To innovate by transforming established formulas. And to become, to an even greater extent, an international reference point for the sector, connected to showcases like Los Angeles, New York and China (expected to report large numbers of participants, thanks to the post-Covid situation), as well as consolidated markets. These are the factors that have always driven the Salone del Mobile.Milano, but in this 61st edition, presented yesterday at a packed press conference at Milan’s Teatro Franco Parenti, they gain force, making human beings – exhibitors, visitors, sector professionals – into the central focus, also for a more enjoyable fair experience.
There are three important developments: the new display layout on a single level, with the exhibitors of the upper pavilions (8-12, 16-20) repositioned in those below; the new layout of Euroluce, redesigned with an ‘urbanistic’ approach; and the cultural component inserted in the spaces of the biennial lighting fair, through interdisciplinary and experiential contents. This simplification and enhancement is summed up in the ABC campaign “Do you speak design?” formulated by the Milan-based communication agency Leftloft and the illustrator Gio Pastori.
“We have worked to give form to the impressions and visions that have emerged in recent years, starting from some fundamental questions: what is the new role for an event like the Salone today? How and from where can we begin to design its evolution?”, says Maria Porro, President of Salone del Mobile.Milano. “We have listened to the needs of those who make and live the Salone. Starting with Euroluce, we have redesigned the pathways, mixing corporate displays with interdisciplinary cultural contents that have to do with the relationship between light and architecture, art and science. A metamorphosis that will involve the entire Salone, with the aim of contributing to reformulate the trade fair model. Furthermore, this year there will be a new way-finding service, to help visitors immediately get their bearings. We have attempted, together with the studio Lombardini22 (which has worked on the new exhibition layout, ed.), to make a visit to the Salone del Mobile.Milano easier, quicker and more comfortable. It might seem that this edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano offers many things that are other than design and furniture. But instead, the fair is like a white page on which companies and designers can create their own world, thanks to stimuli from different sectors.”
“The year 2022 concluded in an extraordinary way, with +12.7% with respect to the previous year, and production value of 57 billion euros,” added Claudio Feltrin, president of FederlegnoArredo, at the press conference via video link. “Clearly the concerns focus on 2023, due to the war that is unfortunately dragging on. The first few months have not gone badly, but we have to continue to play it by ear, in spite of the fact that our sector is farsighted and is working smoothly.”
“The City of Lights” will be the concept and fil rouge of the biennial Euroluce, which returns after 4 years, mixing high-tech research of lighting companies with the culture of light: the interdisciplinary cultural contents are curated by Beppe Finessi; the exhibition layout is by the studio Lombardini22; the new Aurore piazza and arena for immersive experiences and talks is by Formafantasma.
Among the exhibitions organised within the event: the solo show of the photographer Hélène Binet curated by Massimo Curzi; the history of the incandescent light bulb, between art and design, curated by Martina Sanzarello; the array of ‘artificial stars’ set up by the studio From Outer Space, curated by Matteo Pirola; the overview of interiors where lighting is the protagonist, organized by Berfu Bengisu Goren and curated by Michele Calzavara, with a space for workshops of exhibiting companies; the large site-specific installation with the neon inscription “You can imagine the opposite” by Maurizio Nannucci.
A bookstore specializing in design, art, illustration and literature about light will be organized by Corraini Editori, with design by Formafantasma. The Euroluce pavilions will also provide a bistro and a gourmet restaurant, designed by Piero Lissoni.
The 24th edition of SaloneSatellite, the space that brings together designers under 35 and the world of business, created by Marva Griffin in 1998, will take place inside the pavilions of Euroluce; this year’s theme “Design Schools – Universities / Building the (Im)Possible. Process, Progress, Practice” puts the focus on design institutes to reflect on the evolution of the very concept of design. The staging, as in the last 23 years, will be signed by Ricardo Bello Dias.
Over 550 emerging talents from 34 countries, with the presence of 27 schools from 16 countries. The participants are asked to answer the question “Design: where are you going?,” through installations and presentations of works by student graduates-to-be. The exhibition has its own calendar of events: the SaloneSatellite Award, now at its 12th iteration, and the special exhibition “Sate-Light. 1998-2022 SaloneSatellite young designers” with the lamps designed over the years by young talents that have gone into production, as a tribute to Euroluce. Finally, on Tuesday the 22nd, the great master Gaetano Pesce – the Italian sculptor, designer and architect based for many years in New York – will be invited for an encounter in the Arena of the SaloneSatellite.
A new program of Talks, coordinated by Annalisa Rosso, with a particular focus on lighting, technology and sustainability, will take place in Aurore, the arena of Euroluce (pav. 13): Shigeru Ban, Nao Tamura, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and Marius Myking of Snøhetta, and Andrea D’Antrassi of MAD, will be interviewed by international journalists on how innovation in the world of lighting can improve our lives in the future.
Sustainability, digitalization and Teatro alla Scala
Salone del Mobile.Milano puts great emphasis on environmental, economic and social responsibility, along a path that will lead – at the end of the event – to ISO 20121 certification of sustainable management, in keeping with the Global Compact of the United Nations.
The fair will also boost the interaction between the digital and the real, with a particular focus on augmented reality: new digital publishing and service projects will be activated on various touch points – site, newsletter, app and social networks – including Unboxing, a format offering previews of products by exhibitors, and White Paper, a series of in-depth coverage by leading names in international journalism.
Finally, for the third consecutive year, the Salone in collaboration with the Fondazione Teatro alla Scala celebrates with a special event in the Milanese temple of music: on the evening of Monday the 17th, the ballet of the composition The Light by Philip Glass makes a world premiere, while the Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Carlo Boccadoro, one of the most famous Italian contemporary composers, will feature the participation of the soprano Lauren Michelle.