For design enthusiasts, you can rejoice as the Salone del Mobile will be back in June 2022! Held at Fiera Milano Rho from 7th to 12th June, this world-renowned fair will be celebrating their 60th edition – an important milestone – through the key values embedded in the event: quality, innovation, beauty and, now more than ever, sustainability.
After two really tough years due to the pandemic, to which the organisers responded with supersalone, the Salone is looking ahead, mindful of its lengthy history. The aim is an ambitious one: to demonstrate that it is both possible and crucial to start holding great international events live again, embedding sustainability and environmental awareness into furniture production.
Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, had this to say: “The Salone del Mobile has always been a catalyst for creativity, positivity and energy. We have always been a place of dialogue and construction, in Milan and at the Shanghai and Moscow editions. Now, we are as shocked as everyone else by the war in Ukraine and believe even more in the importance of being a crossroads of cultures and styles open to the world. This is why we have made sure that the work of the exhibiting exhibitors takes centre stage again. The event acts as a “blank canvas” for all its protagonists – companies, brands and designers – allowing them to project their own identities, promote their own content and tell their own stories. A point of reference for the entire design community. We cannot stand still, in fact we have a duty to move even faster in the direction of design, production and distribution solutions that are as sustainable as possible – what we need today is an ethical approach to design.”
We will see many companies at the Salone that are working hard to create furnishings with the wellbeing of the environment and of people in mind.
“The Salone firmly believes in the need for a real and immediate ecological transformation, which is why it has decided to be an accelerator of ethical and virtuous behaviours, investing in a large project curated by the architect Mario Cucinella. Companies and creatives will be able to physically touch alternative materials that are already a reality and let themselves be inspired by a vision of urban areas as potential “mines” of raw materials and reflect on the function of our homes as cells that make up a more complex organism: the city. The sustainability of the event is the competitive lever on which we want to focus with honesty, commitment, and transparency,” Ms Porro continued.
The Salone del Mobile.Milano has drawn up and circulated a series of guidelines to help exhibitors and stand designers and builders to respect basic sustainability criteria. It suggests employing reusable materials (such as wood) or upcycled, low environmental impact or FSC or PEFC certified materials; giving due consideration to the logistical sustainability of the supply sources of the materials; employing environmentally safe products and equipment; endeavouring not to waste materials, electricity or water; ensuring that “adaptability” and “disassembly for reuse” are the cardinal principles when choosing the components that will make up the project, always bearing in mind where and how they could be reused or disposed of. For its part, the Salone will ensure that it follows the same recommendations when creating the communal spaces at the fair.
Thus, the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano will serve as a showcase for the progress made by creatives, designers, brands and companies in this regard and, by involving the talented young SaloneSatellite designers, will put its bets on the new generations that have grown up in a time of crisis and who aspire to more equitable and responsible production and usage.
Environmental and social wellbeing also inform the theme of Design with Nature, the installation designed by the architect Mario Cucinella for the Salone’s “birthday” and located in Pavilion 15 with S.Project: 1,400 m2, narrating a virtuous ecosystem that will ideally represent future of home living. The architect reflects that while the events of the last few years have made us rediscover the importance of sociality and sharing – he himself has shown great integrity by embracing a circular vision and design approach for years – we still need to find a balance with what is around us, with the spaces we inhabit and the territories we occupy (home, city, planet), and with the resources available to us. This fundamental consideration informs the three issues that the installation embodies and amplifies: the urgent need for ecological transition, the home as the first building block in the urban fabric and the city as a mine.
Overall, the 2022 events will involve more than 2,000 exhibitors, including over 600 young designers under 35, all free to express their own identities to the best of their abilities, with complete creative freedom. On entering the fair, visitors will walk into the stands, which will act as both architectural and communication elements. Spaces that will welcome visitors and showcase the new collections and lifestyle concepts of the individual brands. An immersive visitor experience that has always distinguished the Salone del Mobile and made it a unique event on the international trade fair scene.
The Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition and Workplace3.0 will offer a great many aesthetic avenues, in which the protagonists are products of quality and research.
