The Saloni brought new life into Milan, from Tuesday 9th to Sunday 14th April. The motto for this 52nd edition was innovation: thousands of home furnishing, lighting and office products were shown for the very first time.
Another new twist was introduced this year by the arrangement between Cosmit and the Municipality of Milan giving free public access to all the city museums.
Over 2,500 exhibitors ranged on 204,850 square metres have taken place at the 52nd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, the biennial Euroluce
and SaloneUfficio exhibitions, and SaloneSatellite.
The Saloni 2013, was opened to sectorial operators from 9.30am to 6.30pm each day and to the public on Saturday and Sunday.
It was the acknowledged exclusive showcase for the latest in furnishing, lighting and office furniture, with a vast panoply of top quality products responding to the ever-increasing interest in the Saloni shown by operators, journalists and members of the public.
The Saloni is the only trade fair that attracts over 300,000 visitors, from 160 different countries.
The Salone Internazionale del Mobile and the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition with their 1,440 exhibitors was split into 3 different style types, justifying for a third time the wisdom of assigning a single building to the Modern section on functional grounds. Thus Modern were in pavilions 14 and 18, directly adjacent to the Design and Classic sections, making up a logical and user-friendly visitor route.
The two annual exhibitions were flanked by the biennial Euroluce, the International Lighting Exhibition, now in its 27th edition, and SaloneUfficio, the International Workspace Exhibition, now in its 16th year.
This was the second time Euroluce and SaloneUfficio have been held at the same time, proof of the powerful synergy between the lighting and office sectors. The exhibitions were strategically placed, opposite each
other, between the West Gate and the South Gate, taking up an overall area of 49,750 square metres.
The 479 exhibitors from the lighting world shown extremely high-profile goods, proof of Euroluce’s ability to bring technical and formal innovation together with quality and creativity.
SaloneUfficio’s 106 exhibitors presented the latest in office furnishings, as well as furnishing ideas for banks, insurance companies, post offices, public and community spaces. The wide range of solutions have also covered wall and ceiling noise insulation, floors and coverings, lighting systems and accessories, audio/video and communication technologies.
The 16th edition of the platform for designers under 35, SaloneSatellite, brought together 700 young exhibitors in pavilions 22-24, geared to the theme “Design & Craftsmanship: Together for Industry”. As always, the event provided visibility and networking opportunities for emerging young designers.
Specifically describing the exhibits at the Saloni, the word “trends,” generally used at this time of year, seems devoid of meaning, within the context . However, design develops in an “evolutionary direction,” which is clear to see at a distance. Leaving “trends” aside, therefore, we must ask ourselves what the evolutionary directions actually are this year. This means looking not just at the more interesting pieces shown in Milan from 9th to 14th April 2013, but examining several macro-environments in particular.
One thread, common to many of the manufacturers, is to some extent influenced by buyer insecurity. This is the significant increase in revivals: past masterpieces are being brought back under the spotlight as a result of what, in some of the best cases, can be described as philological research.
Generally-speaking it appears that the so-called top of the range companies are also pinning their hopes on the revivalist vogue, with peerless creations and significant artisan input providing “exclusive security” – the security deriving from objects from a bygone age, immune to obsolescence, guaranteed investments for any purchaser.
Revivals are not the only upshot of the current economic situation, however, there is also what could be described as a sort of “democratising of design“. Given that design is still generally seen as an élite preserve, leading manufacturers are adopting sales and communication strategies in which top pieces are being offered in set configurations, i.e. with fixed finishings and at particularly attractive prices. This enables companies to keep stocks of certain products ready for delivery and the client to acquire a good design piece much faster than usual and at a lower cost.
The individual pieces philosophy, so characteristic of the last few years, has now been joined by a return to period “styles,” with sets and suites, both for bedrooms (bed+bedside tables+chest of
drawers), and for dining rooms (table+chairs).
Apart from this, 2013 undoubtedly marks the return of a natural palette, especially a stunning range of greens that vary from muddy nuances tinged with yellow, to a petrol hue that borders on the blue. Then there are dozens of shades ranging from rope, mastic and mud, enlivened with hints of dirty red and mustard yellow. There is also a predominance of all shades of grey, warm and mixed with blue.
Rounding off this first overview of the 2013 Saloni, are some of the more avant–garde pieces, innovative in terms of typology. There is the “Booken” horizontal bookcase by Raw Edges for Lema , in which the volumes rest on a towel–like structure;
“Mikado”, a bread–cupboard/aviary, designed by the Swedish Front group of designers for Porro, in which precious objects are “protected” by a double row of wooden rods; “Terrazza” by the Spanish duo Emiliana for Valsecchi 1918, an asymmetrical multi–fronted chest of drawers; “Newton Console” by Boca do Lobo, a modern and contemporary piece by a company with a stunning collection.
Have a look on this article also about this year Tortona Design Week.