'pulpo L.O.V.E.BANK' debuts in a bank-like showroom at Milan Design Week 2022
by Jerry ElengicalJun 07, 2022
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by Jincy IypePublished on : Feb 17, 2023
Coalescing business and culture, Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023 is gearing up to get back to work, and back to design. Its upcoming 61st edition will be held at the Fiera Milano Rho in Italy from April 18–23, 2023, evolving into a more powerful and streamlined version of itself, bringing its 'good looking' and 'well-made' products and furnishings of the design sector to an international stage. With 'light' as the underlying and overarching theme, the anticipated design event will factor in the 'it' word of the creative industry, sustainability, sinewed across its fresh, multi-faceted layout, for a more evolved trade-fair experience and an impactful cultural program. This shall be accompanied and boosted by the return of the lighting biennial Euroluce (whose rethought layout draws from urban planning, as a 'city of light'), the 24th SaloneSatellite and various other protagonists of design.
Salone 2023 also generates intrigue with its ultra-pop graphic identity, with a brightly coloured communication campaign taking us back to our early learnings, through a concoction of the ABC of Design—'A is for Armchair, B is for Bookcase, C is for Chair'... articulating 26 geometric posters accompanied by a 2D furnishing piece art, reminiscent of nostalgic comic book covers, each branded with the fair’s underlying inquiry—Do you speak Design?
What sets this edition of the design fair apart from its previous ones, is a decision to keep all activities and commencements on one single level at the fairgrounds, "acting as a shockwave and paving the way for the new design of the trade fair event,” the organisers relay. This single exhibition level with the exhibitors from the upper pavilions will be moved to the lower ones, simplifying and improving the accessibility of the visitor experience. Secondly, Euroluce will come alive with a new layout, where, instead of just being a stand-centric experience, it will focus on people and the event’s fruition vis a vis a smart, 'hyper-accessible' and enhanced connectivity through a loop-shaped path. The third major departure will come in the form of the evolved 'cultural component' that will be woven into the lighting biennial’s spaces, replete with 'interdisciplinary and experiential content ranging from architecture to art, with exhibitions, talks, workshops and site-specific installations'.
“The Salone has always been a testament to an extraordinary curiosity, willingness and openness to comparison and a huge desire and ability to improve, innovating consolidated formulas. Over the last few difficult years, there has been much reflection, research and questioning around the future of trade fairs, leading to a concrete revision of the exhibition format in a bid to be able to continue to generate value for the entire design community," they continue.
At the press conference presented by Italian radio host Linus for Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023 held on February 15, 2023, at the Franco Parenti Theater, President Mario Porro affirmed the design festival’s ability to respond to the most urgent challenges of modern life through contemporary design.
"We did so in 2021, when we invented 'Supersalone', the first global event after the really tough years of the pandemic, and with last June’s edition, when we went back to the traditional format, getting to grips with sustainability, and this we have continued to do for the 2023 edition. The idea of simply reverting to April, our traditional spot in the calendar, after three years, as if nothing had happened, was unthinkable. We worked on giving shape to the suggestions and visions that have emerged over the last few years, based on a couple of simple questions:
What is the new role of the Salone?
How and where to start redesigning its evolution?
We listened to the needs of those who make and experience the Salone, exhibitors and visitors alike, holding more than 2,300 interviews and themed work groups. This fostered the idea for an exhibition on one single level to facilitate the flows and we took an almost 'urbanistic' approach to the internal design of the pavilions. Taking our cue from Euroluce, the biennial devoted to the lighting world —which has changed so markedly over the last few years—we redesigned the path, integrating the spaces for companies with interdisciplinary cultural content connected with the relationship between light, architecture, art, and science. A metamorphosis likely to interest the Salone as a whole, geared to helping redesign the trade fair model.”
Salone del Mobile 2023 will bring together 1,962 exhibitors, including more than 550 young talents under 35 years of age, and belonging to 27 design schools. Through Salone’s different worlds—the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, Workplace3.0, S.Project, Euroluce, and SaloneSatellite—through its new experiential format of the single-level layout of interactive, appealing spaces of learning and relaxation areas will suggest 'calls to action' via conferences, vertical workshops, thematic exhibitions, bookshops, and site-specific installations, providing visitors with 'a possibility of an exciting, subjective, memorable exploration, the only one capable of creating long-term connections of businesses and learning.'
This April will witness the return of the lighting biennial's 31st edition spanning Pavilions 9-11 and 13-15, its exhibition layout rethought by Milan-based architecture and engineering studio Lombardini22 as a creative business platform for the 2023 Milan Furniture Fair. Pavilions will be darkened to create a more effective display for the products of lighting design, and shall be accompanied by technical lighting, designer spaces and educational activities, to make the format an innovative and 'hyper-contemporary' one. Building on the concept of The City of Lights, Lombardini22’s vision for Euroluce 2023 will feature improved walkability and intuitive connections between its four pavilion designs, based on principles of 'design for all,' to simplify visitor paths into an irregular loop, drawing from the street plans of traditional Italian towns, to optimise user experience, visibility, and interactions. The four pavilions will also contain a bistro and a fine dining restaurant designed by the Italian architect and furniture designer Piero Lissoni.
