Salone del Mobile.Milano, all the latest news and innovations from Maria Porro

adv 60th edition

Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano

With four months to go before it opens, the president dispels the main doubts and discusses some of the many surprises that await us at the 60th edition

The announcement that the trade fair had been postponed until June has allowed us to make the best possible use of the months leading up to the next Salone del Mobile.Milano, although snippets of information about the novelties at this long-awaited edition have been forthcoming for some time, as the president, Maria Porro, tells us.

Let’s start with the differences. In what ways will the June event be different to the “supersalone” last September?

The Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022 will be back with all the usual pavilions and the large stands designed by the companies. Obviously there’s continuity with “supersalone”, especially as far as sustainability is concerned. Let’s say that September helped us warm up the engines, but now it’s time to go back to a great international Salone, attended by people from all over the world.

In that regard: compared with September, does the June date provide more certainty about international participation?

We achieved a small miracle in September. Having attendees from 120 different countries was a massive success. That said, we decided to defer the Salone del Mobile.Milano until June precisely so that we could ensure that the event could go back to its larger format and allow for a greater presence of foreign visitors. The good news is that we already have confirmed exhibitors from thirty or so different countries. Plus, by June the entry regulations should enable more people to come to Italy from abroad, and also the weather will enable us to hold some open-air events.

Exhibitors aside, what has been the response so far from foreign visitors?

Everyone really wants a big, international Salone del Mobile.Milano. We have already embarked on an invitation programme to ensure that the entire global design community will come to Milan, from leading figures in the sector to foreign journalists and, obviously, the top buyers, so that there’s as broad a range of attendees as possible. Then there’s the joint work with Fiera Milan to ensure that the event is totally safe from a logistics and organisational point of view, and we are in constant dialogue with the institutions, the Foreign Ministry and the Italian Trade Agency ICE.

Can we get one thing straight: stands or no stands?

Stands. Finally this year, after two long years, we are able to build those worlds that can only come alive at the Salone del Mobile.Milano. Our companies are starting with a blank sheet, designing genuine total living ambiances, with incredible freedom of expression, making for new solutions year after year. This makes it a unique global event.

How sustainable will they be?

We are working to guidelines drawn up in partnership with the exhibitors and, especially, with the fitters. Their approach is to try and reuse the structures as far as possible, so change is already part of their mindset. These guidelines will initially be an ideal roadmap but will become regulations over time. This is the sort of change that has to come about gradually and be generally agreed, but our sector has already set things in motion, thanks to FederlegnoArredo. I’m sure we will see tremendous efforts in this regard from all the exhibiting companies at the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022.  

Apart from the stands, how is the focus on sustainability going?

We will have a “no brand” space, an investment by the Salone del Mobile.Milano in a project on the future of sustainability, furnishing and materials, which has been assigned to a leading architect who has stood out for their meticulous approach to the issue – I can’t reveal their name yet.

This will be the 60th edition – what other new things can we expect?

Between 1961 and now, the Salone del Mobile.Milano has changed from being simply a samples fair, and overcome its purely commercial aspect, which remains extremely important, if not central. We’re talking about a time when the whole sector can see where it’s going, what the trends are. Within a short space of time, an entire sector can be seen up and running in one single place. We decided to amplify the cultural and trendsetting side by organising a few, powerful talks, and curating a series of major events in the city.

For example?

There will be an event at La Scala and a large exhibition at Palazzo Reale – an interactive installation that is a gift from the Salone del Mobile.Milano to the city, which will run for two weeks. There’s also a new development as regards SaloneSatellite.

How will you be valorising the space dedicated to young designers?

We have decided to locate it at the start of the fair, to give it even greater prominence. It will also be free to visit, obviating the need for tickets to the fair, and will feature an extremely interesting project on the theme of inclusive design.

Finally, what role will digital play?

The digital platform will be the tool that helps visitors familiarise themselves with the fair over the preceding months and help them navigate the physical fairgrounds. It will also allow those who can’t manage to be there in person to join us. The next big event will be the international press conference on 16th March, during which there will be a global presentation of the various projects and all the latest news.

18 February 2022