PEDESTRIAN CROSSING. Milano Design Week 2022

Salone del Mobile returns after two years of fighting the pandemic in its usual form. Zebra Crossing took a ride between Rho and Fuorisalone scattered around Milan

————————————————– ———-

————————————————– ———-

Following the redirection of the Supersalon, Salone del Mobile returned to its usual outfit in the second week of June.
Present because even years, Eurocucine and Salone del Bagno (along with the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile, interior accessories, Workplace 3.0 and Satellite) attracted the event important figures (as confirmed by Mayor Sala), which serve to relaunch themselves, Milan and design in general after the pandemic. It was necessary to make their voices heard by the world’s competitors (especially in Cologne) and to clarify the health of the Salon after doubling the age of 60 years.



In addition to the main actors at the forefront of the Salon’s concrete work (producers, buyers, sellers, designers, etc.), the strong presence of the media and the public can enjoy the vision of the products, and it is no coincidence that Deyan Sudjic’s article on Domus rightly wonders such a waste of energy (literally) still makes sense when we talk about sustainability, for example.
Sudjic also subtly alludes to a future where a trade fair can be replaced by e-commerce, and that immediately brings us to one of the focal points:instagrammbarhed.
Many design tourists come to Milan for a week, where they photograph and post everything they see, beyond the significance of this action.
But once the party is over and the stories are gone, then what’s left of Salone and Fuorisalone?

The question certainly sees a contradiction in itself, a contradiction between furniture components and physical structures on the one hand (structures that physically – in fact – tend to exist) and the digital disappearance (therefore square) of their images on the other page.
If it is true that a fair is in itself a fleeting interlude, a furniture fair is in fact almost at a point where the meaning is cracked. It then becomes very likely that the future will see Salone del Mobile appear mainly in the metaverse, in ways that are hard to think of today, but completely philosophically plausible. How it becomes clear that the images of Salone and Fuorisalone have almost greater significance (if not consistency) than the real objects they show.

Content not available
Allow cookies by clicking “Accept” in the banner “

For this reason, talking about these two events today does not mean much to look for a square from the point of view of the whole (for example, to try to see sustainability as the central theme of this Milan design week) but to dwell on special events / phenomena / installations / objects that the pilgrimage into the time and space of the week brings us in an almost random way.

The first reality that comes to mind is the Belgian creative hub Zaventem in Baranzate.
Lionel Jadot, a personal friend of the Necchi family, requested and obtained to rent the disused department stores in Baranzate for a limited period, a place that for Milan means a very remote and inhospitable suburb, famous only for the number of non-EU farmers.
By creating a new TAZ, Jadot created an exhibition space like the one that already opened in Brussels, a place that immediately seemed to us typically 90s (with their beautiful post-industrial images consisting of techno and rave parties).
The idea won for many reasons: meanwhile, the 16 artistic realities (single or collective) all showed interesting works (some very beautiful).
We may not have been as shocked as after the historic arrival of Dutch design in Milan, but the works remain impressive nonetheless, also for the setting.
In fact, space is a design concept in itself; thin but powerful lends itself to the nostalgia of distant parties of the time, and in fact the “Je t’aime” party on Wednesday was the epicenter of a moment when the suburbs finally returned sharply to hit the often stifled Milanese collective imagination.
All this and then disappear in an instant just like then.

This tells us that in a comparison with the usual Milanese realities, these unfortunately came out poorly. We have actually felt the weight of the ritual being repeated on an equal footing with itself, but emptied of its strength. Very close to having to be there when it’s clear you do not want to.

Same feeling of heaviness perceived at Rho Salone.
In Rho, our interest followed some precise lines: for example, the use of artificial intelligence in home automation.
But we were not lucky, as if this AI is already there as an option, it still does not seem to be utilized properly. Especially the two places where furniture and technology are most connected (ie kitchen and bathroom).

