Design, sharing and sustainability are the key words for what awaits us (in complete safety) at “supersalone”
The special 2021 Salone del Mobile.Milano event will open with the accent on safety, design transversality and green commitment (avoiding 1.2 million kilograms of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere by recycling the installations). It will feature more than 423 brands and 50 independent designers, 170 projects from 48 international design schools, 20 of the most influential figures on the creative scene today, 110 Compasso d’Oro awardwinning chairs, six great chefs, five films selected by the MDFF and 200 trees from Forestami. The Salone’s digital platform will provide an opportunity to follow the events both in person and virtually.
Work on the “supersalone” is going full pelt, helmed by the curator Stefano Boeri, the international team of co-designers – Andrea Caputo, Maria Cristina Didero, Anniina Koivu, Lukas Wegwerth, Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual of Studio Folder along with Giorgio Donà, co-founder and director of Stefano Boeri Interiors – and the entire staff of the Salone del Mobile.Milano with huge commitment, courage and, above all, a great sense of responsibility.
Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, had this to say: “We are pouring our hearts into organising this “supersalone” because we believe it’s crucial to go back to meeting each other, conduct relationships and see for ourselves the products that our companies have carried on creating. In 2020 we felt the lack of being able to have a collective vision on the direction of the entire sector even more keenly, and this event will allow us to find out the latest products and the prospects for the future. We took on a tough challenge with a great sense of responsibility. The issue of safety is key, and so we are working with all the regional institutions and bodies involved to ensure a totally safe experience for our exhibitors and visitors, starting with the green pass. The new Salone del Mobile.Milano platform with its palimpsest of events, live streamings and dedicated content will ensure that we can also fully involve that part of the design community that has been prevented from travelling due to the restrictions in force.”
423 brands in all goods categories will set out their wares in four pavilions, in a committed response to the call from the Salone del Mobile.Milano and the curator Stefano Boeri, and the firm belief that the “supersalone” will become a symbol of a new Renaissance. The stars of the show will be increasingly innovative products, capable of fully responding to the changes inherent in the contemporary social structure, and their knock-on effects on a rapidly changing furnishing market and the individual needs of each client. Recognising the importance and the symbolic value of this “supersalone” will also be confirmed by the presence of high-ranking government and institutional authorities – first and foremost the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, on the day of the launch – testament, as always, to the fact that the Salone is one of the drivers of the Italian economy, thanks to the fertile relationship that it manages to set up between businesses, cities and regions.
“The “supersalone” will be the first great Italian fair since the pandemic erupted. Super because it’s unmissable. Unmissable because it will see the great design brands, the young makers, the international schools, the great icons of design, the most renowned Italian chefs and many stars of the art and architecture scene gathered together for the first time. Unmissable because everybody will have a chance to see the top products from the top companies – live – and purchase or reserve them on the Salone del Mobile web platform. Unmissable because all the display components have been designed to be reused or recycled. Unmissable because at such a difficult time in our history we’ve mustered the courage, the passion and the generosity of the best of Italian business and creativity. “supersalone” is a cheerful response from a SuperItaly after the long night of the pandemic,” said the architect Stefano Boeri, curator of the event.
Innovation, attention to environmental impact, creativity tout court, cultural exchange, and digital experiences are the “supersalone” buzzwords. It will be an event that will draw on the power of design creativity to become a hub of experimentation and cross-pollination, a meeting place and a forger of new opportunities for reflection on the world of design and for acquainting ourselves with its protagonists – from the furnishing manufacturing system to the schools turning out the new cohorts of designers, from the independent makers to the most influential current figures in every field of design, from filmmakers who iconise the ability of design to shape worlds and tell stories to those who support and promote creativity.
With circularity and sustainability uppermost, all the materials and components used in the installation designed by Andrea Caputo – long parallel sets, designed for the specific goods categories, and the communal areas such as the Food Courts, arenas and lounges designed by Stefano Boeri Interiors – have been devised in collaboration with Lukas Wegwerth to be dismantled and reused. With the onus on circularity, the installation systems, which involve no loose components and reduced amounts of material, will be completely recycled. All the chipboard panels made from 100% recycled timber will go back into the production cycle. The overall benefit from avoiding emissions of CO2 deriving from the use of post-consumer reclaimed material is a lower emissions figure of 1.125.000kg CO2eq. The same goes for the bricks used in The Lost Graduation Show installation, which are all reusable; all the arenas, benches and seating will be “dry” mounted and can therefore be disassembled and used again at different times and in different contexts.
The trees supplied by Forestami will underscore the green credentials of “supersalone” with an ad hoc project that provides for a “forest” of around 100 trees through which the turnstiles at the East Gate entrance can be accessed. Another 100 tall trees will lead visitors into the various exhibition areas and living areas dedicated to relaxation. The selected trees – lime, ash, oak, flowering plum trees – will subsequently be planted in Milan’s metropolitan area.
