MP: The exhibition is subtitled La Storia di 60 Anni di Eventi Collaterali nella Città di Milano (The Story of 60 Years of Collateral Events in the City of Milan) – which perfectly expresses the way in which, as well as being a business institution, the Salone has also been a cultural force within the city. The focus of the exhibition is the story of the events that have been held alongside the trade fair since the early Sixties, which, while generated in an atmosphere of enthusiasm, when reread in their entirety, express a rationale that has its own profundity. And density. This means that the “collateral effects” of these events have reaped benefits both in terms of reflection on some of the issues involved with the merchandising world – represented by the Salone del Mobile itself – and in terms of carving out a new and different relationship with the city of Milan. These events outwith the trade fair complex represented an alternative to the traditional way of producing cultural events, opening the way for original knowledge-building forums thanks to the many and varied points of view of different speakers – not just historians, design experts and great designers, but also art and drama critics, and thanks to the public.
MS: These consisted of communication campaigns, monumental installations, theatre performances and shows that involved huge audiences, not just professionals, and their story often overlapped with that of Triennale. That’s why, along with Claudio Feltrin, Stefano Boeri, Maria Porro and Marco Sabetta, we decided that Triennale should be the city hub of the Salone, hosting an exhibition that would celebrate this major anniversary. Mario Piazza has scoured the archives for evidence of the institution’s participation, either as a venue or a lender of furnishings, furniture or accessories that belong in the Museum of Italian Design collection, with the utmost respect for what had been achieved. The upshot is a powerfully impactful theatrical setting, against which a packed series of themes and experiences play out in the curve of the first floor of the Palazzo dell’Arte.