Maria Porro at Expo Dubai 2020: Sustainability for a qualitative design


In Dubai, the President of the Salone Mobile.Milano shows that it is possible to organise large-scale events sustainably, citing “supersalone” as a concrete example.

Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, took part in the Innovation Talk  Beautiful but Sustainable: the Italian Way of Design, organised by the ITA Italian Trade Agency, in partnership with the Italian Consulate General in Dubai and the Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The subject of the talk was beauty, which connects people with people and with the planet and is an intrinsic part of the way fashion and design are produced in Italy. Designing beautiful things is part of the Italian tradition, heritage and culture. Beauty that has always been, first and foremost, sustainable, ethical, functional and qualitative. The sort of beauty that Italian design and fashion create in tandem with nature, in a circular, inclusive and holistic way, with a view to the long term, blending craftsmanship and digital, respecting the natural systems and materials.  

Maria Porro asserted that the real beauty is sustainable since it’s made for last and cited the Salone del Mobile.Milano, which proved with its special September fair that large-scale international events can indeed be held and quantified in a circular and sustainable manner, as an example of responsible behaviour. 160,000 square metres of disassemblable and reassemblable materials and 50,000 square metres of 100% recycled chipboard were used at “supersalone” and 200 trees were planted, all of which served to save 553,000 kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. 

The President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano then discussed FederlegnoArredo’s recently launched road map for the green transformation of the entire sector, an ambitious bid to become the global production chain sustainability benchmark. No mere buzzword, this code of conduct sets out concrete actions and practices to be accomplished over the next five years. The various focuses include attention to the lifecycle of products geared to prolonging their useful life;  promoting the value of sustainable raw materials; taking an ecological approach to the production cycle as a whole; salvaging materials and energy; promoting certification and knowledge-building and taking care of people. 

Maria Porro concluded by saying: “We are organising the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, again with sustainability at its heart. We will overcome this challenge too, focusing on quality, networking with all the players involved, connecting people, events and activities throughout the process and scientifically quantifying everything we do.”

Other guests also took part in the debate – the architect Massimo Iosa Ghini, Nabyl Chenaf, Professor of Architect and Chair of the School of Art and Design at the American University in Dubai and Antonella Mansi, President of the Florence Centre for Italian Fashion. The talk was introduced by Paolo Glisenti, the Commissioner General for Italy at Expo 2020 in Dubai, and moderated by Roberto Luongo, Managing Director of the ICE Italian Trade Agency, while the Italian Ambassador to the Arab Emirates, Nicola Lener, brought the proceedings to a close.

11 November 2021