemporary work and society.

UNStudio and SCAPE (Holland)
Ben van Berkel of UNStudio and SCAPE’s Jeff Povlo reflect on the condition of stress at work, to which contemporary man is exposed. RESET – Responsive Emotional Transformation – will be a totally immersive and modular space drawing on scientifically proven ways of reducing stress in a playful and interactive way. This concept is based on the use of technology applied to people but perceived by the environment, enabling people to manage difficult emotional situations as well as possible and allowing the space to mutate according to the level of stress experienced by those who work in it.

5+1AA (Italy)
Chronotopic System, the space designed by Alfonso Femia and Gianluca Peluffo, changes in relation to space and time and according to the use, the demands and the desires of those who “inhabit” it. The key concepts informing this new workspace and its increasingly evolved capacity to generate relationships are encroachment, pollution, integration and belonging.

In Pavilion 24.