Reflections on Salone del Mobile 2003 | The Plan
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Reflections on Salone del Mobile 2003

The war and SARS loomed large on the organizers’ worry list. But this year’s Salone del Mobile held from April 9–14, was yet again packed with presentations, exhibitions and shows, and once again scored a hit with business operators, designers, journalists and enthusiasts.
Some 171.529 trade visitors from all over the world crowded into the Trade Fair during the six days. Sure, there were fewer people from the Far East but that was at least in part countered by the rise in attendance from Russia, Japan, the UK and US.  3,263 journalists – 1,512 from 59 countries other than Italy – descended on the various venues in search of interviews and scoops. And on Sunday, the day the fair opened to the general public, some 15,039 people took time out to visit the Salone - proof, if there was ever need, that home furnishings remain top on the average person’s wish list. Public attendance, although lower than most years, was still higher than the pessimistic expectations, rewarding the efforts made by Cosmit, the organizing body, to renew their formula. There was a new pavilion dedicated to bathroom fittings and household linen; the exhibition “Immaginando Prometeo”  was staged right in the centre of Milan at the Palazzo della Ragione in Piazza dei Mercanti, courtesy of the Milan city authorities, for the first time taking an active role in this key event that has made Milan the design centre of the world. Within the fair grounds but open to the general public, the “Be light” exhibition displayed an awesome 200 lamps and illumination systems (although several famous items were sadly missing); the exhibition “Earthly Paradise” was organized in collaboration with interior design and decoration review Interni at East End Studios in Via Mecenate. Both the trade and general public showed up in large numbers at the more than 300 events held in the most disparate places around town. Indeed happenings and shows were thicker on the ground than usual, almost as if to fly in the...

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