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Many fashion brands are implementing production processes respecting strict ethical and environmental standards, through good practices such as the reduction of waste, the use of recycled materials and the recyclability of the product itself.

Among the most productive sectors in this sense is the world of accessories: traditional bijoux and what we could define as their hi-tech alter ego, i.e. smartwatches and earphones. Technological accessories are now part of our outfits, we use to wear them and, not surprisingly, they are increasingly customizable.

Fashion, technology and sustainability are no longer antithetical terms.

Many jewellery designers make their creations using recycled materials, from aluminium for costume jewellery to recycled precious metals. Examples are Vestopazzo's Aluminium collection and the creations of Swedish artist Ana-Maria Atonoiae, owner of Ferunas, which combine recycled silver and 3D printing techniques.

Certified gemstones and precious stones, extracted according to ethical procedures or treated following environmental standards without toxic emissions, are more and more diffused. They are the so-called "environmentally-conscious" materials.

The jewellery brand Futura, for instance, uses only Fairmined Ecological certified gold. It doesn't emit toxic mercury into the environment. Bario Neal instead uses precious metals and gemstones with a traced origin.

The technology industry brands, now designers and producers of consumer fashion accessories, have taken up the challenge of sustainable hi-tech. In this case, the phenomena to counteract are the environmental impact of waste from the electronics industry and the serious theme of planned obsolescence. Among the good practices introduced by the sector is the use of recycled metals recovered from electronic industry waste, the increase of the durability of products and the introduction of Corporate Social Responsibility strategies that involve raising awareness of producers and consumers about sustainability. In this regard, a positive example is the innovative start-up Planet Beyond, which has put on the market at affordable prices customizable jewellery earphones made entirely from recycled metals.

Sourcehttps://www.designboom.com/design/artistic-reclaimed-metal-earbuds-planet-beyond-12-28-2019/

Fashion and technology lovers now have at their disposal a wide range of interchangeable, customizable, aesthetically pleasing, ecological and ethically sustainable accessories. A reason more to wear them.

 

On the occasion of the recent presentation of the 2020 Report on the Circular Economy in Italy, the Director of the Sustainability Department of ENEA's Production and Territorial Systems, Roberto Morabito, indicated some critical aspects regarding the new massive use of materials.

The first impact is that of PPE (gloves, gowns, masks) on the total volume of sanitary waste produced, which has tripled in the last three months. In Italy, there is now a need for 90 million masks per month, of which over 55 million have already been contracted, as communicated by the Civil Protection (Borrelli). This figure is going to grow further significantly.

The associations FISE Assoambiente (urban hygiene companies, recycling, recovery and disposal of urban and special waste and reclamation activities) and FISE Unicircular (circular economy companies) have raised the alarm about a system in great difficulty, declaring that they have tripled waste collection and management activities in hospitals.

The associations are asking the government "to clarify the exclusion of waste collection, transport and management activities quickly from the restrictions contained in the provisions issued, even when these activities affect different territories. In the various measures published since the beginning of the emergency to date, there is no clear reference to waste management activities".

A second alarming fact reported by ENEA concerns the increase in domestic drinking water consumption in recent months, due to the simple act of washing hands against the Coronavirus. The document records up to 12 more washes per person per day than usual, which translates into a quantity of about 48 litres more per person, for an overall increase in household consumption of up to 53%.

 

A reliable and long-standing international scientific literature demonstrates a strong correlation between the incidence of cases of viral infection, and territorial concentrations of atmospheric particulate matter (e.g. PM10 and PM2.5).

The latest Italian research, just disseminated is a Position Paper drafted by SIMA-Italian Society of Environmental Medicine, the FRAME Interdepartmental Centre of the University of Bologna and the University of Bari, declares that "the rate of increase in cases of infection, which has affected in particular some areas of Northern Italy, could be related to the conditions of air particulate pollution that is known to function as a carrier, i.e. a transport vector, for many chemical and biological contaminants, including viruses". These "attach themselves" to atmospheric particulate matter, consisting of solid and/or liquid particles capable of remaining in the atmosphere for hours, days or weeks, and may also be transported for long periods of time in vital conditions. This is because "the rate of virus inactivation in atmospheric particulate matter depends on environmental conditions: while an increase in temperature and solar radiation has a positive effect on the rate of virus inactivation, high relative humidity may favour a higher rate of virus spread".

