So, what is Milan about now? Of course it’s part old fashioned trade show where all the companies from all over the world come to try to peddle their wares and do their part in world trade. But it’s also a design festival and increasingly an experiential festival.
There’s as much talk about the palazzos as what is in them, not to mention the Prada Foundation and the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca. This is all far removed from the original idea of a trade fair. Perhaps it started in the mid-eighties when Ron Arad used a group of young students to control lights using electric car aerials and vacuum cleaners to suck air out of bean bag chairs at his stand within Salone. The fair visitors had never seen anything like it before.
Now, social media generates the queues to Studio Swine and Nendo, while Audi generates a sound experience. Let us go back to the core of the Fair. The furniture design world is one of the few creative industries that brings together essential function, design, craft, manufacture, architecture and art. All those elements help to create an international, broad and creative world where we are in dialogue, and not just in Bar Basso.
Since the world is currently an unpredictable and messy place, it is now more important than ever for the creative industries to band together internationally and come up with solutions in all fields. We too, look forward to playing our part in this dialogue.
This review is subjective, and we make no apologies for that. The sheer scale of the fair makes an overarching survey impossible. This is a highly selective curation of new releases that we feel are worth sharing, loosely grouped into ten points of note. No more, no less, and we hope you enjoy it.
James Mair, Managing Director, Viaduct.