Content not available
Allow cookies by clicking “Accept” in the banner “

We write “it seems” because we also had the feeling of hiding strategically … A willingness on the part of the brands to hide the cards (also called “new ideas”) to see where the wind is blowing.
As if they knew that this 60th edition is not a real post-pandemic relaunch, but a panacea after two years of acute suffering.
Panacea, which, however, cannot erase the very heavy shadow of a global economic and political crisis that is galloping faster and faster towards our present.

So get interesting ideas from Rho. Many historic brands take refuge in installations created on newer lines. Asians hardly show up. The use of technology is hidden both in the kitchen and in the bathroom. We report, firstly, only Siemens and Scavolini, which are able to use their control app in an interesting way, and secondly, only Geberit, which really renews the relationship between user and sanitary ware.

Content not available
Allow cookies by clicking “Accept” in the banner “

If the technology is there but it is not being used, it looks like a jump is being postponed to understand what will happen shortly thereafter.
In the absence of perspective, the fleeting time of the Fuori salon becomes central again.

In addition to the utilization of Zaventem in Baranzate, we have e.g. seen the reaffirmation of Alcova at the hospital in Baggio.
A reaffirmation as a framework idea, in addition to the quality of all the many present.
Valentina Ciuffi (former founder of Studio Vedèt) and Joseph Grima (former founder of Space Caviar) are always very capable of creating an imaginary (Fellini-like we are told) as they fill the chosen structure with many small interesting realities, as try in every way to impress.
Alcova then becomes a small independent “post cinema” festival inside Fuorisalone.
Festival that we want to point out some “visions” that are not perfect but interesting: we think of “Unproduced” by Maximilian Marchesani with its branches grafted with light; “The Garden” by the young Sam Klemick from Los Angeles for the Otherside Objects studio, who works with recycled materials to create garden armchairs with “Marienbadic” shapes; “Silentscape” from the Slalom company from Arcore, which does an interesting job with sound-absorbing materials to eliminate reverberation from the rooms; “Venus in Lycra” by the Servomuto studio, where the colored lights make the connection to the cinema even clearer by paying tribute to Polanski from “Venus in furs”; and finally “An Untold Story” by Iranian designer Shirin Ehya for House of Touran, where we think of the past projecting it into present-day Iran through the use of small design objects.
All narrative paths with their own idea and their own story.
Maybe the sensational blow is missing, but they all stand out in the crowd, and they marry the strong design concept that Alcova has put forward.

The feeling at the end of the usual 25 thousand steps a day for a week (the heat in June did not help, and in fact we will return in April in 2023) is that of a strong desire to throw oneself behind the crisis without having courage to ignore the gloomy times we live in and which we may want to live in later.

We know that sustainability also involves the adaptation of spaces normally used for other purposes, and examples we have had under Fuorisalone: ​​In addition to the aforementioned Alcova and Zaventem, we are reminded of the vault used by Pulpo, or consecrated church used by Takt Project. But if you use sci-fi, almost medical embellishments, to present a wooden chair (with a relaxing comic retro effect like Telefunken commercials), then the mechanism may seem stuck. We had to get better out of Covid, but it’s still hard to give up traditional vices.

However, there are, and it must be said, small businesses still fully focused on materials to discover new lines. We are thinking of the cork bench in Studio Corkinho, but above all of the exceptional bet won by the Caserta-based collective Keep Life, which thanks to the enlightened synergy with the Quasar Institute manages to attract the talent of current design heroes such as. Matali Crasset, Marta Laudani or Studio Irvine, who are invited to create objects using “KeepLife”. That is, a material designed and patented in 2017, a wood-based composite and created with remnants of hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios and peanuts.

Content not available
Allow cookies by clicking “Accept” in the banner “

If the hope for a truly sustainable future thanks to projects like KeepLife does not want to go away, the problem is that the image of Milan Design Week still rewards a transparent dishwasher, which is popular in online videos. Perhaps the success of this image tells us that the future will not have the material, but the audiovisual effect. Against the sale of furniture pictures and not real furniture. All in a sustainable way.

————————————————– ————
The summer cinema arenas in Rome

————————————————– ————

Leave a Comment