Inside the Sala is an area for serious brainstorming, with a giant wall of TV screens at one end and a magic whiteboard with a touch screen at the other. The boardroom-size table splits into desks for smaller group work. Then there is a space with bean-bag chairs and flip charts for more free thinking and a breakout area with kitchen facilities, table football and a library. A design agency has advised on the look and feel of the place – from purple and orange floors to the mass of plants.
Through a doorway is the Materioteca® where people will be encouraged to pick up new materials, make things and test them out, as well as use the 3D printers and tools.
The first structured project in the Sala Futura involves 30 people who were set a specific business challenge by Pirelli’s top management. Over six months they will develop plans in response to that challenge and create feasibility studies for their ideas. Then they will present them to a steering committee, which will decide which one to adopt and, hopefully, bring to market. The programme took a year to develop, with the help of an external consultancy, and is run by Monica Silvi from the R&D Product Academy along with the human resources department.
But the Sala Futura is also open for other bookings – for a maximum of half a day at a time – and in its first weeks is already booked up. A small-scale model of the space, complete with plants and table football, helped to generate interest when it went on display in the building’s reception area. And there are plans to invite visiting speakers from start-up companies in the automotive and other sectors.