The new platform of the Salone del Mobile in Milan is online. An expected news, an invoked tool, almost a chimera after so many uncertainties and so much immobility on the part of the organizers of the most important design fair in the world. Yet now we are: salonemilano. It was presented on June 30 under the motto of "The leading design voice, on air now", during a digital event hosted by Vittoria Cabello, surrounded by all the actors who are working on the restart of the Salone. An enthusiastic and confident atmosphere, continuously relaunched by the words of Claudio Feltrin, Marco Sabetta, Maria Porro. And of course by Stefano Boeri, who is planning: “an event, a fair, a party”.
His Supersalone is part of a complex plan intended to rediscover an exploratory normality, ready to question and investigate the present of the furniture market and the emerging dynamics that, in one way or another, will transform the sector. We have already said: that of September 2021 will be a dense event, with more heads than a Hydra, a formula that will allow us to reflect and experiment. Vertical fair, cultural arena, food experience, a forest of two hundred trees to welcome you. The city that returns to the fair district after years of opposite (but not opposite) motion.
The portal could only be the result of an intelligent and measured project. There are no special effects, but the right proportions of a digital place that must contain all the functions of a fair, relaunch them throughout the year and become a safe haven for companies, buyers and the design community. The 365 days fair is the theme that returns most frequently in Marco Sabetta's speeches: "We want to ensure that the energy that is concentrated in six days of the fair reverberates throughout the year on our portal, helping us to maintain a dialogue with the international audience ". Victoria Cabello, with a certain amount of naivety, asks: "Why right now, the new portal?". Sabetta replies: “Because we couldn't do the physical salon”. A disarming response, which however underlines the idea of acceleration as an evolutionary engine, confinement as an impetus to catch up on the subject of digital.
Because this new portal was in a certain sense due to the design community and to the companies that have been attending the Salone del Mobile for decades. The technology used is certainly not new, nor is the idea. In this year of pandemic crisis, others have already tried to migrate the physical event to the digital medium, with obviously mixed results. The Salone arrives in a slip, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Because this portal designed for b2b, with integrated Zoom, breakout room for chats with customers, great possibilities for customizing brand pages and an infinite catalog of products and digital showrooms, is the showcase that was missing. The informers will say that basically more could have been done, better. But Salonemilano.it is a portal that also manages to be navigable, with a non-revolutionary but sustainable layout from the UX side and a captivating content display. It will probably take a while to work - it was difficult for many to connect to the live event during the presentation on the air channel. But the promise is that the portal will be ready in September: in content and technology.
Annalisa Rosso directs the editorial project. Access to the talk and event formats will be open to anyone. The journalistic content, to which many sector newspapers generously contribute, will deal with current affairs, news. They will feed on design reflections and opportunities for dialogue with design thinkers. The hybridization with the September Supersalone is already underway, so that all the effort, planning and economic, of the organizers is transferred equally between the digital and physical event. By relaunching a schedule that transforms the Salone del Mobile into a broadcast.
New tech journalist Riccardo Luna comments: “If it should have been done long ago, the best time to do it is now”. There is no doubt and it is right to applaud this new step. And let's be patinet if Victoria Cabello slips on a weird beginning: "We are sitting on chairs that do not seem so". Or for the continuous reference to data from past editions of the Salone, now ancient. They will not arrive from 180 countries at the Supersalone in September, and the related industries will not be what Milan is used to. But we are preparing for a great revolution, and the Salone platform is one of the tools needed to do so.