STORIES OF DESIGN

Flexform

Matteo Galimberti, Owner & Italy Sales Director

A common growth path for the last 55 years


Once upon a time there was the Salone del Mobile, the 1st edition in 1961, in which 328 companies took part. “It hasn’t stopped since then”, said Matteo Galimberti. “I believe that of the hundreds upon hundreds of companies that have exhibited since then, Flexform is one of the 15 companies* that have consistently taken part in the Salone.”

An unbroken fellowship, a common path. “The solar year runs from January to December, while our corporate calendar year runs from Salone to Salone. There is much more to it than mere contact between Flexform and the Salone del Mobile.Milano: there’s a common growth path that has been gaining pace for the last 55 years.”

What draws us to one piece of furnishing rather than another? “In 2001, we showcased the "Groundpiece" sofa and we had no idea that it would become a bestseller. Its innovative features – low, deep seating and arms/backrests containing metal storage units – made it an instant success. Perhaps we understood empirically – not through market research but with our antennae tensed for market signals – that a new domestic concept was in the making: an informal, universal and increasingly multifunctional sofa – ideal for chatting, reading and watching TV, as well as studying, working on the computer, eating, drinking, sleeping.”

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Entrepreneurs and designers: an indissoluble combination? “Enlightened clientele on one hand and a visionary designer on the other are the natural begetters of every successful product. As complementary as Yin and Yang, every single object is born of their interaction and joint input. In the sharing age what could be more modern than this powerful entrepreneur/designer relationship?

Where does a company that has anticipated the future see design going over the next 10-15 years? “There will always be good design, projects conceived with progress in mind as well as profit. It’s up to the companies themselves whether or not to see their overall mission simply in terms of profit or in terms of profit that contributes to progress, i.e. enhancing quality of life by conceiving pieces for the home that can help to improve everyday life.”

“My hope is that it will be this commendable sort of design, conceived with people in mind, that will survive. Design made to last, simple, beautiful and sustainable!”

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*The companies that have taken part in all 55 editions of the Salone del Mobile are as follows: Besana, Flexform, Gervasoni, Giorgetti, Gruppo Industriale Busnelli, IPE, Medea, Minotti, Misura Emme, Molteni & C., Pianca, Porro, Potocco, Roma Imperiale and Turri