SUPERSALONE and FUORISALONE 2021

The Milanese design week has ended and, like every year, the time has come to draw conclusions. Speaking of numbers, more than 60 thousand visitors attended the “supersalone” event in Rho, Fiera Milano, and more or less the same number of people visited Fuorisalone. Although the statistics are lower than in previous years, they have still exceeded everyone’s expectations, both for the period we are experiencing and for the large international participation. We can say that there is a desire to start over and this week gave the opportunity to everyone to experience the long-awaited restart.

One of the novelties was undoubtedly the “supersalone” event which, despite doubts and criticisms, managed to bring some new ideas: thanks to the layout format and the few months of preparation, the companies worked on their own identity, abandoning the exhibition dynamics adopted for decades. Although someone prefered the trivial stand, there were installations, digital videos, one-product stand, focusing on quality, storytelling, and the wow effect. A stimulus for companies and also for the visitors of the four pavilions in Rho. One criticism: the ForestaMi “forest” installation could have been avoided, especially in the name of sustainability and the health of the plants used, already suffering after the first few days. As for the set-up, however, it was naturally customized by all the participants and we will try to understand how it was recycled / made reusable.

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Speaking of Fuorisalone, if for some districts we have seen a very accurate selection, others have been overwhelmed by the constant search for instagrammability and visibility, with questionable choices. Despite these oversights, the Fuorisalone demonstrated the general desire to restart and the awareness that design can contribute to a more sustainable future, perhaps too much: sustainability was everywhere and, apart from few virtuous ones, for the next edition there is a need for more clarity and precision to recognize who is really “green” and who does “greenwashing”. As always, one of the best aspects of this week was the collaboration with historical locations: from the elegant buildings in the center, to the military hospital in the Baggio area.

This event anticipates the 60th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano, which will be held from 5 to 10 April 2022. In these few months there are many challenges for everyone to face: companies are returning to sell like pre-Covid levels, but in addition to producing, it is necessary to renew the businesses: Research and Development (R&D) departments must propose new solutions for a more sustainable lifestyle.

The urban design districts, on the other hand, must invest more: if the Salone del Mobile is an institution, every year the Fuorisalone is enriched with new events and locations, almost in competition with each other. It is no longer enough to rent a space to a designer and demand contents, there is a need to invest and stand out with new projects, to dare. Unexpectedly, the Salone del Mobile has tried and, as far as possible, has succeeded, for now.

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(Cover credit Fuorisalone)

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