From 5 to 10 April, Milan will host the Salone del Mobile 2022 , the 60th edition and the first led by Maria Porro, President since last July. What should we expect? “Not a revolution”, she says, “but some substantial news, absolutely yes”
When talking about the Salone del Mobile 2022, the President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano Maria Porro, in office since last July, does not promise booms. But she expresses, with the quiet determination of someone who knows what she wants, that there is a new direction. And that everyone is rowing towards that.
“I don’t believe in gimmicks that change the connotations of an institution that has been successful for 60 years,” she says. “Instead, I am convinced of the value of paths and processes to be designed together and built with determination. Some of these, already undertaken, will lead us to see from 5 to 10 April 2022 , a Salone del Mobile where the seeds of change will be noticed. Not a cosmetics but an indication of a direction in which we are moving”.
What then is this direction? In a one liner, explains Maria Porro, “it is to put the visitor’s experience at the center, working on quality“. It is a statement that must be explained in order not to remain vague.
“The Salone del Mobile is a machine that works. In 2019 it produced its best edition ever, in terms of number of exhibitors, visitors and occupied square meters. However, the pandemic has put us in a position to rethink what works and what can be improved . First of all: give visitors a compass, fully enjoy the contents, offer moments of in-depth analysis. This means being able to organize a route before the visit without losing the possibility of encountering unknown realities: because in the end, a fair gives an added value if it manages to open our eyes to something or someone new, if it gives us the surprise, the unexpected encounter, the discovery”.
The promise is therefore a Salone del Mobile 2022 navigable in person through a digital tool – along the lines of the one already tested at the September Supersalone – that allows you to schedule appointments, orient yourself pavilions, wandering around in paths of discovery. “It will serve as support to buyers and architects and to exhibitors to regulate the flow and number of simultaneous visitors”, continues Maria Porro. A necessity obviously due to Covid but which, in the long term, can really allow the creation of an ad personam Salon : customizable and usable from multiple points of view.
The second seed of innovation that we must expect from the Salone del Mobile 2022 has to do with the Salone Satellite . “The Salone Satellite will have its own evolution”, promises Maria Porro.
The direction is clear: “we want to enhance the contents that the pavilion dedicated to young designers has always offered but which have never been fully exploited”. That this was the case was understood, according to Porro, at the Supersalone, where the Lost Graduation Show had a pre-eminent position (in the center of the path of the pavilions). And where, consequently, it has enjoyed great attention from the public, the press and professionals. “I’m not saying we’ll change the location,” says Maria Porro. “We have not yet decided how to enhance the Salone Satellite but it is certain that in some way we will”.
Another teaching courtesy of the Supersalone is linked to the offer of in-depth content. “The Open Talks are an experience that we want to repeat”, explains Phorro. “The format we chose – a few but well-kept appointments, with exceptional speakers – worked and we want to resume it also at the 2022 Show”.
As is well known, the Supersalone was an event strongly devoted to circularity . With the walls of the fittings assembled dry, made with recycled wood panels, totally disassembled and reusable.
“It was a strong signal,” says Maria Porro. An experience, however, that cannot be repeated as a tour court with a show with stands curated by individual companies. “It works with the formula of the curator and the sole client”, explains Porro. “Imposing it would demean a great strength of the Salone del Mobile: that it is a blank canvas on which every company can represent itself. However, we cannot and do not want to give up circularity and we are working on these issues . The seeds of change will be seen, also as regards the sustainability of the fair, at the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile ”.
What will happen to the format conceived by Stefano Boeri and edited by Andrea Caputo’s studio? To the idea, that is, of a fair that is above all communication, with limited spaces, perfect for the brand positioning (and less for the project story that interests the insiders)?
“There are people – I am not speaking on my behalf but by reporting rumors that I collect – who believe it is perfect to bring Milan abroad: in smaller fairs where it is important to be present and tell about oneself”, says Maria Porro. A sort of Salone del Mobile flatpack ? “One could think so. But it is something that will have to be evaluated at a later time.”
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