Selecting the applicants for SaloneSatellite is always exciting. It is a responsibility that founder and curator Marva Griffin Wilshire, shares every year with a group of experts in various different categories.
Gathered around the table for the 2019 selection process over the last few days were 3 international designers, Stephen Burks, who flew straight from New York to Milan, Francesco Faccin and Francesca Lanzavecchia. Now extremely renowned and established figures, they made their own debut at this particular platform for designers under 35. The 3 entrepreneurs, symbolically representing the Salone Internazionale del Mobile companies and the biennial events Workplace 3.0 and Euroluce were Emiliana Martinelli (President, Martinelli Luce), Giuliano Mosconi (President and CEO of Tecno and Zanotta) and Monica Pedrali (Sales and Marketing Director, Pedrali). The 3 specialist journalists were Loredana Mascheroni (Domus), Veronica Orsi (IDFM) and Berlin-born but Milan-based Norman Kietzmann (designjournalist.com), along with gallerist and talent scout Jean Blanchaert, the multifaceted and indisputable expert on the expressive power of materials. Lastly, 3 people with close links to the world of the Salone del Mobile, Patrizia Malfatti, Head of Communication and Press Office, the architect Ricardo Bello Dias, seasoned designer of the display installations and exhibitions for many editions of SaloneSatellite and Beppe Finessi, teacher and design critic, who has also always been by Marva Griffin’s side, not least as curator of the exhibitions for the 10th and 20th anniversary celebrations, the latter in 2017.
The committee was entrusted with “discerning the creative and design value of the projects put forward” as Marva – as she is simply known to all, generations of designers included - continually reminds everyone. This year there were applications from 131 designers from all over the world, and the selection process has been rigorous and scrupulous. The response to those applicants who were unsuccessful has, as always, been advice to continue along their own path, hone their skills and apply again for subsequent editions. All candidates submit a portfolio for assessment, but we will have to wait until April to discover the new and original projects conceived by the young designers selected for SaloneSatellite. We will then have an opportunity to revisit and admire the latest offerings from previous participants (everyone is “entitled” to take part three times) and get to know the changing ranks of students from selected schools and universities within the sector from all over the world, as well as the winners of the 2018 editions of SaloneSatellite in Moscow and Shanghai. This next edition promises, yet again, to be full of surprises. We will not be disappointed.