The new Salone del Mobile edition is coming and it will be a super one! Probably this is why the new format is named Supersalone. After a black hole a year and a half long (both for events and for the economic aspect) it was necessary to relaunch the Salone del Mobile format, trying to adapt it to the new situation we are experiencing. The 2021 edition, as confirmed by Claudio Feltrin, president of Federlegno Arredo, is designed with particular attention to feasibility, both in economic and in terms of waste of materials. In addition, the event will not only be physical but also digital. Later on, we will also see the doubts and criticisms that have been raised during the press conference.
As we already know, the curator of this Supersalone will be Stefano Boeri, President of the Milan Triennale, who brings with him a team of professionals: for Rho Fiera, Andrea Caputo is in charge of the exhibition design, Giorgio Donà, Director of Stefano Boeri Interiors, of the common areas of the pavilions, while Lukas Wegwerth of the materials of the stands that this year will be raw, untreated, and completely removable, to facilitate their reuse. An aspect that is not a detail: everyone will use the same materials and the stands will have a totally new shape. Unlike past editions, horizontal space divided by square meters will no longer be adopted, but vertical space. Caputo presented a system of wall modules of different sizes (S, M, L, XL) which will be characterized by their function: exhibition, opening between corridors, relaxation areas, or simple dividers. Donà talked about the common areas and the desire to create almost a flexible city: the pavilions not only will have long equipped corridors but an entire side that will be used for relaxation, for negotiations and networking, but also spaces dedicated to food…
The team summoned by Boeri doesn’t end here and neither does the news: these side areas will also see a historical exhibition, dedicated to the Compasso D’oro curated by Marva Griffin, curator of the SaloneSatellite for 16 years. Plus, the “Lost graduation show” exhibition curated by Anniina Koivu, with the works of design students who graduated in the two-year period 20/21, and a public program made up of talks, conferences, and meetings with designers and companies curated by Maria Cristina Didero, independent curator and writer. Supersalone will have its own graphic identity signed by Studio Folder, Elisa Pasqual, and Marco Ferrari, the same studio that designed the XXII Milan Triennale, Broken Nature, identity. This is a concept phase so many of the aspects described above could vary.
Speaking of the digital aspects, on June 30 a new platform will be launched (an online catalog of products) and the entire event should be on streaming, for those who cannot participate. Probably, the platform will also be used to book the products present at Salone: in fact, the event will be open to everyone for its entire duration, while during the previous editions it was open to the public on weekends. This is not a detail: Salone may no longer be just a fair dedicated to the sector but could become a real cultural/economic event.
The doubts and criticisms. Despite the appreciable desire to renew and go beyond old formats and taking into account the fact that the event is necessary from various points of view (it would be the first international event in a long time ), there are some unclear points. During the press conference, two questions from the audience asked for clarification regarding the costs for companies and the differences that this new vertical set-up will bring. Both times it was replied that these are issues that cannot be translated into simple data. The press conference for the design companies will be held on June 3rd and, at this point, all that remains is to wait for September.
The event has surreal timing for its scale, and even in this case, it is not clear how much this new system can reduce design times in favor of companies (it is always about vertical installations, not only of chairs but also bathtubs, shower trays?).
And Triennale? SaloneSatellite? and Fuorisalone? The Triennale has a cultural role, it will be a city hub dedicated to the Supersalone with a different program from the one of the fair. Unfortunately, the SaloneSatellite got lost along the way. We are looking for a way to propose it again is all the information we have. Fuorisalone is another story. Since it has always coexisted with Salone del Mobile, this year the same thing will happen again. The events have always overlapped and despite the fact that there is a strong cultural offer also at Supersalone, this year, as the previous ones, we will have to choose carefully where to go and when.
As we said at the beginning, this could be a super edition. Despite the doubts and criticisms, we want to be positive, hope for great participation of companies. Milan needs to send a strong signal to the international community and also to Italy, to remind us and them that we are still here and this is the city of Design.