This analysis, therefore, seems to indicate a "direct relationship between the number of cases of COVID-19 and the state of pollution of the territories". It seems to demonstrate that, "in relation to the period 10-29 February, high concentrations above the PM10 limit in some provinces in northern Italy (e.g. the province of Brescia) may have exerted a boost action, i.e. an impulse to the virulent spread of the epidemic in the Po Valley. This phenomenon was not observed in other areas of Italy that had cases of infection during the same period. In this regard, the case of Rome is emblematic, where the presence of contagion was already evident in the same days of the Po Valley regions without triggering such a virulent phenomenon". 

 

 The "National Report on Circular Economy in Italy" 2020, produced by the CEN-Circular Economy Network, the network promoted by the Foundation for Sustainable Development with 14 companies and business associations, and ENEA, confirms once again this year Italy's leadership as an index of circularity among the five leading European economies.
We are the first in the ranking by the degree of efficient use of resources in five categories: production, consumption, waste management, secondary raw materials market, investments and employment.
On average, every human being on the planet uses more than 11,000 kilos of materials per year. A third of those turns into waste and ends up in landfills; only another third of the elements are still in use after just 12 months, and this use is growing at twice the rate of the world's population.
This type of economy is called "extractive" and is responsible for much of the climate and environmental crisis. It is at the origin of the disposable culture. Still, now things are changing with the introduction of the circular economy, which means using materials and even objects that from their productive origin have been chosen and designed to be recycled and reused several times.
In this industrial policy, our country traditionally has a position of undisputed dominance. On the podium, but far away, there are Germany and France, with 11 and 12 points less. The Report, however, draws attention to the fact that we are losing positions. Italy can make the best use of the few resources allocated to technological advancement and is able to maintain a good efficiency index (for every kilo of resource consumed, 3.5 euros of GDP is generated, compared to a European average of 2.24). But at the same time, Italy is penalized by low investments and the consequently limited eco-innovation (we are in the last place for patents).
Another limit is on the regulatory front: a National Strategy and an Action Plan for the circular economy are still missing. There are two instruments that could help Italy to start quickly and to make more effective the way out of the severe economic and social repercussions that we are maturing due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

In recent years there has been a cultural revolution about the architectural design of the workplace in terms of health. It is, therefore, a topic that has long been under attention in the offices.

Today, due to the spread of the Coronavirus, we are in a position to work from home but let's not forget that even at home we are called to special attention concerning the organization of spaces and their characteristics. Among the most important things to pay attention to is the quality of the indoor air we breathe.

The air contained inside buildings and houses is even more dangerous than outside.  The indoor biological pollutants (such as viruses, fungi and bacteria that proliferate in humid environments such as heating and air conditioning systems, non-ventilated bathrooms and in general all closed environments) and chemical pollutants (formaldehyde, benzene, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide, the same fine dust that comes from systems, cleaning products, finishes and furnishings) are added to the external ones that remain trapped.

Coronavirus is belonging to the Coronaviridae family. COVID 19 is currently our number one enemy. It often travels in good company, along with all the other pollutants mentioned above that pose a danger to our airways, risking weakening us in the fight we are waging.

One of the main activities to do at home, therefore, is to aerate the rooms abundantly for short periods (3-5 minutes) more than once a day. At the same time, it is essential to operate, especially in this period when it is vital to avoid unnecessary overloads of toxic substances in our lungs, strong attention in our way of cleaning environments.  We should try to use as much as possible products that are not of chemical but natural origin. Steam, vinegar, lemon, Marseille soap and bicarbonate, today can be beneficial and excellent allies in the eco-friendly cleaning of our homes, even more than usual.

 

The new integrated service spaces that today are part of smart working building designs are many: they range from the kitchenette, where everyone can warm up a meal brought from home or ordered online and eat it together with colleagues, to the cafeteria, with two or four tables for business meetings in front of a cup of tea. The principle is to reproduce as much as possible familiar environments that predispose the soul to serenity and collaboration among colleagues. One of the needs that emerge, however, in large open spaces environments is privacy: this has changed individual habits a lot, and more and more often there is a significant lowering of decibels within these large environments. People are learning to speak more and more quietly and with respect for everyone. But often this is not enough, because there are needs such as telephone calls, or reading a document that requires a lot of concentration, for which there are special soundproofed spaces, very compact and welcoming, where silence is total and where privacy is maximum and guaranteed. The presence of powerful wifi everywhere allows you to work from every corner of the building, even on the terrace, or in the garden, if you want to be outdoors. More and more adopted as integrative solutions, there are also gyms available to workers. Still, the most appreciated, especially by those who have family, are the deliveries to the office of shopping, dye-works, pharmacy or other packages, which free precious hours of private life to more pleasant and relaxing activities once working hours are over, just to maximize the daily budget of well-being, the true goal of smart working.

