Glimpses from the Salone del Mobile 2023

Glimpses from the Salone del Mobile 2023

The renowned furnishings and accessories event Salone del Mobile.Milano, also known as the Milan Furniture Fair, evoked a huge response with over 2,000 exhibitors showcasing their unique, innovative designs. Exhibitors included 550 young designers from 31 countries and 28 design schools and universi...

The renowned furnishings and accessories event Salone del Mobile.Milano, also known as the Milan Furniture Fair, evoked a huge response with over 2,000 exhibitors showcasing their unique, innovative designs. Exhibitors included 550 young designers from 31 countries and 28 design schools and universities from 18 countries. The six-day event witnessed 307,418 attendees (15 per cent more than last year) from 181 countries. “The 61st edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano was an international success and we are really delighted that it exceeded expectations,” commented Maria Porro, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano. “The number of attendees makes for an exceptional result, which we worked very hard, deeply and radically for, to bring new meanings and values to the trade fair visit and create new experiences for visitors. We have learned several important lessons from this edition: that it is indeed possible to redesign a huge event like the Salone to propel it into the future, that sustainability really is achievable when the entire system pulls together, and that new content can be devised and employed in order to generate knowledge, growth and value.” The event laid huge emphasis on sustainability, both in terms of running the trade fair and its content. Salone became the first sectoral exhibition to attain ISO 20121 certification for sustainable events management. The quality of displays and concrete, implementable solutions – evidenced by the installations at the Euroluce and Salone Satellite exhibitions and by a huge number of exhibitors – have made the Salone an international stage for new business ideas and technological solutions capable of contributing to people’s wellbeing, to safeguarding the environment and homes, and to the most effective use of resources, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Indian perspective Of the 307,418 attendees, 65 per cent came from abroad with China reclaiming its top position followed by Germany, France, the US and Spain, with Brazil and India tied. “This edition of Salone Del Mobile was dedicated to promoting environmental, economic and societal responsibility, reflecting a recognition of the urgent global issues we face. It emphasised the need for collective responsibility to address these challenges, a topic that resonates deeply with us. Notably, designers showcased a shift towards maximalism, embracing bold colours, patterns and textures as the focal point of their furniture designs. By experimenting with vibrant and eye-catching elements, they aimed to create pieces that truly stand out. The experience was enriching and we are thrilled to receive a positive review for our collections from the visitors and design experts,”said Yogesh Chaudhary, Director, Jaipur Rugs, which exhibited its new selection under ‘The Majnun Collection’ for which it had collaborated with Pavitra Rajaram, an esteemed AD100 designer. In terms of the event's layout, the traditional booth-centric approach was replaced by a circular route, offering visitors a new and more convenient experience. This change allowed for easier navigation and ensured that all showcased products and collections could be appreciated by everyone. “Every domain grows together and Salone del Mobile is a good example of creation of value through collaboration and partnerships,” said architect Tushar Gaur, Founder of Studio Rhizome. “The event brings together designers, manufacturers and other stakeholders to share ideas, collaborate on projects and create new business opportunities. India can benefit from fostering greater collaboration and partnerships among its designers, manufacturers and other stakeholders to create a more vibrant and dynamic design industry.” Notable displays Among the notable designs featured at Salone Del Mobile were the reinvented Stick chair by Loewe, home creations by Hermes, the interiors collection by Versace Home and the Monsieur Dior armchair, characterised by its structured form, diverse colour options, patterns and materials. Resonating throughout its numerous pavilions were patterns that underscored the growing impact of science and technology in driving design advancement. These included the incorporation of modular lighting and a heightened emphasis on repurposed materials. Additionally, several noteworthy trends emerged: the outdoor collections placed significant emphasis on enhancing comfort while displays and pavilions showcased a distinct shift away from subdued beiges and neutrals towards the embrace of vibrant accent colours. The City of Lights exhibitions curated by Beppe Finessi, who turned Euroluce, with a new exhibition layout rethought by the Lombardini22 studio, into a space/time continuum made up of multidisciplinary creative activities connected with light, were a huge hit with the public. This provided an opportunity to discover, reflect on the past and present, and start a dialogue between technology,architecture and design. “My experience of Salone Del Mobile 2023 was nothing short of awe-inspiring,” opined Utsav Kamboj, Architect and Founder of Archea - The Design Tribe Pvt Ltd. “As I walked through the halls, I was greeted by an extraordinary display of design, innovation and creativity. The event showcased the very best in contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories, captivating the senses and stimulating the imagination.” One of the most striking aspects was the seamless integration of technology and design. “Cutting-edge smart home solutions, futuristic lighting systems and innovative materials were on full display, demonstrating the industry's commitment to sustainability and efficiency,” she added. “From a multifunctional restingpod to a versatile bar set-up, there was something to cater to every taste and style. The event served as a source of inspiration and exposure to global design trends. It allowed Indian participants to witness first-hand the latest innovations and experimentations in terms of materials and design styles.” Key takeaways for India Salone del Mobile's diverse international participation fosters cultural exchange. The event provided a platform for networking and collaboration, enabling Indian architects to forge connections with international designers, manufacturers and suppliers. “As an Indian architect, I witnessed the mastery of artisans from different areas of the world, gaining insights into how traditional techniques can be infused with modern aesthetics,” commented Kamboj. “This fusion of heritage and innovation proved to be a valuable lesson for architects seeking to create unique and culturally relevant spaces. Salone Del Mobile 2023 was a remarkable experience that showcased the forefront of design and inspiration for the future of architecture and design in India.” Engaging with designers and visitors from different backgrounds allowed Indian participants to learn about their design philosophies and exchange cultural perspectives. These interactions enriched their own design approach and broadened their horizons, facilitating a deeper understanding of global design trends and aesthetics. “The exhibition's diverse range of products and design concepts from various exhibitors serves as a wellspring of inspiration,” opined Chaudhary. “Indian participants can observe design details, craftsmanship, materials and innovative ideas employed by others, stimulating their creativity and encouraging them to think outside the box. Overall, this edition of Salone Del Mobile successfully combined a focus on global responsibility with a vibrant and exciting design aesthetic, creating a memorable experience for visitors and highlighting the importance of conscious and visually striking design.” For his part, Gaur said, “Milan becoming the design capital is not an overnight event. I have experienced a culture of design sensitivityduring my study, stay and travel in Italy. Design is natural to Italy and Milano. Salone del Mobile highlights the importance of design in driving innovation and economic growth. India has a unique position in design and culture interracially and has the capacity to evolve our unique offerings. The country has a rich cultural heritage and craft industry and needs to learn from best practices in Italy to become a world leader in innovation in indigenous design and craft. Amid rising environmental concerns expressed across the globe, India's economic growth continues to gain momentum. By focusing on sustainable and eco-friendly designs, the country can progress on the path of prosperity with minimum carbon emission. Salone del Mobile 2023 showed this is doable. So, be there for the 2024 edition, which will be held in Milan from April 16-21 to witness the next evolution.

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