I’ll take possession of this somewhat abused phrase, because the times require it. Especially recent times, when the world – the entire globe, not just the metaphorical world of design that is our closer context – has experienced widespread instability, a sense of bewilderment not only about tomorrow but also, directly, about the present. We’ve been sailing without instruments for some time now. If we want to be optimistic and find the positive side of all this, we can say that we have been obliged to rethink ourselves, our values, priorities and approaches, and thus our ways of living and – even more – our methods of working. In other words, we have had to re-design ourselves. And getting out of our comfort zone has become the only way to look to the future and to create opportunities.
A comfort zone that also contained the Salone del Mobile, whose cancellation has necessarily prompted companies to find different showcases and alternative methods of communication. The result has been a feverish pace of events across different digital tools (previously seldom utilized in the world of design): instruments and services also activated by the retail network to ensure proximity to clients. The results are collaborative initiatives that set out to create a system (just consider the many ‘manifestos’ and ‘white papers’). New furnishing products have been called into play, to make everyday reality more ‘livable.’ In our case, all this has meant taking on a new (graphic and distribution-based) identity to guarantee the mission IFDM has pursued for 13 years, with continuity and increasing innovation.
We have thus experienced the most widespread, deepest form of the meaning of ‘design’: to reflect, to call into discussion, to analyze, to create, to innovate, to get past boundaries, to look beyond. All in a single word.
This is the challenge and the great opportunity of the present.