Flokk host inaugural 'Women in Office Design' event in Italy

Flokk’s Milan showroom was the setting for the launch of WOD Italy, providing an opportunity for leading players in the design sector to discuss aspirations, developments, and the efforts to introduce greater sustainability within projects and product design.

On Monday 6th September, Women in Office Design (WOD) opened a brand new chapter of their networking platform in Italy, kicking things off with a seminar held at the Milan Flokk showroom.


The in-person and online seminar was introduced by Lauren Thompson, WOD’s new ambassador for Italy and Senior A&D Consultant, and WELL AP for Flokk. She was joined by an expert panel of guest speakers, including Elena Caregnato, Principal – Design, Unispace; Francesco Dompieri, Designer, Nichetto Studio; Filippo Taidelli, Architect and Founder, FTA; and Paolo Zanon from fabric manufacturer, Gabriel, Italy.


The seminar kicked off with an overview presentation by UK-based environmental ‘champion’, Georgia Elliott-Smith, in which she stated; “With 20 years experience working as an environmental engineer, I have become sick of the word ‘sustainability’!... There is just so much ‘green wash’. We must gain a greater understanding, be honest and recognise the challenges.”


“You don’t have to prioritise everything – focus on areas which really resonate with your brand and business. Do you know what you mean when you talk about sustainability? Are you focussed on carbon, pollution, toxicity, circularity, or waste reduction?”


“We need to tell the truth about the challenges,” continues Georgia. “Collaborate to find solutions and hold institutions to account.”


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Left to right: Lauren Thompson (Flokk), Harsha Kotak (WOD Founder), Elena Caegnato (Unispace), Paulo Zanon (Gabriel), Filippo Taidelli (FTA), Francesco Dompieri (Nichetto Studio)

All of the speakers supported Georgia’s perspective. “We need to be transparent and honest,” stated Elena Caregnato. “We must include the whole life cycle and develop innovative ideas for end of life.”


Francesco Dompieri described product considerations including the need to minimise waste through reduction in the number of components, use of improved materials, and design for disassembly for recycling and reuse.


The conversation also extended beyond furnishings to discuss energy saving initiatives being introduced by Filippo Taidelli and his team at FTA. He outlined some of the challenges of retrofit projects as well as current projects in the healthcare sector.


Paolo Zanon provided perspective from a fabric manufacturer and the dramatic growth in interest and use of recycled content.


Concluding the discussions, Georgia Elliott-Smith offered an excellent summary of the group’s comments: “Shaming is not helpful but calling out ‘green wash’ is important. We need to collaborate, tell the truth and act now!”


The event was attended by local designers and architects who enjoyed the discussion, networking and hospitality by the Flokk team.


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