One of the special “supersalone” exhibitions will be The Lost Graduation Show, curated by Anniina Koivu, showcasing 170 projects from students who graduated between 2020 and 2021, hailing from 48 design schools in 22 different countries in all five continents. A first in the history of the Salone that will involve every sector of furniture design and more besides. Incursions into the world of mobility, inclusive, medical and sports design, research into materials and design sustainability will map out the status quo of the entire sector. An example of how the Salone del Mobile.Milano works to support design schools, promoting the latest generation of designers, narrating their enthusiasm, courage and efforts at a time when the profession is undergoing swingeing change.
The exhibition Take Your Seat / Prendi Posizione – Solitude and Conviviality of the Chair / Solitudine e Convivialità della Sedia, curated by Nina Bassoli in partnership with ADI / Compasso d’Oro Award, will be another major highlight. Featuring 30 Compasso d’Oro award-winning chairs and more than 80 chairs that have gained honourable mentions ranged around the four “supersalone” pavilions, the exhibition will tell the story of the most iconic of all design objects, the chair, more capable of synthesising the value of good design than any other artefact. Split into four themed sections, with the addition of an “extra” section at the ADI Design Museum – the ideal end or start point to the visit – it will illustrate just how design has harnessed languages and content throughout the great changes in society and how it has managed to respond to new cultural paradigms with new inventions.
Devised by Maria Cristina Didero, the “supersalone” programme will be packed with conversations, talks and lectures by designers, architects, artists, scholars and managers from all over the world. The protagonists will endeavour to respond to a variety of questions on design, art, architecture, education, the circular economy, environmental impact, the relationship between project and curation and much more besides, in a series of dialogues and one man shows. There are many famous names among them: from Humberto Campana to Bjarke Ingels, Carsten Höller, Paola Pivi, Beatriz Colomina, Cecilia Alemani, Formafantasma and Philippe Malouin. There will be three fixed appointments every day: round tables at 12pm, talks at 3pm and lectures at 5pm. In addition to these events and in collaboration with the Milano Design Film Festival, every day at 4pm studies, biopics and docufilms will allow for crosscutting insight into design, architecture and the current social and sustainable implications. The programme includes Newmuseum(s). Stories of Company Archives and Museums by Francesca Molteni; Tokyo Ride by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine; Paradigma Olivetti by Davide Maffei; Precise Poetry. Lina Bo Bardi’s Architecture by Belinda Rukschcio and Honeyland by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov.
“supersalone” is also and especially open to cross-pollination between different spheres and languages, featuring Identità Golose Milano – International Gastronomic Hub in the event, because food is a product on the same level as any other, and has always evolved on the basis of human creativity and need. It calls for careful planning and the study of craft and industrial processes, both traditional and otherwise. It also requires a good pinch of curiosity and openness. The Identità Golose Food Court is a new bespoke concept tailormade for “supersalone,” conceived as an integral part of the visitor experience and an opportunity to savour the original recipes of some of the greatest Italian chefs and artisans, including Carlo Cracco with pastry chef Marco Pedron, Massimo Bottura with the workshop Il Tortellante, Michelin star chefs Cristina Bowerman and Matias Perdomo, Eugenio Boer, the Italo-Dutch chef renowned for the international influences that he weaves into his cuisine, as well as Renato Bosco, considered one of the greatest master of pizza, the great ice-cream maker Paolo Brunelli and Andrea Besuschio, who has been ranked among the top 10 best pastry chefs in Italy for years. Each of them will come up with an iconic dish – either sweet or savoury – that the public will be able to purchase, putting together their own ideal menus to enjoy in an informal and inclusive environment.
As per another well-established tradition being revived at this special September event, the Salone del Mobile will venture beyond the confines of the Rho Fairgrounds to underscore and valorise its deep ties with Milan and, in the spirit of increasing openness to the exchange and circulation of ideas, culture and creativity, will reinforce its dialogue with Triennale Milano, the city hub of “supersalone.” Triennale will be marking the occasion with Il Salone / La Città (The Salone / The City), an exhibition conceived by the Triennale Museum of Italian Design for the Salone del Mobile.Milano and curated by Mario Piazza. The exhibition will narrate the cultural events held in the city by the Salone that, over the years, have communicated design to its fans. A spectacular show that will draw on the archives of Triennale Milano and the Salone del Mobile.Milano.
In this context, the mix of digital and in-person presence will make for a thoroughly engaging experience and allow those unable to be physically present to observe the products on exhibit, visit the exhibitions virtually and attend the talks and lectures. The Salone del Mobile.Milano platform has been designed to promote the design on exhibit with original content and medium-specific language, and to put the user at the centre of the event before, during and after their visit. The exhibition spaces and themed itineraries will dialogue with the platform in a wholly original manner, and the products visualised and reserved for purchase. It is a digital crossroads that will create new forms of integration and interconnection between different worlds, users and markets.
“supersalone” will be all this and much more besides: a special project through which the Salone del Mobile.Milano intends to serve as a promoter of and catalyst for activities, thoughts and feelings that will allow the entire sector and the supply chain as a whole to breathe life into a new Renaissance.
Original text provided by Salone Milano Press Office
Photos courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano, photos credits Gianluca Di Ioia