Onclaude - Empowering Design Innovators Beta



Design Collaborative Spaces

28th of January 2016, 0 comments, category: Self-Initiated Projects

by Onclaude


This project is the outcome of a collaboration within Onclaude's Innovators Network.

The project is initiated by Maria Serra, design thinker and innovation facilitator, founder of Onclaude and Antonio Iadarola, transdisciplinary designer and researcher from Studio Wé (New York), in partnership with Nicola Brambilla, architect and founder of Studio Hypnos and UP -Unità di Produzione, a coworking space in Milan. 

By sharing views on our respective experience in designing and facilitating collaborative experiences in physical as well as in virtual workspaces, we have been urged by the need to explore further the relationship between space and collective creativity and envision new ways to approach it from a design perspective.

CONTEXT, the Challenge

We realise that designing spaces and methods for collaboration can be very challenging as communities are complex environments that present diversity of needs and agendas. On the other hand collaboration is recognised as a key asset for innovation in both the corporate workplaces and the independent coworking movement. 

We realise the inadequacy of addressing complex problems with simple solutions: creating beautiful, functional environment does not inspire people to "be creative" and work together by itself.

Collaboration is a much more articulated process, driven by Design Thinking and Agile principles and methodologies. We have started to explore more in-depth needs and goals of communities in both corporate and coworking environments, which we recognise have specific characteristics but also share common issues, such as how to allow people to express their own creativity and diversity while being inspired by a shared vision and move towards a shared purpose.

How can we support modern organisations in designing more effective and impactful ways to catalyse “collective creativity”, the building block of collaboration?

OUTCOME (expected)

We're addressing this challenge by enabling a think tank that can work as a lab of ideas and actions.

Strategic activities will be:
  • trigger discussion through public conversations and knowledge exchange
  • designing an immersive educational format hosted at Unità di Produzione involving participants in training and workshop activities to gain tools and methods and develop personal new ones
  • production of conceptual and actual workspace prototypes for clients and partner organization
Agile Working and Collaborative spaces: New Approaches 

WHAT: Jelly Session

During this informal conversation, we will explore together the possibilities that coworking practices offer to foster creativity, generate innovation as well as improve coworkers' efficacy and well-being. The event will take place at Isola WoW! - a hub for sharing ideas and experiences on smart working which will be set up in a one-of-a-kind location: Cozzi Swimming pool. Isola WoW!  is organized by WoW! Webmagazine in collaboration with Milanosport in the context of the Agile Working Days promoted by Milan City Council.

WHO: Maria Serra, design thinker and innovation facilitator, founder of Onclaude; Antonio Iadarola, transdisciplinary designer and researcher from Studio Wé (New York); Nicola Brambilla, architect and founder of Studio Hypnos and UP -Unità di Produzione, a coworking space in Milan. 

WHEN: February 16 2016, 5-7.30PM

WHERE: Isola WoW! Lavoro Agile, Piscina Cozzi (Viale Tunisia 35, Milan)

Agile Working Day at UP (Unità di Produzione)

WHAT: UP coworking space will make available 12 work stations to employees from Milan-based companies which would like to experiment agile working for a day. Interested companies will need to apply to the "Agile Working Day" call promoted by the City Council to participate in this initiative.

WHEN: February 18 2016 (all day)

WHERE: Unità di Produzione, Via Cesalpino 7, Milan

Enabling artifacts for participatory design 

WHAT: academic paper presented at the national forum of Phd research (Coworking as point of observation on the conditional role of the contemporary designer).

The paper is part of Antonio Iadarola’s research “Future Workspace- Collaboration Space for Knowledge Work" and will be followed by a discussion within the conference cluster “Dynamics: paths, processes, innovation, materials, interactions”. The main goal of the forum “Fare Ricerca in Design” is to compare and spread the current subjects and methods of ongoing researches within Italian design Phd programs. Antonio will outline the characteristics of co-working as environments where to share resources and knowledge, arguing that they serve as catalyst platforms allowing both the re-organization of individual work and the incubation of social innovations and collaborative services. These two meta-functions bring about transformation in the role of the designer that, besides his contribution to material culture through the production of finished artifact, is also called to sophisticate open tools and enabling environments for collective creativity. Tools that respond to complex social needs and require a new skillset for their design, production and use within contexts dense of human interactions. The article provides guidelines to reposition the design as maker of condition for fostering of bottom-up design processes.

WHO: Antonio Iadarola, Phd candidate at Second University of Naples; visiting scholar at Parsons DESIS lab.

WHEN: February the 25th and 26th 

WHERE: IUAV University, Venice

Design Thinking for the Workplace 

What: round table/workshop

A debate on how the Design Thinking approach can be applied in the Office Design sector. The event is organised by Assufficio, the Italian association for office furniture and accessories industry, which represents more than 140 manufacturers of office furniture.  

Who: Maria Serra, design thinker and innovation facilitator, founder of Onclaude, will contribute to this event with a talk on "Design Thinking for collaborative spaces". Other speakers include Francesco Zurlo, Professor of Strategic Design and Furniture Design at Politecnico di Milano and coordinator of  ADI Design Index's scientific committee and Daniele Lago, CEO and Head of Design of Lago Arredamenti.

When: March 2 2016, 5,30PM

Where: La Triennale di Milano (Viale Alemanna 6, Milan)


Some related projects and initiatives we have been involved in:

Open Class on Design Thinking at Tiscali Open Campus 

An open class on Design Thinking by Maria Serra at Tiscali Open Campus, a coworking and startup incubator space initiated by IT company Tiscali within their headquarters based in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy). 

TEDx Adventures -TEDxCaserta 2015 

A three day workshop facilitated by Antonio Iadarola together with 2 other service designers to discuss and generate ideas on the Future of Work. It involved young people, recent graduates and professionals from the Campania region of Italy and it took place as a complementary event to the TEDxCaserta 2015.


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