It's the Salone del Mobile!
Don't name it Fair!
It’s the Salone del Mobile, in 2022 is celebrating its 60th birthday and with it the Fuorisalone has been lit up, for some time now it has become a container of creativity and events born independently and from this year for the first time in collaboration with the Salone.
From 7 to 12 June Milan was animated by hundreds of initiatives, 812 only the official ones of the Fuorisalone, traveled by thousands of people of all nationalities, it is estimated to have reached 400,000 presence including designers, entrepreneurs, artists and visitors eager to be part of this event.
The design sector and in particular the luxury segment is one of the areas that has responded best to the pandemic. The house in which we have all been forced to remain locked up has taken on an even more central role in our life, with the need for different spaces to be rethought, for example, to combine everyday life with "home working" or sports. All the more reason in this context the desire to be surrounded by functional but also beautiful things becomes fundamental.
To tell what the Salone del Mobile is, I would start with the "Scatola Magica", an audio-visual installation in Palazzo Reale designed by Davide Rampello who defines it in 11 words:
Emotion, Company, Quality, Project, System, Communication, Culture, Youth, Ingenuity, Milan, Know-how, transformed by 11 directors into stories to see.
If the Salone represents the most official part, the Fuorisalone with its events and installations is the public version, by its nature inclusive precisely because it is intended for everyone, an opportunity to express creativity and communicate. The main themes that I found in many of the installations and events I visited in this 2022 edition are Beauty and Sustainability, declined in all their facets.
Milan was more than usual invaded by the expressions of this living being who for two years had been caged by the pandemic and which this year was more dynamic and exciting than ever: shop, space or window in traditional areas and also in new areas and suburbs of the city, each of these spaces thanks to the various events comes back to life and returns to be used often even after the show, such as "Baranzate Ateliers" where an abandoned former factory becomes a space for design, art and music or "Alcova" in the area of the former military hospital of Baggio, a platform for independent design.
One of the liveliest and most dynamic spaces of this Salone, 6,000 square meters set up by Flos in Fabbrica Orobia, a place with multiple souls in which to discover and experience the values of the brand, among the new collections and limited editions presented with also the designers, the exhibition of iconic products, talks organized every day, a restaurant, an outdoor area full of greenery, music.
Among the most photographed and experienced installations in recent days: definitely ToiletPaper in Via Balzaretti where All Out lab decorated the facades of the street and where there were "street parties" with music and dances.
The Labyrinth Garden by Raffaello Galiotto with Nardi in the 1700s courtyard of the Statale, where between elements in recycled plastic and plants you enter a real labyrinth that can be observed from above from a central tower.
Stefano Boeri's Floating Forest in the Darsena, is an ecosystem with over 600 plants floating on the water.
Some installations have revived iconic Milanese places, such as Louis Poulsen who colored Taveggia, the historic Milanese pastry shop, pink for the occasion, which dyed the cupcakes pink and the cakes were sprinkled with a rosé, combined with the chandeliers of the Danish brand.
I had the opportunity to chat with some of the creators of all this beauty, Designers such as Patricia Urquiola (above with its Almendra by Flos, fully recyclable) and Piero Lissoni, present at the events with their creations ...
... and to be present at some events representative of very current topics, such as sustainability, being able to admire the new collections also of fashion brands that have collaborated in the world of design, two worlds ever closer and more interconnected that mix with each other to create always something unique and extraordinarily beautiful.
STELLA MCCARTNEY pioneer designer of sustainable fashion at the Caselli di Porta Nuova presented several collaborations, all characterized by natural, recycled, eco-sustainable materials: with B&B Italia with a special edition of Le Bambole armchairs by Mario Bellini, now in an eco-sustainable version and covered with the hand-drawn burgundy "forest fungi" print from Stella's summer 2022 collection.
Another example of contamination between the world of fashion and the world of design also with FENDI CASA which, with its new store in Piazza della Scala, is an example of entry into the world of design that is not occasional but the result of a strategy aimed at enhancing the style of the brand declined in furniture and objects for the home.
HERMES with its highly suggestive home collection on display at the Pelota, this year expressed itself through four monumental constructions that emanate lightness and brightness, thanks to the paper and wood with which they are made. A tribute to sustainability and a delicate and contemporary message, also told together with the elegant timeless objects housed within each one.
DIOR by Philippe Stark at Palazzo Citterio with his reinterpretations of the Louis XVI style Medallion Chair so dear to Monsieur Dior.
LOUIS VUITTON at the tenth edition of Objects Nomade, also in this case with a great focus on circularity and recycled materials, in a very beautiful location recently renovated, the Garage Traversi in San Babila, an example of the Italian rationalism of the 1930s.
PRADA instead organized a symposium, Prada Frames, with important interventions, always centered on sustainability and in particular on the relationship between environment and design.
Very interesting the evolution and opening of the world of design to social media with its "humanization", too often the communication of design brands stops at the representation of beautiful products, well photographed in evocative locations, but without a real presence of those who have to live these products. B&B ITALIA's initiative with Suonare Stella was truly centered, where the house of the influencer Paolo Stella becomes a stage to host Le Bambole armchairs and sofas designed in the seventies by Mario Bellini, now in a new disassembled edition according to the principles of the circular economy.
In the historic B&B Italia store in Via Durini, a very rich exhibition of outdoor and indoor furniture including the Allure O 'table and the Flair O' chairs by designer Monica Armani
At Palazzo Bovara, one of the historic Milanese palaces, I visited the "Design Forever" installation by Elle Decor Italia, an outdoor and indoor exhibition of various brands, a tribute to timeless good design and to the important birthday of the Salone.
This 2022 edition was also finally the return of events in the presence without limitations and with a few less thoughts, the "foreigners" - including non-Milanese - were really many recognizable around by the languages, by the accents sometimes even by the improbable looks. Everyone appreciated the return of Milan to what is its true dimension: an open city, which lives and works, which also knows how to entertain and how to entertain, which wears its most beautiful dress and yet never forgets "the turnover” as the ultimate goal.