The Times They Are A-Changin' and the SaloneSatellite showed it clearly. A new aesthetic, new research topics, a new world on the horizon are coming up. The future is here

It’s a great time to be young and a designer in 2022, despite everything. And the SaloneSatellite has just proved it. Because those who start designing now are unwittingly going to experience an epochal transition, accelerated by the urgency of imagining a viable future. Naivety is being sacrificed to pragmatic commitment. And the meaning of the word beauty is shifting, open to the unusual forms of reuse and the simplification of structures.

New products ready and done

There is an explanation for the phenomenon of the “product ready for industry” that seems to have dominated the SaloneSatellite. And it’s the widespread sense of urgency that Millennials cultivate nonchalantly. Because there is no second chance to indulge in trial and error. There are many chances of failure, but the new generation of designers seems to be able to cope fearlessly with them. Daniel Nikolovski, with Macedonian roots but Italian by adoption, brought the Multiply sofa to the Satellite: a modular, sustainable, light and manageable product, reconfigurable and with an eye to the recovery of vintage aesthetics. We asked Daniel if he is looking for a producer: “I came to SaloneSatellite to find one and I’ve had a lot of interesting contacts,” was the reply. Like Charlie Styrbjörn, who came to the Satellite with the Gösta stool: made from curved wood with a hand-woven triangular seat. “I started as a carpenter, then moved on to design: finding solutions to feasibility problems comes naturally to me.” The same goes for Kouichi Kurome and his Thin Rib Stool: lightweight, stackable, mono-material, with manufacturing that uses traditional techniques for a contemporary product. Also mature and ‘ready’ is Bianca Nannini’s work on T(ouch), a series of tiles inspired by natural surfaces that change in thickness and tridimensionality.

The present abundance

The concept of abundance (of materials, technologies, objects that can enjoy a second or third life) is very clear in every part of the SaloneSatellite. The Gilles Werbrouck and Hugues Loinard studio proposes a lamp-made from old VHS tapes crocheted and covered with plaster. It is the construction of an aesthetic that revolves around the pre-existing. A typically Belgian work, which won second place at the SaloneSatellite Award. Djurdja Garcevic, who came to Milan within the framework of the Young Balkan Designers, presented a collection of street furniture made from shredded tires. The same theme for a more industrial and pragmatic development. Tijana Kostic took a further step forward with a readymade design. The Clamp pliers normally used in workshops become the structural element to assemble and support free compositions of books, table tops, lamps. A way to create furnishing elements with what one possesses.

Hands, for repairing and rethinking

Among the schools present, the Art Academy of Latvia chose a provocation: a performance entitled Start Mending, inspired by the tradition of giving knitted socks to newborns. The invitation is to repair what exists, with the research growing out of local roots. A way of talking about craft skills that renews the sense of manual work and an alternative to waste. Disharee Mathur found a use for sanitaryware shards, a very difficult material to reuse. And she proposed it to traditional Indian potters to innovate, aesthetically as well as practically, the classic blue ceramic and relaunch it internationally. Finally, Lani Adeoye is an African-American designer who retraces African craftsmanship with great scholarly respect to compose objects of unquestionably contemporary conception. She designed the minimalist geometric walker, handcrafted and intrinsically sustainable, dedicated to tending and caring. An object that comes from the future.