There are many thoughts around the idea of a showroom lately. For a moment, but really only a moment, we thought anxiously that it would no longer be the ideal habitat for design. We thought that we would all be online forever, a people of design without a home and without meetings and words that are used to understand the projects. Now we know it won't happen, because brands continue to invest energy in their spaces. In places where people meet and take the time to enter the complex literacy of a design company. Commercial seduction seems the least of the problems. Design is thinking, speaking, it needs concepts and sharing. Showrooms are very different worlds, they are not places of sale but of discovery and mutual knowledge.
“We really need to find each other and look each other in the eye, but above all to go back to defining the identities, the language that every design brand has built and that is often forgotten to pursue commercial results" begins Monica Mazzei, founder of Edra with her brother Silvio. “Edra announces two openings in Milan: in via Durini at Palazzo Durini with Vago Furniture and in via Fatebenefratelli, on the second floor of Interni”. It sounds like an expansive strategy, but it's not. “I'm interested in the intensity, a strong presence of the product, which has the right to speak and tell itself without great narratives to disturb the relationship that arises between people and objects". Of all domestic objects, sofas are among those that most enter into a relationship with the body. “A well done project meets the habits of those who use it, of their thoughts on the house. We are interested in having a space in which Edra makes itself known through its own thoughts and history”.
Objects do not live only in the present, they are the result of a history and the children of other projects before them. To really understand them, you need to know them thoroughly and a showroom is the interval, of time and space, designed for this. “A design object is a lifestyle choice, it serves to recognize and embrace ideas and functions. Homologation is dangerous for design, it flattens values and differences that are instead in the identity of the brands and must be respected, in every way” adds Monica Mazzei. An invitation to return to the search for individual paths, in a cultural groove that does not border, but gives solid foundations to continue to be an anthropological expression as well as a business.
A thought shared by Cappellini Elena Salmistraro designed a scenography entitled Amor Fati for the Milanese showroom. It comes from an outdated idea of acceptance and love for one's destiny. A submissiveness that shines with courage and strength. And it alludes to Stoic and Nitzschian philosophy. Many concepts for an installation that speaks of the brand's narrative courage. A risky road traveled with constancy, which in recent years has found the most reflective tones of maturity. But the research is precisely in Cappellini's DNA and the constant testing himself in challenging self-representations is part of a very specific historical attitude.
Many showrooms embark on the path of identification, as if the forced pause of the pandemic crisis had helped to probe the inevitable existential questions about one's origin and identity. There are those who produce kitchens and host art exhibitions. Euromobil exhibits the works of Jorrit Tornquist, Alberto Biasi and Lor’Ma. The three artists collaborate to build the inspiration of the many novelties of the firm. Scic Italia collaborates with the artist Daniele Sigalot and hosts an installation in which 3D technology enters into a relationship with the surfaces of the store. Art does not dignify the space to make people forget the commercial dimension of the place. But it is a pretext to talk about one's brand identity and the choices that arise spontaneously, if authentic and considered.