The June event will also feature the biennial exhibitions EuroCucina, and its collateral event FTK (Technology For the Kitchen) and the International Bathroom Exhibition. Kitchens are becoming multifunctional spaces, expressions of contemporary living, their confines with other domestic spaces so increasingly blurred as to vanish entirely – fluid, hybrid, integrated spaces, the barycentres of the home, social aggregators and not just purveyors of essential needs. Bathroom companies have been investing in research and innovation for years in a bid to come up with low energy products that respond to the most recent market demands for sustainability, responding with increasingly technological and green-oriented products without skimping on the emotional component.
Making a return after its debut in 2019, S.Project, the exhibition devoted to design products and large-scale project solutions, will highlight the most significant lines of research into surface and solutions that will allow the design of individual pieces to be transferred to that of whole environments.
More than 600 young designers will be taking part in the 23rd edition of SaloneSatellite. This year’s theme is DESIGNING FOR OUR FUTURE SELVES / PROGETTARE PER I NOSTRI DOMANI. This edition will invite us to reflect on “inclusive” design, fostering autonomy, comfort, movement, usability, interaction and safety for all. SaloneSatellite also boasts a new layout, designed along the theme of the piazza as a meeting place, underscoring the role of this event as a generator of new connections between the international design schools, young people, the new start-ups and the manufacturing world.
Following the supersalone experience, a stimulating programme of Talks will add conversations and debates featuring the most outstanding figures on the contemporary design scene into the mix – a concrete invitation to reflect and share truly constructive thoughts on the most pressing issues of today, such as ecological transition and the role of digital in the near future. One of the meetings will be devoted to the Salone del Mobile and the celebrations for its 60th edition. A brilliant all-female trio is curating the programme: Chiara Alessi, Maria Cristina Didero, Beatrice Leanza and will be weaving the threads of these meetings together, bringing human beings, the planet, beauty and design back into the spotlight.
“The strategic importance of fairs, and therefore also of the Salone, finally making its return after a two-year absence, lies entirely in the great uptake by the companies, demonstrating that they neither wish nor are prepared to miss the 60th anniversary of an unrivalled global showcase. The wood furnishing sector as a whole closed 2021 with a record high, thanks to the strictly home-related segments and a furnishing macrosystem that accounts in its own right for more than half the sector’s total turnover. However, the hike in energy prices, the lack of raw materials and now the war in Ukraine, make for a truly uncertain future and, as we all know, uncertainty is the enemy of business. Thus, being able to exhibit Made in Italy products at the Salone means underscoring our leadership position as well as eyeing up new and emerging markets, and lending our weight to the great efforts our entrepreneurs have made over the last two years, during which they continued to invest, innovate and aim for sustainability as a competitive lever,” commented Claudio Feltrin, President of FederlegnoArredo.
Preliminary data for 2021 processed by the FederlegnoArredo Study Centre show that the sector saw a 14.1% increase overall, compared with 2019, with a total turnover of more than 49 billion euros. The furnishing and lighting macrosystem performed well, closing 2021 11% up on 2019, with turnover of over 26 billion euros and a trade balance equal to 9.3 billion euros. The Italian furnishing macrosystem market closed 2021 12.8% up on 2019, while exports grew 9.4%.
The 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano will again venture beyond the confines of the fairground and into the city: as of 7th June, a monumental site-specific film installation will feature in Palazzo Reale’s Sala delle Cariatidi, based on the 11 values that have always been embedded in the Salone’s DNA. 11 films d’auteur by 11 leading Italian filmmakers will be screened. Each of the filmmakers has taken a term from the Manifesto and interpreted it in their own imitable style, turning it into a short film Francesca Archibugi has taken on the word Emotion, Pappi Corsicato – Enterprise, Davide Rampello – Quality, Wilma Labate – Design, Bruno Bozzetto – Networking, Luca Lucini – Communication, Claudio Giovannesi – Culture, Gianni Canova and a team of film students from the IULM University – Young People, Donato Carrisi – Ingenuity, Daniele Ciprì – Milan, and lastly, Stefano Mordini – Know How.