Under the curation of Italian architect and professor Beppe Finessi, Euroluce 2023 will transform into a 'positive hub' of emotions and knowledge through its interdisciplinary cultural content. The heart of the biennial will be taken over by Aurore, an expansive plaza and arena thoughtfully conceived by studio Formafantasma, as an engaging experience that will also host this year’s Talks programme. The Milanese studio is also behind the twelve Constellations project—architectural 'intermezzos'—that will host more exhibitions within the larger one curated by Finessi, lining the exhibition's path.
The main exhibitions will comprise a solo show conceived by Massimo Curzi, driving attention to one of the most important contemporary photographers of today, Hélène Binet. The photography exhibition will feature an original selection of images that enquire about how her work explores the relationship between natural light and architecture. Martina Sanzarello will curate and install an exhibition as a "modern story built on art and design," paying homage to the classic incandescent light bulb, where a sequence of light bulbs will transform from their primary and pragmatic function into 'unsettling' objects and small, experimental installations. Matteo Pirola will conceive a hearty display of 'artificial stars'-luminous devices that ‘astronomer-designers’ are examining, coming up with things that imbibe luminosity, orbiting spheres, reflective surfaces, blinding eclipses and coloured auroras, set up by the studio From outer Space.
Michele Cazavara will curate a selection of interior architectural images, with artificial light as the protagonist, and a layout populated with accents and light points, where a discerning light source inhabits and transforms the space. The installation devised by Berfu Bengisu Goren makes for a 'hybrid experience,' since the actual exhibition space is an area dedicated to workshops and professional meetings, technical and technological demonstrations.
Lastly, Maurizio Nannucci, one of the most powerful interpreters of artificial light in contemporary art, will form a site-specific installation created by an elongated, luminous neon phrase 'YOU CAN IMAGINE THE OPPOSITE.' Curated by Corraini Editori, and devised by Formafantasma as an intimate, warm and welcoming space, another veritable 'cultural garrison' here consisting of a specialist design, art and illustration bookshop will present a stock of literary tomes exploring the theme of light in different ways.
Following the powerful graphic identity of Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022, conceived by Italian illustrator Emiliano Ponzi, who created the six famed posters as a tribute to the 60 years of Salone, the communication campaign for 2023 has been entrusted to Leftloft, a Milanese design communication studio, and Gio Pastori, a highly-renowned illustrator and collagist on the Milan Millennial arts scene.
In a bid to build a modern, immediate, and universal lexicon, the graphic identity for Salone 2023 comprising 26 posters that retrace and go back to the beginning, to our beginnings, of grasping language and learning how to read—"This spawned the idea for a new ABC of Design, with archetypes and icons narrating the protagonists of the Salone, around whom the Milanese design system revolves. The communication campaign features 26 posters, one for each letter of the alphabet, each accompanied by an object or furnishing piece, the campaign headline, Do you speak Design? directly interrogating the observer. As the visuals and lettering roll on —A is for armchair, B is for bookcase, C is for chair…—the answer bursts out loud and clear. These are complemented by the powerfully evocative poster for Euroluce: the biennial is depicted as a magical space from which a brilliant luminosity erupts, piercing the intense hues that surround it," summarises Salone.
In its new but entirely natural location inside the Euroluce pavilions, the 24th chapter of the SaloneSatellite will emerge this year to put the spotlight on more than 550 aspiring designers, representing the future of design. The 2023 edition will keep a focus on 27 design schools and universities under the theme Design Schools – Universities / BUILDING THE (IM)POSSIBLE. Process, Progress, Practice.
Inspired by natural light and what it represents, the participating universities will be arranged in an outer ring encompassing individual designers, the space conceived as an installation. "The SaloneSatellite Award areas will be distinguished by the presence of the sun and the moon, elements that will dictate the look of the entire event. A special installation equipped with telescopes will be set up in each of the two squares, for viewing an imaginary sky reflecting the present and the future of design,” shares Salone del Mobile. The display's scenography and graphic design will showcase a play of light and shadow accompanied by light’s colour variations from dawn to dusk.
SaloneSatellite 2023 will also pay tribute to Euroluce with the special Sate-Light. 1998-2022 SaloneSatellite Young Designers exhibition, which will be set up symbolically on the boundary between the two areas, highlighted by luminous projections showcasing most of the lamps by young designers who have taken part in the previous editions. Lastly, master Gaetano Pesce will make a much-awaited guest appearance, discussing his legendary, lengthy career and his interdisciplinary contribution to the world of design, apart from inspiring the talented young designers.
Following the powerful all-female trio of the Talks curators comprising Beatrice Leanza, Maria Cristina Didero, and Chiara Alessi for Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022, this year’s Talks programme will be headed and curated by the current editorial director of the new Salone del Mobile.Milano digital platform, and former editor-in-chief of Icon Design magazine, Annalisa Rosso. The programme will touch upon relevant topics of lighting, technology and sustainability, and will be held in Aurore within the Euroluce arena. The conversations and debates held by some of the most brilliant figures on the contemporary lighting design scene aim to reflect and share constructive thoughts on urgent matters such as ecological transition and the role of technology. The cast includes Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, Norwegian architects and designers Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and Marius Myking of Snøhetta, Japanese designer Nao Tamura, and Italy-born architect Andrea D’Antrassi, Associate Partner of MAD Architects, who will be probed by international journalists and design enthusiasts, "on how innovation in the lighting field can improve our future lives."
