The digital revolution of Fuorisalone 2020

Four new online communication formats and a dual proposal – in June and September – create an unusual and innovative program for the Fuorisalone. The goal: “Teamwork to offer concrete solutions”

The Litta Variations / Opus 5. Fuorisalone 2019. Photo © Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Reliance on technology and plenty of creativity to expand horizons. The Fuorisalone isn’t giving up on 2020, but it is changing its scenarios, due to the cancellation of the usual April festival held in coordination with the Salone del Mobile.Milano. The event has to be remodeled and adapted, generating unusual proposals to conserve its mission as a gathering point of promotion of all the players involved in the traditional Milanese Design Week (which last year presented over 1300 events and an influx for the city of about 350 million euros).
The driver of the action is and remains the platform Fuorisalone.it, which through new formats of online communication (4 of them) and programming across June and September sets out to grant continuity to the Fuorisalone project, supporting the brands involved. 

“There is a desire to generate teamwork and to be united under the Fuorisalone identity – says Paolo Casati, creator of the project and founder of the portal, together with Cristian Confalonieri. – In this situation of widespread emergency, with the lack of the usual opportunities for trade contacts, we have decided to offer an alternative to companies, with concrete business solutions, through a contemporary language.”

Paolo Casati, founder of Fuorisalone.it. Photo © Mattia Vacca

The portal Fuorisalone.it will thus be the center of a system that calls for the introduction of two new tools: Fuorisalone.tv, providing live streaming with a palimpsest of ten hours a day during the week from 15 to 21 June: talks, interviews, product presentations, concerts or content prepared by designers and companies to present their projects and ideas in an innovative format; and Fuorisalone meets, the webinar platform that throughout the month of June will put companies into contact with partners, clients, dealers and a selected audience, as an opportunity to generate knowledge, promotion and visibility of new products. 

The amplifiers of these contents will be the two new channels Fuorisalone China and Fuorisalone Japan (activated starting in June): the first is supported by the official channels WeChat, Weibo and Tencent Video, while the second is a web platform for networking between Italy and Japan, thanks to a team operating in the two countries and dedicated consulting services.

The Fuorisalone thus calls into play novel modes of participation and communication, exploiting the potential of digital activity in a moment when physical reality makes interaction problematic; furthermore, it puts the accent on the force of aggregation (and the nascent Fuorisalone committee demonstrates this, together with all the districts of Milan taking part in the initiative), as a response to the recent controversies regarding parallel events (first of all the Virtual Design Festival of Dezeen), getting away from the concept of a generalizing and convivial event, often erroneously applied. Instead, the idea is to create events for professionals with a high level of content and interest for a specific community of reference.
Hence there is no intention of taking a distance from the Salone del Mobile: “We exist thanks to and in coordination with the Salone – says Paolo Casati. – But since it cannot be held this year, and taking advantage of our digital nature, we have attempted to provide a concrete response to the realities that gravitate around us: the initiative this year fills a gap, and offers a proving ground I hope will lead to the expected results, so we can arrive in 2021 reinforced by a new experience, that will be renewed with the next Salone del Mobile.”  

The project also continues in the fall with the support of the Brera Design District (which in April will see the launch of the new version of its website and the project “Brera Experience”) and its 120 showrooms. During the Brera Design Days and the Fall Design Week in September, virtual and real become complementary aspects: the showrooms will be the protagonists of a pathway through their spaces, to directly experience new products; but the digital community can also have an experience, moving virtually inside the same exhibition spaces thanks to Living 3D technology.