In order to underscore and valorise its strong ties with young people, the schools of design and architecture and with Milan, the Salone de Mobile will be paying tribute to one of its leading protagonists, Manlio Armellini, through a joint initiative with Milan Polytechnic University destined to benefit deserving students doing their Masters in Furniture Design: a study bursary, starting from the academic year 2022-23, designed to recognise the abilities and enthusiasm of two brilliant young designers by covering 50% of the Masters enrolment fees for one Italian and one foreign student, underscoring the internationality that has always set the Salone apart.
In the spirit of ever-greater openness to exchange and the circulation of ideas, culture and creativity, we will again be collaborating with the Teatro alla Scala Foundation. The ties between us are founded on a desire to share common values, with the dual aim of promoting and valorising the talent of the Philharmonic Orchestra and providing an opportunity for the design community to enjoy a unique experience. The Salone will open this year with a concert by the Philharmonic conducted by Lorenzo Viotti, followed by a ballet starring the extraordinary Roberto Bolle.
Following in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors such as Massimo Vignelli, Pierluigi Cerri, Guido Scarabottolo and Lorenzo Marini, Emiliano Ponzi, one of today’s most esteemed and international award-winning Italian artists, has been entrusted with the communication campaign image for the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano. The artist, who is famous for his essential, precise style and for his almost metaphysical atmospheres, was asked to create six posters – one for each decade in the history of the fair, the first three of which have already been unveiled – celebrating its heritage and illustrating its fundamental links to the city and to the evolution of design, lifestyles and social agenda requirements. The result is a narration split into episodes, which picks up on the fact that the Salone has never just been a trade fair but has become a mouthpiece for the values and skills that have made Milan the undisputed global capital of design.
The Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, had this to say: “The Salone is Milan – and always will be. Few events are as capable of celebrating know how and doing things well as the Salone del Mobile. This is why the design world waits, watches and takes part so enthusiastically in this event: because inspiration and originality are a given in Milan. Materials research, environmentally aware production, beautiful objects, furniture and useful and creatively shaped furnishing accessories will also be the stars of the 60th edition of the Salone. Its all-encompassing energy will fire up the city.”
Underscoring the international role of the Salone del Mobile.Milano and the city, and their dedication to inclusion and hospitality, the Welcome Project will be running for a seventh year. It is an upshot of the collaboration with the Municipality of Milan, Fondazione Fiera Milano, and the city’s leading design schools – Nuova Accademia, IED – Istituto Europeo di Design and the Polytechnic University of Milan/Design School. The Salone will organise welcome points at focal points throughout the city, manned by a hundred or so students, on hand to provide the public with information on moving around the city, on the fair itself and also on the events organized in Milan.
Enrico Pazzali, President of the Fondazione Fiera Milano remarked: “The Salone del Mobile is one of the most important events to take place in Milan and in our country. Following the success of last year’s supersalone, which notched up 60,000 attendees in just five days, we wanted to make a powerful contribution to the realisation of the Salone by supporting the institutions, Fiera Milano and the organisers as they prepare for an event that will again make Milan and Italy one of the international high spots. We cannot ignore what is happening on a geopolitical level, but I am certain that we can all join together to produce an event with sector-wide attraction that will involve the city by bringing visitors and tourists to the streets.”
The Salone del Mobile.Milano sees Federlegno Arredo Eventi and the Italian Trade Agency ICE – the government body that underpins the economic and commercial development of Italian businesses abroad and works to attract foreign investment in Italy – working closely together to devise a raft of strategic activities to pique the interest and encourage the participation of foreign operators, buyers, architects, interior designers and journalists in the various editions of the Salone in particular. Again this year, ICE has lent invaluable and greatly-appreciated support to the Salone del Mobile.Milano, with a view to bringing as many skilled foreign professionals as possible to Milan, as a testament to the country’s ability to build a system that benefits businesses and territories alike.
Images courtesy of Salone del Mobile.Milano, Andrea Mariani