Showroom in Milano

The garden of the Triennale provided the backdrop for the presentation of the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2021 special event. The excitement, optimism and creativity were palpable even from the first step of the long stairway that connects the south wing of the Palazzo dell’Arte to the park. There were a great many journalists and representatives of the exhibiting companies present. All dying to hear what would happen in September. They didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Just the time it took to thank and welcome the political figures – Mayor of Milan Beppe Sala described the event as a unique opportunity to relaunch the city; Attilio Fontana, President of the Lombard Region, stressed the strategic value of manufacturing for the entire national manufacturing system; Giancarlo Giorgetti, Minister for Economic Development, spoke about the entrepreneurs’ courage; Luigi Di Maio,Foreign Minister, reiterated the need to promote the event abroad, in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency ICE. Basically, everyone hoped that this would kickstart Milan and Italy, reaffirming the Salone del Mobile.Milano’s leadership role in design.

Claudio Feltrin, President of FederlegnoArredo, then took the stage, reiterating the courage of the companies in organising an event in such a difficult and complicated year – an event that will inevitably constitute a transitional edition – extraordinarily different from the past – that will serve as a bridge to the future and, in seven months’ time, to the 70th edition of the trade fair. It will therefore be a one-off, built on professionalism and a sartorial ability to conceive and imagine new spaces, exhibitions and experiences, he said. Following on, Maria Porro, President of Assarredo, commented that at a time of such huge change, the ability to reinvent and tremendous teamwork have been the main driver of this initiative which, yet again, will be the best possible expression of the quality of the furnishing sector and the entire supply chain. A live event at last, which will be supported by the Salone’s innovative digital platform (set to launch on 30th June), designed not just to showcase products, but also to offer unique services to all the professionals within the sector.

It was then the turn of the architect and designated curator Stefano Boeri, who started off by revealing the name of the event: a “supersalone,” a unique, superlative occasion, a platform for collective endeavour that will rewrite the grammar of the Salone itself; an appointment that breaks the mould of a purely commercial encounter by fostering original cross-pollinations, openings up, fusions and extroversions while fully respecting the health regulations and protocols imposed nationally to combat the spread of Coronavirus. This was the concept, with a format that won everyone over – a great design library that will celebrate the renewed attention and care devoted to contemporary living spaces, designed to valorise the new products and creations brought out by the companies over the last 18 months along with their traditional products.

Mr. Boeri was reluctant to discuss the “supersalone” himself, handing over to the group of 5 co-designers chosen by him to take on this challenge and adventure: Andrea Caputo, Maria Cristina Didero, Anniina Koivu, Lukas Wegwerth and Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual of Studio Folder, along with Giorgio Donà, co-founder and director of Stefano Boeri Interiors. We were told that the fairground display would not consist of stands but of long parallel sets, designed for the specific good categories, which will allow the companies to narrate their own identities and their own products on vertical walls and horizontal surfaces, broken up by apertures that will mark out the itineraries. A fluid and dynamic exhibition layout that will allow visitors to navigate freely inside a huge national and international archive of creativity, excellence and savoir faire. With circularity and sustainability uppermost, all the display materials and components have been designed to be dismantled and reused.

These aren’t the only novelties, however. Boasting communal and collective spaces, speakers’ corners and relaxation oases, the “supersalone” will also feature food experiences, musical and other kinds of entertainment, a themed exhibition curated by ADI and trees provided by the Forestami project. In short, it’s a cultural and creative short circuit, which will become an actual happening, charting a new story and making all the difference.

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