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Origins and Evolution

It is a benchmark, a meeting point and a place for interface between businessmen and up-and-coming designers, a talent scout in its own right. It is also a launch pad, a stage, a catwalk, an international showcase. It is SaloneSatellite, the originator of all the other events devoted to creations by young designers, all too often “exploited”, alas, as readily saleable merchandise nowadays.

SaloneSatellite has given young creatives, their enthusiasm and their skills a helping hand. It has enabled them to grow and present themselves with credibility. Young people had been on the lookout for places in which to exhibit their own ideas in the city of Milan, which was honing its reputation as the capital of design at that time.

When asked for exhibition space by a group of young designers, the Salone del Mobile was keen to help, and the idea of starting up the exhibition, not just alongside the Salone del Mobile, but as an integral part of it was born.

In 1998, the Salone del Mobile asked Marva Griffin Wilshire to set up an event that would help further the careers of the most promising designers under 35 by bringing them into direct contact with its exhibitors, and it immediately became an unparalleled observatory for young international creativity.

More than 10,000 youngsters and around 300 international design schools have met every April on this particular stage, which has seen the careers of international star designers, amongst others, take off. Designers such as Lorenzo Damiani, Patrick Jouin, Oki Sato (Studio Nendo), Xavier Lust and Sebastian Herkner showcased their handmade prototypes there, many of which then went into industrial production.

The SaloneSatellite Award competition has promoted young designers since 2010.

As of 2005 the event has also been a part of the Saloni WorldWide in Moscow, and will also be featured during the Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai as of next November.

The exhibition “A Dream Come True” was held to mark its tenth anniversary, featuring 400 objects showcased at SaloneSatellite as prototypes, later put into production by top Italian and foreign manufacturers.

In 2014 the SaloneSatellite has won the Compasso d’Oro Award for career achievement.

The Jury

An expert and internationally renowned selection committee meets each October to go through the portfolios of emerging designers under 35 who have applied to take part. The committee is always made up of leading figures from the world of contemporary design – such as Giulio Castelli, Italo Lupi, Alessandro Mendini, Paola Antonelli, Philippe Starck, Mario Bellini, Maddalena de Padova and Alberto Alessi – in particular, a representative of a company exhibiting at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile and one of the biennial exhibitions held concomitantly – Euroluce and Workplace3.0/SaloneUfficio in odd years and EuroCucina and the International Bathroom Exhibition in even years. The jury also includes both an Italian and a foreign sectoral journalist, a critic or architect, a designer and, lastly, a former participant in SaloneSatellite that has made a name for themselves in the intervening years, as well as Marva Griffin, organiser/curator of SaloneSatellite. 

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