Supersalone opens its doors today, Sunday 5 September, at the Fiera Milano exhibition center in Rho. Running through Friday, September 10, this “super” exhibition occupies an area of 738 thousand square feet (68,520 m2) in the center’s first four halls. Salone del Mobile, an international event for design professionals and everyone in love with the world of design, is finally back after 2020’s show was cancelled and postponed because of the pandemic. This special version of the event in 2021 is curated by architect and Triennale Milano president Stefano Boeri in collaboration with Giorgio Donà, co-founder and director of Stefano Boeri Interiors, and an international team of co-designers, including Andrea Caputo, Maria Cristina Didero, Anniina Koivu, Lukas Wegwerth, and Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual from Studio Folder. Featuring 425 brands, fifty independent designers, 170 projects from 48 international design schools, and twenty of the most influential people from today’s creative scene, Supersalone has been built around three bywords: restart, safety, sustainability.
Supersalone was officially opened this morning by Italian president, Sergio Mattarella. Welcoming him to the center were the president of Salone del Mobile, Maria Porro; the president of timber industry association FederlegnoArredo, Claudio Feltrin; the president of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana; the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala; the prefect of Milan, Renato Saccone; and the president of employers’ federation Confindustria, Carlo Bonomi. After the cutting of the ribbon, the president took a short tour of the exhibition halls and later attended the inauguration ceremony.
“I would like to express my appreciation and extend my best wishes for the Salone and the Fair,” said President Mattarella in his speech. “In the normal course of things, this is an especially important event: an international benchmark for an industry in which our country occupies the forefront. But this year’s event, however, which brings together the courage, creativity, and culture of businesses, is of extraordinary significance as a part of the country’s relaunch and recovery.”
The special September edition of Supersalone, which marks 60 years since the show was first held in 1961, features innovative pathways intended to showcase exhibitors’ projects and products, with the exhibition design aimed to highlight new Italian-made products from the last eighteen months in particular. The event includes arenas for meetings with leading figures from the cultural and creative scenes, lounges reserved for business meetings, areas dedicated to design school students and exhibits of prizewinning entries from the Compasso d’Oro award, restaurants and cafes, and relaxation areas. With Salone del Mobile’s new digital platform, the products on display can be viewed online using the QR code displayed around the fair and booked for later purchase. It’s also possible to visit the exhibition virtually, watch live streamed discussions, and listen to live talks by industry leaders at the event.
The key themes of Supersalone are sustainability, reuse, recycling, and circularity. Even during the construction stage of the event, rental and reuse were prioritized so as to minimize material wastage, while the booth spaces were designed to limit the need for supporting structures. The long parallel partitions that mark off product categories are made of 100% recycled wood panels, which will later be put back into the production cycle with a view to achieving circularity. From fixturing to the lounge areas, everything has been designed to be dismantled and reused. This green approach is also reflected in the two hundred trees that Salone del Mobile has donated to the City of Milan’s Forestami tree-planting project. The trees are currently located at the Porta Est entrance and inside the halls but are to be replanted in Parco Nord Milano.
Entry to the exhibition is subject to a body temperature check and producing either a Green Pass or the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Covid certificates issued by Schengen countries and other nations with equivalent standards are also deemed valid, as are negative swab tests performed no more than 48 hours prior to entry. There are four onsite hubs where rapid swab tests can be performed for 22 euros: Porta Est, Porta Sud, Porta Ovest, and Cargo 1. The exhibition is open to the public daily between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., except Friday, when it closes at 4:00 p.m. Tickets can only be purchased online and in advance at a cost of 15 euros.
Again this year, Salone del Mobile will spill out into the city of Milan, renewing its relationship with the Triennale Milano museum complex, which will be presenting il Salone / la Città, an exhibition project conceived by the Triennale’s Italian Design Museum and curated by Mario Piazza. The exhibition focuses on the cultural events staged by Salone around Milan over the years that have served to pass on the design message to an enthusiastic audience.
Supersalone will also travel to Legno Arredo’s training center in Lentate sul Seveso, where, beginning September 8 and by appointment only, you’ll be able to see the new installation created for Salone Satellite’s permanent collection, which showcases design objects exhibited at previous shows that have since entered into the catalogs of various Italian and foreign companies.