The Salone del Mobile.Milano never stands still. Today came the presentation – on Wednesday 12 February, in the auditorium of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – of the 59th edition of the event focused on the world of furniture and decor. The protagonists of the press conference were Claudio Luti, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, Emanuele Orsini, President of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, and the sociologist Francesco Morace – speaking on the theme of ethics and related connections – as well as Davide Rampello, curator of the installation at Palazzo Reale in coordination with the fair.
This edition will be different from those of years gone by. There is a concrete risk regarding the participation of about 30,000 Chinese visitors, due to the coronavirus emergency. This absence is not too troubling, however, in Orsini’s view, because in 2019 Italian production in the wood-furniture sector generated 42.5 billion euros of sales (+0.6% over 2018), with 27.6 billion coming from the furniture macro-system, of which only 440 million came from China. In this regard, Claudio Luti explained: “Of course we will miss the Chinese, but there will be measures to make up for this problem: we have reinforced the digital side, which will also be useful for the future.”
This bears witness to an ongoing pursuit of inclusion, another fundamental factor in the philosophy of the Salone. Furthermore, this year the Manifesto takes on a new term: “The drive towards a better future is summed up in the word ‘Beauty.’ The constant pursuit of beauty, seen as a complex of factors, will be the keystone that enables the Salone del Mobile to reinforce and consolidate its global leadership in the years to come, and to foresee future lifestyles,” the President of Salone del Mobile says.
Beauty and the Manifesto launched three years ago will be the focus of ten Italian directors (Francesca Archibugi, Pappi Corsicato, Stefano Mordini, Wilma Labate, Bruno Bozzetto, Luca Lucini, Claudio Giovannesi, Gianni Canova, Donato Carrisi, Daniele Ciprì) who will represent the values of the event in Milan through ten short films, 90 seconds each, illustrating ten key words. The prologue has been entrusted to the curator Davide Rampello, already a protagonist in 2019 with De.Signo, who will explain the meaning of beauty in the design universe. The “magic box” will shift beyond the boundaries of the fair, and will be on view from 21 April to 3 May at the Salone delle Cariatidi in Palazzo Reale.
Emanuele Orsini addressed the topic of ethics, in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability of design and production processes: “Many companies in our sector are moving towards a circular economy, and the data bear this out: 72% are investing in the reuse of recyclable materials, 44% use recycled products, 67% are investing in correct handling of products at the end of their life cycle, 49% are taking measures to save energy, while 37% use renewable energy sources. But that is not enough. This is why I think the time has come to speak out, loud and clear, insisting that sustainability cannot be the responsibility only of businesses, especially the small ones. I am asking the political world and the institutions to not leave those who bring Made in Italy out into the world on their own.”
Where the exhibits are concerned, the fair continues along the same lines as in the past. Over 2200 companies will be on hand, along with 600 young designers under 35 in the SaloneSatellite: this year’s theme will be Designing for our future selves. The Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the Salone Internazionale del Complemento d’Arredo and Workplace 3.0, which returns this year, offer many variegated aesthetic pathways. EuroCucina takes its cue from the latter, becoming a scattered presence inside the Salone Internazionale dei Mobile, while S.Project offers an exhibition on design products and decorative/technical solutions for interior design, where the keys of interpretation – besides versatility and multi-sector orientation – will be vision, evolution and technology.
There can be no Salone del Mobile without Milan. To celebrate this deep bond with the city, the fair collaborates with Fondazione Teatro alla Scala: the Salone begins this year with a concert featuring Riccardo Chailly, the conductor and music director of Teatro alla Scala.