Salone del Mobile: design in the center. Too bad for the empty phrase about sustainability

That Design Weeklinked to Furniture exhibition at the fair, now in its 60th edition. An opportunity for relevance and resonance that puts Italian companies and design at the center of international attention. There are several general evaluations possible around the event, which I leave to others: here I confine myself to some that relate to the specifications of the economic-entrepreneurial system, the ways of planning and innovation associated with it, in this still very complex phase, that after the health crisis he lives in another war drama, this time in Europewith tragic consequences and unpredictable developments.

A first aspect is related to vitality of the Design System, from the many companies present who return to see and think about the future – the work in recent years may not have been lacking, but the globalized model of the long supply chain has shown that the rope starts i.a. with the issue of raw materials – to visitors (perhaps less than former foreigners) to the economies generated around the initiatives and thus in the city and in the area. A good “commercial” atmosphere at the fair and an infinite number of events out lounge area, as already said before, not all of them really memorable, often more responsive to the logic of the will to be present, with a party-fashion trend. Strong signs of attention to the furniture world come precisely from fashion, which has joined the eventful-communicative tow – in truth with clear and historical superiority in this field – on the one hand with many major brands (not just the most avant-garde and experimental , which has been doing so for years), which has launched-relaunched collections for furniture with more conviction, in a substantial and legitimate fashion-decorative key. It’s obviously something other than the design of the Italian companies furniture, innovation-orientedbut also an opportunity for the latter to relaunch towards research and experimentation, the gaze towards new business models oriented by different value systems, which have emerged strongly in the collective conscience and sensitivity, but which still struggle to match renewed offerings of product systems – material and intangible services.

Exemplary from this point of view the slogan – which becomes annoying when not supported by concrete actions – by sustainability. Everyone talks about it, it appears in many advertising and communication payments, but looking at the fair and outside, there are not many companies and designers who adequately explain how they actually operate in an integrated and integrated dimension of the overall system and process , which must be reoriented. Without raising the issue at all now that it is difficult to talk about sustainability without questioning – at least in part and, as a hypothesis, in a reformist key – the system of capitalism and the market for the intensive and endless consumption of goods, the planet (and humans).

The question, which had been suspended for a long time during these difficult years, has come up again with force: Let us start again where we left off (knowing that the recurring and permanent crises of this millennium are the “natural” consequence of the current system), or let’s restart on new foundations of sustainability and human, social, environmental “care” of corporate And design of social responsibility?

The current signals seem to support the first option, which is not really durable. Perhaps the change is complex and difficult, but it seems necessary to consolidate the signals. Which has actually been seen in part – in the form of joint reflections and concrete experiments – by young designers, by design universities, but also by the readings that the candidates’ lessons have suggested. An example for everyone, the small exhibition at Statale in Milan about interior design for architects’ own homes Enric Miralles And Benedetta Tagliabueparadigmatic both for the quality of the presented projects, which have no longer become unique pieces, but small series products, and for the clarification and comprehensibility of the design process made possible by a good set-up, paying attention to the visitors’ need for understanding.

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