The actual Furniture Trade Fair, is the Salone del Mobile.
In the ‘design’ section, which is about a quarter of it, only 20% of the companies in this section are actually interesting.
Its a disaster if you take a wrong turn and find yourself in the ‘classic’ pavilion…so very kitsch, baroque and grotesque…very un-hip…
searching for the exit in a sea of ornament. I guess starck and wanders
took that wrong turn some years back.
The Salone Satellite is also on the Main Fair grounds and with thousands of new ideas on display, this can be a breathe of fresh air … or completely
suffocating…it is difficult not to get ‘chicken head’ in the Satellite.
And then there is Fuori Salone which means everthing scattered around the city…lots of stuff.
What was memorable for me this year:
In the fiera: Maybe the Moroso stand, as its vertical moving walls made everyone feel sick.
Vitra…leaps and bounds ahead.
At the Salone Satellite: second hand knives cut to become bottle openers by pervisioni.it
That docdecahedron sound sculpture in the middle of the room.
SUperstudio: umbrella-like stool by Patick Jouin at Materialise, which was printed in its closed form, hinges and all, to save space.
Established & Sons was good, very grand presentation…but you have to be english if you want to design for them. I liked Jasper morrison’s crates. Just crates…really nice compared to the super fibreglass forms by Zaha Hadid.
Open Your Mind : Elmes (a japanese doorhandle company launching its brand in europe)…who commissioned designers to come up with very loose interpreations of OPen/Close…which led to a very interesting
and well executed exhibition. The prototypes were perfect. Japanese Saki guys in bandanas and Karate suits served Saki from large vats with wooden spoons into little boxes in the end they were all were completely hammered.
Bar Basso: the bar that is always packed with designers and wannabes …a drunk guy drove his BMW into the crowd on the Saturday night. Ive heard at least 3 completely different versions of the same event but im sure no one was injured.
Overall whats great is that there are some many characters from all over the world, so many languages being spoken so many people to meet, contacts to be made. Chances are you bump into people you know from other things or from other years and start to get a sense of a design community.