Are doing things differently? Did the design week 2022 show that something has changed? An early reflection on the thoughts that animate the FuoriSalone

The FuoriSalone is back to being what it once was. Seven days (plus a couple of previews) in which an exciting and immersive design extravaganza is celebrated.

However, the moment comes when we ask ourselves a question, as important as it is abused: have we learned something in these two and a half years of pause? Yes, despite everything.

Because if on the surface it seems like a rebirth without uncertainty, at a second glance it is clear that Design Week has changed. Because we have changed.

We are hybrids and we love it

This FuoriSalone 2022 also served to make peace with technological artifice. We live happily immersed in a reality that continuously mixes with the digital, in a world augmented by information and representations created with technological tools and artificial intelligences. Computers design, propose formal and functional solutions.

Brands communicate with virtual images. And without technology it is difficult to understand how to get from event A to installation B in the shortest possible time.

Or find ourselves in a virtual forest inside a theater dated 1798. The human element, which means contact, encounter, relationship, still surprises us with coincidence and chance. And that's the part we really missed from Design Week.

We no longer need authors

It is a cultural emergency: nothing is designed without putting together the many heads capable of containing the complexity of the present. The design Italian, understood as a system of designers and companies, is nourished by authorship.

The designer was self-centered, star stars were in the news, brands were happy to feed the celebrity narrative. But this is no longer the case. During this FuoriSalone it became clear that designing means above all dialoguing with knowledge other, even distant ones.

Technology, science. And all the nascent disciplines satellites looking for where no one has yet gone.

The contemporary enterprise is not (only) for doing business

There are many new brands at FuoriSalone 2022. And (almost) all of them make sense. They arise from focused wills, capable of not only commercial but also human enterprises. Companies that organize themselves in their own territory, bringing to light traditional practices but sensible and sustainable.

Or companies that deal with microeconomies, which solicit the vivacity of artisans, looking for production realities that are ignored, in danger, disorganized to cope with the speed of change.

Or even productive identities that are outlined through paths based on relationships, on the enthusiasm for work done to perfection and intrinsically sustainable.

Or young companies that grow, have a success that comes from the word of mouth of social and then discover themselves capable, courageous, competent. The question now is: what will the big brands do instead to catch up?

From real to virtual and back

We were waiting for the authors of NFT at the gate: will they be able to put their feet on the ground and a real product in the catalog? The answer is: yes, we understand that they are capable, competent and carriers of original content (even radical).

There wouldn't be much more to add, except that all of this was already happening and that perhaps we hadn't noticed it. Many new designer projects in recent years started with digital agions and social media.

Technologies have changed creativity, they have introduced new themes, built new problems to which new solutions can be found. Which are often just as technological and digital.

We thirst for nature

The suspicion was already there when last year the outdoors became 'the new black'. Few brands have refrained from offering weather-resistant versions of iconic collections or real garden lounges.

But it really felt like just a marketing issue. Instead… We are thirsty for green. We put plants everywhere, installations flourish.

It's cool, even if it sometimes feels like a botanical nightmare instead of Design Week. But responds to an authentic desire and, above all, to the sudden fear of losing everything. We are more aware and therefore more fragile.

The pervasiveness of flowers, buds, ears of wheat and the like serves to reassure. A balm, waiting to regain a more balanced relationship with true nature.