"The debates will show just how projects, design and architecture can embrace the present and imagine the future, open new avenues, come up with solutions and explore the realms of the 'possible,' triggering insight and imagination on environmental, economic and social responsibility, (another) priority at the 2023 edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano," states the official statement shared by Salone.
"Following the 2022 edition, which had sustainability at its heart with the large scale installation by Mario Cucinella, we decided to embark on the process for ISO 20121 certification, believing it crucial to continue along our path towards sustainability, while taking careful note of our progress. We are a global event, and as its organisers, we are aware of just how important it is to share this ethical and responsible course of action with all the exhibiting companies, the fitters, the visitors, and the entire design ecosystem,” Porro added.
Regarding the potential impact of temporary spaces and with a vision of furthering sustainable design, Salone worked with Formafantasma and Lombardini22 to build modular structures for Euroluce, ensuring the continuity of the project, if not as part of the fair, then in other places, which was the case with Cucinella’s central installation, Design with Nature. Additionally, the international design event will also make intentional efforts to identify suppliers of recycled, recyclable and/or reusable materials as well as those that can be upcycled at the end of their use, for building the event’s common parts, “to regenerate the resources consumed and absorb the waste produced, choosing institutional partners whose strategies are built around genuine concern for people and the planet, and fleshing out the guidelines for sustainable trade fair installations circulated among the exhibiting companies last year,” shares Salone del Mobile.
Another facet setting the Salone 2023 edition apart is the amalgamation of the digital and real, the 'phygital,' serving to enhance its content’s accessibility worldwide, with the official hashtags #salonedelmobile2023 and #euroluce2023. Salone’s collaboration with the national and international sectoral press, and with 'YesMilano,' the city of Milan’s official promotion agency will activate fresh editorial and service projects across their website, newsletter, app, and social media platforms. These will include 'Unboxing,' a format dedicated to previews of products and White Paper, a series of in-depth articles by leading international journalists, along with daily reports from the fair and post-event analyses.
After the success of Design Voices with STIR, part of last year’s sequence of podcasts, a new series this year will narrate the protagonists of the event and all the latest product designs. The official Salone del Mobile.Milano app shall be updated with new functions and services, including augmented reality and wayfinding, along with purchasing tickets, access details of the products on exhibit and scanning the relative QR Codes for technical details.
Running for the eighth year, the Welcome Project will continue Salone’s commitment to inclusion, service, and training, and as confirmation of its international role. “It is an upshot of the collaboration with the Municipality of Milan, the Fondazione Fiera Milano and the city’s leading design schools ‒ NABA, New Academy of Fine Arts, IED European Institute of Design, the Polytechnic University of Milan/Design School and Domus Academy— representing the excellence of education in the field of design and architecture. This collaboration is the cornerstone of a process of rapprochement between the worlds of school and work that is based on dialogue and the sharing of experiences and opportunities for growth. The Salone will be organising welcome points at focal points throughout the city, manned by a hundred or so students, on hand to provide the public with information on navigating the city, on the fair itself and on the main events that will take place in Milan during the week. The young people will have an opportunity to dialogue with design industry professionals, find out about the dynamics and mechanisms involved with organising an event such as the Salone, and take part in dedicated open lessons and in all the multidisciplinary cultural events being held this year. They could also make use of an exhibition space within the SaloneSatellite plaza," says Salone del Mobile.Milano.
The collaboration with the Teatro alla Scala Foundation, among the world's most famous opera houses, is being renewed for the third year, in a spirit of snowballing exchange and circulation of ideas, culture and creativity, and "to underscore the strength and importance of the Salone’s powerful ties with the city of Milan." "It is a partnership born of the desire to marry common values, as well as to promote and valorise the talent of its Philharmonic Orchestra and, equally, to give the design community an opportunity to experience a unique occasion. This year, the inspiration for both the music programme and the ballet will be light, which will also form the leitmotiv," the organisers inform.
Giuseppe Sala, the Mayor of Milan concludes by saying—“We are delighted that the Salone del Mobile.Milano is reclaiming its traditional spot in the calendar of city appointments with a new formula. What we have gone through over the last few years has changed our society and the Salone, which has always been an interpreter of contemporaneity and the challenges of the present and future through the conception of cutting-edge furnishings and furnishing accessories, was the obvious advocate for the search for a new normality. The fluidity of the exhibition paths, the reflections, the debates, and the opportunities for interface around the themes of sustainability and financial and social responsibility of the businesses operating within the sector will help to make the Salone visitor experience even more engaging. Milan is ready to welcome designers, planners, architects, and producers, as well as design-loving visitors and tourists who are also keen to see the innovative developments that the Salone has in store for them, both inside and outside the fairgrounds.”
Watch this space for more updates on Salone del Mobile.Milano 2023.
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