As a proof of the importance given to this event, Sergio Mattarella, the president of Italy, was present at the opening and praised the initiators’ bravery and organisational spirit.
The salon in Milano was anxiously awaited by design specialists and enthusiasts and as a proof, in the 6 days of exhibition there were no less than 60.000 visitors, out of which 30% from outside Italy (113 countries) - even with travel difficulties and strict access measures in the Fiera Milano exhibition center.
This year’s edition is considered a pilot one for next year’s edition, which will be taking place on 5-10 April 2022 and is announced to be at least as spectaculous as this one.
The main curator of the event was the renowned architect and professor Stefano Boeri, member of the scientific committee of Galleria Degli Uffizi (Florence), involved in numerous urban projects all over the world and the creator of an icon building: Bosco Verticale (The vertical forest) from his hometown, a symbol of sustainable architecture. As he stated, Salone del Mobile.Milano presented how the future of grand exhibitions could look like: “ open to the public, to digital interaction and purchasing, with a clear format, capable of capitalizing the products, with signs made of collapsable and recyclable materials, organised with a mix of courage, passion and clarity in pursuing the objectives”. According to this concept, all the materials used during the fair were demounted in order to be reused or recycled, and the trees and potted plants used as decoration at the event were later replanted in the metropolitan area.
Together with his team, Stefano Boeri offered the possibility of free expression not only for exhibiting manufacturers, but also to independent designers who held conferences, open talk events and workshops highlighting the trends and influences of the moment.
Hence, we can observe some distinct accents in contemporary design, besides the ones developed in the last few years (sustainability/ ecology and the integration of communication technologies). First of all, we have a current trend that appeared in the pandemic outbreak context: design reconfiguration in all types of spaces, from private ones where your home can become a workstation, to personalised offices, wide public spaces or Horeca units where the regulations change according to the evolution of the pandemic. Communication and transactions are done mostly online, through apps, and direct contact is handled much more carefully. Simple, easy to clean and sanitize surfaces are in demand, while the aspect has to be characterized by natural, artisanal textures, sometimes from the beginning of the industrialization period, and of impeccable quality.
In order to avoid the stress caused by isolation, the interiors can have wider glazed areas, even embedded in furniture, with different nuances and patterns, that offer more generous perspectives that encourage thinking. For this purpose, innovative artificial lighting solutions are appreciated, that combined with the accessories’ shiny surfaces will bring more sparkle and vitality to interiors. In order for the space to be used efficiently, multifunctional or retractable furnishing solutions are needed; the bedroom can become a multifunctional space and vice versa, while modularity comes to support this trend. The sofa, table, bed, bookcase - all these are subjected to redefining and redesigning processes. Through their shape and emplacement the furniture pieces determine the way the space is being used, the distances and perspectives.
Exterior spaces adjacent to any type of building are being revalued and set up to become a sort of extension to living rooms, offices, restaurants, etc. in order to obtain more air, light, liberty. Longing for nature is a normal human reaction in the current conditions, which can be obtained in interiors either through textures (in discreet, natural nuances) or through the simple presence of plants and indoor pets. More and more often that “vibe” that a living being brings to a home or the workplace is mentioned. Art is also desired and integrated in interior design; not at random, the furniture salon is linked to the modern and contemporary art fair in Milano, Miart, that took place in the following period.
Something that hasn’t changed though is the presence of relevant brands which are still the guarantee of quality, both from the design perspective, as well as the materials used and the execution techniques. That’s also the reason why the attendance at this fair is extremely beneficial to the ones in the field: the premium brands are present here and are represented on a top management level.
But let’s look at some more statistics: the number of exhibitionists at Supersalone got up to 425, 16% from outside of Italy, and at events designers/architects or students in the field from 22 countries got involved. According to the statistics done by organisers over half of the visitors were buyers and commercial operators, out of which about 47% were from outside of the country. Around 1.800 accredited journalists from all over the world also attended, interested in the new design trends.
One characteristic of the event that tends to become an important component of any exhibit is the development of digital platforms which are particularly successful. The Salone del Mobile.Milano platform also has a TikTok account with hundreds of thousands of views in the days of the fair. Visitors from inside the event accessed millions of web pages with targeted themes to the event they were taking part in, their presence being reflected in tens of thousands of interactions on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter), including videos. Most of all, the tendency for digital platforms is to be accessed not only during the event, but 365 days a year. However, the physical attendance to this type of event is irreplaceable, giving visitors the opportunity to feel the shapes, textures, colours, the stories of the objects and the ambiance in which they are displayed.
During this experience, we were reunited with our foreign partners and attended various events organized by them, from which we can mention: Kartell
, Tom Dixon, Andreu World, Paolo Castelli, Kristalia
, Cuf Milano