Sustainability and Beauty. The Salone del Mobile 2020

The Manifesto of the next edition. Why the Salone del Mobile is not just a trade fair

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13/02/2020 - How to preconceive beauty? This year the world's most important furniture fair is preparing to answer this question, always keeping sight of the big current topics.
Yesterday saw the presentation of the 59th edition of the Salone del Mobile fair, to be taking place 21-26 April at Milano Rho exhibition grounds. The Salone del Mobile has added another term to its Manifesto: “Beauty” – a powerful driver of the trade fair’s modus operandi and the companies, brands and designers that have played a part in its success. It is also closely bound up with the concept of sustainability.

This edition is going to invite its visitors to reflect on “inclusive” design, a design promoting autonomy, comfort, movement, usability, interaction and safety for all. Claudio Luti, President Salone del Mobile, had this to say: “We will see a lot of companies investing in environmentally-friendly and personal wellness products, and a surge towards a better future, encapsulated by the word “Beauty” which, not surprisingly, has been added to the Salone del Mobile.Milano Manifesto”. Coming up with a new design every year, experimenting with different kinds of harmonious forms, shaping the 'proper' material and achieving a high degree of sustainability means seeking beauty.
It's an edition that will invite its visitors to reflect on the design that 'includes' promoting autonomy, comfort, movement, usability, interaction and safety for all.
Is it really surprising that the press conference also commented on the Coronavirus? Over the years, and the numbers proof it, the Salone del Mobile has become an institution, internationally renowned and widely intertwined with the the audience it addressed. Concerns about the absence of exhibitors and visitors from China and Hong Kong, who usually are numerous and a dynamic component, are not hidden. “Sure, the Chinese will be missed”, said Salone del Mobile's president Claudio Luti, “there are security measures in place. We have strengthened in the digital field, and this will serve also in the future, not only for the Chinese. We might have no Chinese exhibitors, unlike many other trade fairs, but usually we welcome many visitors from China. Last year, with somewhat about 30,000, they made the largest group. We see an emerging market in China, and we are doing our best to make it become an important one, too.”

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition and Workplace3.0 will explore many and varied aesthetic avenues, featuring quality and well-researched mega customisable products, made increasingly possible by processes that are sustainable at every stage. 

Responding to the challenge of providing an appropriate response to the changes in today’s social structure, EuroCucina will follow in the footsteps of Workplace3.0 and, while being mainly based in the traditional pavilions, will also adopt an extended exhibitive format that takes in the Salone Internazionale dei Mobile and S.Project, underscoring the way in which this space is evolving and becoming increasingly incorporated into living rooms. FTK (Technology For the Kitchen) will offer a glimpse into the future, with new kinds of domestic appliances marking a step change in the world of built-in appliances in favour of efficient, effective and sustainable smart kitchens.  
The International Bathroom Exhibition will also channel responsibility, showcasing avantgarde solutions geared to optimising water and energy consumption.  
Following its debut and resounding success in 2019, S.Project, the exhibition devoted to design products and decorative and technical interior design projects, will be back; its buzzwords are vision, evolution and technology, as well as crosscutting and multisectoral. An original perspective and a fluid, crosscutting exhibitive format, reflecting the new market and societal demands.  
Some 600 young designers will take part in the 23rd SaloneSatellite. This year’s theme is DESIGNING FOR OUR FUTURE SELVES / PROGETTARE PER I NOSTRI DOMANI. This edition will invite reflection on inclusive design that promotes autonomy, comfort, movement, user-friendliness, interaction and safety for all.  
The 59th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano will again venture beyond the confines of the fairground and into the city: from 21st April to 3rd May, a monumental site-specific audio-visual installation will feature in Palazzo Reale’s Sala delle Cariatidi, based on the 10 values set out in the Manifesto, which have always been an integral part of the event’s DNA. 10 films d’auteur by 10 leading Italian filmmakers will be screened. Each of the filmmakers has taken a word from the Manifesto and interpreted it in their own imitable style, turning it into a short film, as follows: Claudio Giovannesi: Culture, Francesca Archibugi: Emotion, Pappi Corsicato: Enterprise, Daniele Ciprì: Milan, Wilma Labate: Design, Stefano Mordini: Quality, Bruno Bozzetto: Networking, Luca Lucini: Communication, Donato Carrisi: Ingenuity and, lastly, Gianni Canova and a team of film students from the IULM University: Young People. 
Underscoring and valorising its strong ties to Milan, and geared to taking openness to the exchange of ideas, culture and creativity even further, the collaboration between the Salone del Mobile.Milano and the Teatro alla Scala Foundation has been renewed. A connection informed by the desire to combine shared values, while promoting and valorising the talent of the Philharmonic Orchestra and providing an opportunity for the design community to enjoy a unique experience. The Salone will therefore open again this year with a grand concert with Riccardo Chailly, Musical Director of La Scala in Milan.  
“The inspiration for this year’s edition of the Salone del Mobile, Milan designs Beauty, introduces creatives, businesses, visitors and the Milanese to a new dimension that Milan has started to recognise over the last few years. Always efficient, competitive, innovative and international, Milan has also realised that it is beautiful, on a par with the great cities of art in its own particular way of creating, offering and experiencing beauty. The Salone del Mobile is also an expression of Milan’s desire to be environmentally and socially sustainable and of its vocation as a centre for young people. We would do well to gear design and production to these principles, which are now driving the urban transformation and  regeneration of our city,” said Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan. 

The Salone del Mobile.Milano sees Federlegno Arredo Eventi and the Italian Trade Agency ICE – the government body that underpins the economic and commercial development of Italian companies abroad and works to attract foreign investment in Italy – working closely together to devise a raft of strategic activities to pique the interest and encourage the participation of foreign operators, buyers, architects, interior designers and journalists in the Shanghai and Moscow editions of the Salone.  

The Salone del Mobile.Milano will end with a great celebration of design on Friday 24th April at Palazzo Marino, rounding off all the excitement generated by the trade fair. It will be an opportunity to celebrate the huge productive and organisational input of the companies and all the designers and people who help to make Milan the most interesting and attractive place in the world during this particular week.  
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