A three part series by Jason Mark.
Salone del Mobile Milano – ‘the international reference point for the furnishing and design sector’
Even when you’ve previously experienced the Milano Fair … and on more than one occasion … it is the overwhelming size of the ‘Salone del Mobile which most impresses … re-impresses one when attempting to navigate this monolith of the furniture world!
Australia has no equivalent … and what we do have is very small & typically won’t fill a single exhibition hall … but to give some context to the scale of this event … when compared with something like the annual Stockholm Furniture Fair – staged each February in the Swedish capital – it occupies 3 large exhibition halls.
By comparison, the biannual workplace furniture fair in Cologne (KOLN) Germany is 10 large halls and is considered huge. The Milano Fair by comparison covers no fewer than 24 very large exhibition halls. It is physically impossible to cover all the exhibitors in a day … and almost impossible to do it properly in 3 or even 4 days, which is probably one good reason that this event has a longer duration than others.
We are here for some very specific meetings but also to look at the ever-refining and emerging designs in furniture and accessories. Visitors to Salone del Mobile will approach the fair quite differently depending on their situation.
Just as the latest offerings showcased on the catwalk runways of Milan have long influenced the fashion world, there is no doubt that the furniture world watches with interest at what happens in Milan each year.
Of course Milan has quite a bit to offer the average visitor just by being Italian. Great coffee, fabulous pasta (& yes pizza too) and in the Northern Spring it can be warm and sunny (this year the days were sitting at around 26 – 27 degrees). But this city also has a central station with architecture to rival any of the great buildings on earth and the world-famous Milan Duomo (cathedral) is first class sight-seeing. Via Monte Napoleone (Milan’s version of Rodeo Drive), the magnificent La Scala opera house, the Da Vinci monument, the inspiring Galleria & the historic Castello (ancient castle/medieval fortress) are all in very close proximity – not to mention museums galore (most of which I’m still yet to see) … & Design Week as they call it – means that there is something happening all over the city – day & night.
Whatever the primary objective – a visitor to Milano needs to be strategic.
If you haven’t established your primary purpose or your ‘must do’ list you may well find you are caught spending 95% of your time with spinning wheels.
Click here for PART TWO – What was big this year?