Smart working means much more than the remote work we've been doing lately. We can, therefore, take advantage of this new global scenario to implement it in our daily lives as comprehensively as possible. First of all, the idea behind smart working is the maximum increase of our physical and mental well-being in all hours of our working day, and that this can be achieved with a strong sense of freedom. Each of us should be able to work in a flexible and "nomadic" way, moving inside and/or outside our workplace. This is the logistical part of smart working.  The less known part is related to the principle of "service to the person", and is the predominant one. New designs increasingly apply new concepts: fixed workstations and rooms with two/three desks now disappear in the face of larger rooms with many more workstations that are no longer assigned individually, but follow the logistical principle of booking. This is because it is now proven that not all of them are always in the office at the same time. So it is useless and too expensive for companies to immobilize the cost of square meters of building and related unused workstations every day for no reason. Much better to allocate those economic resources to improve the lives of workers, integrating the building where you work with other spaces, previously non-existent, at the service of the working day.

Plato

Architecture is a discipline that is very close to medical practice because it also requires both technical and humanistic expertise.

This concept is rooted in one of the founding texts of Western philosophy, the “Republic” of Plato. In this work, the city is described as a "pasture", i.e. a place of growth, which conditions and feeds the health of its inhabitants. Therefore, it must be organized and built in such a way as to be "nutritious and healthy". Plato declares that "builders and architects must also be educated and controlled" so that "bad weeds" do not grow in the pastureland with the consequence of poisoning the citizens, of making them sick and depressed instead of making them prosper.

Plato's message was that in order to achieve the health of the city, understood as a place of habitation and relations, the disciplines that physically organize the territory and the living space, which are a common good, and whose care must be the main objective of the activities dedicated to design and construction, must, therefore, be regulated and monitored.

It is a text written about two thousand four hundred years ago, yet rich in very topical meanings that touch on two key concepts, from the ethical point of view of professional practice, which are

 

The theme of living is architecture as a therapy for space and the idea of architecture as a social device, able to trigger in a decisive way on man both well-being and malaise.

 

We share a brief reflection recently published by us on the economic implications of the Coronavirus.

 

Click here to read the articleSOSTENIBILITA': CORONAVIRUS, UN'ESPERIENZA GLOBALE CHE INSEGNA

On the occasion of the press conference held on 25 July 2019, the rich programme of events has been presented: it will start next September at BAM, the first park without fences in town.

 

BAM. The logo chosen for this project immediately refers to the essence of the park: a unique place in the City where you can live cultural experiences in direct contact with nature. From the inscription I AM composed of the books of a library; in fact, branches develop that intertwine and ideally embrace all citizens.

With its 90,000 square metres of green space, BAM ranks third in size as a public park in Milan, with a pedestrian area of 160,000 square metres if one considers the integrated system that includes Piazza Gae Aulenti, the headquarters of the Lombardy Region and Piazza Della Repubblica. However, the characteristic that distinguishes it as excellence within the panorama, not only Milanese but also national, is the absence of any fence or controlled access, a factor that underlines, even more, its vocation as a meeting place open to all. Another important primacy concerns the managerial aspect; in fact, it was born thanks to the first collaboration agreement between the public (Municipality of Milan) and private (COIMA SGR and Riccardo Catella Foundation) for the management of a public park in Italy. 

The variety of one hundred different tree species represented by the 135,000 plants scattered in the vibrant design of areas used (declined) for lawns, ornamental gardens and circular forests similar to open-air rooms makes the Library of Trees much more than just an urban park but a real botanical exhibition. It will be possible to discover all this through the numerous initiatives planned from September, such as walks, talks and workshops on the heritage of the park and respect for the green.

BAM's goal is to become the nerve centre of a civic and cultural network open to all through a programme of events inspired by the SDGs, the 17 UN sustainable development objectives. These events base on four pillars: #nature, #openairculture, #wellness and #education. In the light of the agreement signed between the public and private sectors, the technical management entrusts to the Riccardo Catella Foundation, which coordinates the various initiatives also managed by the various partnerships participating in the project. Each of them has been asked to develop one of these four themes with activities that range from wellness programs with free sessions to picnics with music, from street art performances to educational and creative workshops on innovation and sustainability. 

The opening of this rich cultural calendar will take place on 8 September with the concert "Back to the City" performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of La Scala. It is for the first time that the Philarmonic is involved in an "en plein air" performance: "the best way to regain possession of urban spaces after the summer break" as commented Michele Crisci, President of Volvo Car Italia, Park Ambassador of BAM.

 

 

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