Italian design “Milano al centro, Il Salone al centro”, two interwoven realities reinforcing each other
- WTI Magazine #114 Apr 20, 2019
On April 9th opened the 58th edition of Il Salone del Mobile; as every year, for almost a week, the world was focused on Milan where it is always possible to catch up with the latest changes in style, values and needs, in other words to chat up with the latest trends in the field of design. So, what did we see? Innovation, future thinking and disruptive design.
Il Salone del Mobile has developed to be more than just a fair, growing a codependent relationship with the city that hosts it, Milano. Year over year several projects have connected the event with Milan but it is only last year that a Manifesto ratified this long-lasting relationship.
The City, as well, has been working hard to improve its image and become a forerunner of the modern concept of living; achieving, also also in 2018, a milestone recognition: the most liveable city of Italy, awarded by Il Sole 24 Ore and based on several parameters such as wealth, services, best smart city and highest average budget spent for cultural activities per person.
This achievement was topped up by another award won just at the beginning of the current year: the Wallpaper* Design Award for Best City beating off cities such as Helsinki and Vancouver. No wonders why Il Salone del Mobile has found, for 58 years, its natural habitat in this city of contrasts.
Proposed in 2018 with the lemma “Milano al Centro” and ”ll Salone al Centro”, The Manifesto, is a commitment to do the best and a guide for the participants: businesses, designers, artists, architects and creatives. It is a declaration of intentions to design the future, to achieve quality and creativity, reinforcing each other by being constantly open to a dialogue with institutions and with the productive system (industries), because both - la cittá and Il Salone - are a meeting place for new opportunities, for workshops and experimentations, space for disruptive innovation and sustainability.
In this framework the Manifesto sat its bases, playing with key words that represent its core values: emozione, impresa, qualitá, progetto, giovani, comunicazione, cultura e cittá- emotion, business, quality, project, young people, communication, culture and city precisely Milano at the centre of everything.
This year, 2019, a new word was added to the core values: ingegno-ingenuity or intelligence as a creative principle, cleverness in the process of thinking and doing, typical of geniuses. This word was indeed inspired by an Italian artist and designer, a forerunner visionary: Leonardo Da Vinci. An invitation to never stop discovering, reinventing processes and innovating without forgetting the tradition; a way of working that is understood as the only way to make progress, face the future and its challenges.
If you had gone on to discover this year’s fair and walked the street of Milan, visiting the satellite events that took place all over the city, these are the trends that you had probably seen:
-Circular economy: how to mimic the loops of nature is still a continuous topic of investigation as brands and designers of all sectors ask themselves how they can cater a serious demand for sustainability focused on perfect circularity, once that it has been proven that recycling is just a way to manage consumption guilt.
-Connective experiences: technology has decreased the physical interaction with our surroundings, there is a need for stimulation of our senses numbed by technology and the creation of spaces where these encounters can occur.
-Mini-living: continues to be a hot topic, not only for the reduce space cities have, but also for the increasing awareness and interest on the impact our lives have on the earth and due to our nomadic lifestyles, the need to bring our home easily everywhere we go even to off-grid destinations.
-Technological wellbeing: we seek to live healthier in every aspect of our life, technology becomes the main actor as the IoT (internet of things) shapes our homes, workplace and even our clothing.
Milan is the place to be during Il Salone if you want to taste the future, enjoy the beauty of the past while eating a good Risotto alla Milanese with a white glass of Capriano del Colle DOC, a straw-coloured wine from Brescia. If you didn’t make it this year, you should start already organizing yourself for the 59th edition!