Highlights from the 60th Salone del Mobile.Milano

By vira

The 60th Salone del Mobile.Milano, the largest furniture fair in the world, took place in Milan, Italy, from 7-12 June 2022. Indonesia Design (iD) was invited to attend the event, which was packed with designers, design enthusiasts, artisans and design-related business people from all over the world. Everyone seemed eager to explore new and innovative designs.

Piazza Gae Aulenti. Photo by Alessandro Russotti.

The first Salone del Mobile.Milano was held in 1961, focusing on furniture from Italian manufacturers. It grew in size over the years with exhibitors from across the world. After being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, a special and smaller edition took place in 2021. It was a big relief for everyone involved that the 60th edition could finally happen as usual: 2,175 brands, with 27% from abroad, were present. While many visitors from China and Russia were absent, there were 262,608 visitors from 173 countries registered, and over 3,500 official journalists covered the event.

“Putting together this edition of the trade fair has been a powerfully emotional experience,” said Maria Porro, the President of Salone del Mobile.Milano. More than a showcase of excellence, the 60th edition was built around fundamental trains of thought encompassing opportunities and responsibility of design, inclusion and environmental responsibility.

Below are some highlights from the main programmes and installations that we thought were impressive.

EuroCucina and FTK

The biennial EuroCucina returned, which showcased the latest in kitchen design: the emphasis was dynamic and multifunctional. Most of the kitchens were open spaces, and islands remain an important design element. In bigger kitchens, various activities involving multiple family members could take place simultaneously. On another note, foldaway and walk-in kitchens that conceal electrical devices are making a comeback especially for smaller spaces. Its collateral event FTK (Technology For the Kitchen) displayed responsible, inclusive, and connected technology for a more sustainable future.

Photo by Diego Ravier

International Bathroom Exhibition

The International Bathroom Exhibition displayed projects with high quality and durability that focused on water saving and using low impact, recyclable and circular materials. The trend for bathroom furnishings is minimalist, pared back essentials with organic forms.

Photo by Alessandro Russotti.

“Design with Nature” at S. Project

S. Project is a fairly new concept and this year was the second edition. It was a mix of indoor and outdoor products, including furnishings, lighting, acoustic solutions, wellness products and textiles. This year, it hosted a major exhibition titled “Design with Nature” by Mario Cucinella Architects, which covered a total of 1,400 sqm and explored the relationship between nature and the way we live.

Themes of circular economy and material reusage was the focus in this installation, starting with the idea that cities could be ‘reserves’ of the future, where material for new constructions and products could be sourced from the city itself, instead of nature. There were examples including The Good Plastic Company and Ecopixel, two companies making materials for design and construction from recycled plastic waste. Sinterama produces a textile using recycled polyester fibres from plastic bottles.

The installation sparked questions, suggestions and reflections on ethics, circularity, participatory architecture and urban regeneration. It re-evaluated the possible reconciliation of man and nature, and the importance of sustainable living. Human beings, who represent only 0.01% of all biomass on Earth, have produced so much human-made mass it exceeds all living biomass including plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. So it is time that we humans participate in promoting virtuous ecological behaviours.

SaloneSatellite Award

The SaloneSatellite Award, part of Salone del Mobile since 2010 featured 600 exhibitors from 48 countries. It is an opportunity to connect young designers and companies taking part in the fair. The applications for selection were open to designers under 35, post-study, presenting new prototypes that have not been produced or marketed. Some works by design universities and schools were also included.

The jury, led by Paola Antonelli, announced three winners and two special mentions for the award. They stood out for their incisive forms, design skill, values of sustainability and inclusion. The first prize was won by Canadian-Nigerian designer Lani Adeoye of Studio Lani with RemX, a walker for the elderly made of natural materials.

Hendro Hadinata with his Eve Pendant Lamp

Indonesia Design (iD) was proud to see an Indonesian designer booth at SaloneSatellite. Hendro Hadinata exhibited his Eve Pendant Lamp, a wearable light piece intended for children, elderly and handicapped people as an aid for their outdoor activities. He incorporated a weaving technique from rural Sumba in the design.

As usual, Salone del Mobile.Milano fills one’s head with new ideas, inspired by creativity and a heightened appreciation toward excellent design. Look out for the next edition scheduled for 18-23 April 2023.

Like this story, share to your friends