Arm yourself with patience, there are queues. But precisely for this reason it is important, at FuoriSalone 2023, to be guided, to go where it is worthwhile, to linger on the things that mean something (for design lovers).
Many projects focus on the theme of sustainability and the experimentation of innovative materials; others, on the other hand, explore different sensory dimensions or take inspiration from the past and reinterpret it.
Some exhibitions are also worth the effort for the great care taken in setting them up: we have chosen those that tell a story as well as captivate with their beauty.
So here is our guide within the guide. For a FuoriSalone to be fully enjoyed.
ECHOES by Cassina curated by Patricia Urquiola and Federica Sala, Palazzo Broggi, Cordusio
An exhibition not to be missed absolutely. For the breathtaking setting, in a bank vault, with safety deposit boxes that act as supports for the exhibits. But also for the exploded views of the products - from the transparent radio to the Albini Veliero and for the videos that explain the care that Cassina puts into rediscovering the history of furnishings before re-editing them.
In fact, the exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Cassina IMaestri collection with the aim of illustrating the art of edition: a work made up of painstaking studies and much respect, now shared with the public.
Base Camp, in via Orbia 11
It is an interesting project because it gives space to interior design, which - in professional and not just aesthetic terms - is talked about very little, even at the FuoriSalone.
Campo Base is a completely intimate interpretation of domestic spaces is given by six architectural firms: Massimo Adario, Giuliano Andrea dell'Uva, Eligistudio, MarcanteTesta, Hannes Peer and Studiopepe. Curated by the always very good Federica Sala.
A sort of textile placenta brings together the different projects in six tents, which through the lights invite the viewer to enter, but at the same time he manages to perceive that he is crossing the threshold of something private.
Each project brings with it the meaning of intimacy, but with different connotations such as Eligostudio which with 'Homage to Renzo Mongiardino' sees a moment of intimacy in collective sharing, for this reason we find ourselves in a room with a single and immense sofa.
Completely opposite to the latter is Studiopepe, which with the Omohalos concept designs more intimate and closed spaces as if they were to envelop the people who live there.
Marcante-Testa's project is also beautiful, as always very attentive to the relationship between space and the feeling of the person who inhabits it: in their project, decompression zones move to more convivial but always intimate areas, with great attention to the details of materials and colors.
Casa Sem, in via Gerolamo Borgazzi 4
The rediscovery of natural materials has led many designers to favor pure materials, not industrially treated, with a raw effect.
Casa SEM is a clear example of rediscovery, which seeks to bring to light forgotten artisan techniques. Born as a spin-off of the Milanese Spotti store, its members – Motta Architecture, Hannes Peer, Valentina Cameranesi Sgroi, Marcante-Testa, Vormen, Giacomo Moor, Elisa Ossino, Zaven and Maya Leroy – present the new neolithique collection.
The setting – a period house – further highlights the concept of going back to the origins, and it is from the same atmosphere that the second concept springs: duality. The past and the present; a modern decor that nonetheless uses ancestral materials such as solid wood and woven fibers; the natural colors given by the material in contrast with the artificial coloring of the same.
Interni Design Re-Evolution, University, via Festa del Perdono 7
A reinterpretation of spaces, through introspection and evolution, characterizes the Interni event called Design Re-Evolution. Trying to address the issue of sustainability, many designers redesign their approach method, preferring materials for 3D printing, wood and ceramics.
Other projects want to be more provocative such as 'MOAI' by Urbansolid with Fidenza Village, a work that reflects on the vandalization by civilization that has destroyed its ecosystem. Another project is 'Tangible & Intangible' by One Works with Mapei, which shows two totems: one with different industrial materials, the other a simple metal profile; metaphor of what is visible and what is not.
Other projects show us new ways of communicating such as Sit on the wor(l)d by Marco Nero Rotelli, nature speaks to us through sensors which transform the vibrations of the trees into sounds. Other projects, on the other hand, are born with the aim of creating spaces in which to feel an integral part of the project, such as Swing the completely disassembled swing by Stefano Boeri .
What there is to see in Alcova, at the former slaughterhouse in via Molise 62
A now forgotten space comes back to life with Alcova, through many projects that highlight research and innovation, inviting the viewer to reflect on various themes.
Alcova 2023 is a large space divided into zones. It's not easy to find your way around and we visited this huge abandoned space, which has now become an exhibition, for you.
See also: What there is to see in Alcova, at the former slaughterhouse in via Molise 62
Capsule Plaza, Via Achille Maiocchi 3/5/7/10
Crossing the threshold of a door and feeling that you are elsewhere: this is the sensation that Capsule Plaza transmits. The initiative presented by Capsule magazine redefines not only the format of the design showcase, but also the entire space in which it is possible to perceive a hybrid between a fair and an exhibition collective.
Capsule Plaza will bring together designers and companies from different creative sectors, ranging from interiors and architecture, beauty and technology, ecology and craftsmanship. Project exhibitors include Byredo, who invites artist Dozie Kanu to bring Bal d'Afrique, with which he explores, through the combination between art and design, the intimacies that have shaped his relationship with the African continent and Afro-diaspora cultural production. Kanu refuses an individual story and invites the saman archive, a deposit of photographic negatives from all over Ghana.
Other exhibitors are the Formafantasma for Tacchini, which show a new production system focused on the circularity of materials. Le Mura, Costela, Five to Nine and Lina thus become protagonists of an innovative prototyping phase of the brand.
Furthermore, it will be possible to see the sectioned seat in which all the materials used are shown, from coconut fiber to sheep's wool. Xl Extralight will also show an outdoor installation, in which it will be possible to see how the brand's research has led to an evolution of the material they usually use.
Mostly chosen in the world of footwear, XL Extralight is a closed-cell foam material, which therefore does not absorb substances and external agents and is also resistant to attack by chemical and atmospheric agents. But for the first time it will be used, after being further improved, as a cladding for a 70s-inspired wooden structure called Softscope. Capsule Plaza will also be accompanied by a robust program of conferences, presentations, workshops and culinary events.
Everything, in Viale Vittorio Veneto 2
Are we just traces of data, binary codes that have a three-dimensional shape? These are the doubts raised by the installation Everything, presented by Meet Digital Culture Center, with the support of Fondazione Cariplo and the National Museum of Digital Art of Milan in collaboration with Filmmaster Events. It is an immersive installation by the Turkish studio Nohlab from 2011, for the first time in Italy.
Everything is the connection between reality and the digital world, which, through immersive video-installations and qrcodes, tells of how everything can be reduced to a number, a code, a series of data that are part of our daily life, although they cannot be perceived because they are digital. It is shown how every living being, and therefore also nature, by emitting vibrations, can be traced back to a series of codes.
Fluxus, via Fiori Oscuri 3
To love or to hate; indifference or revolution; integrate or interact. These are the questions of the installation by Elisa Ossino and Stefano Roveda for V-Zug. Through a cylindrical structure, the viewer is invited to immerse himself in an abstract and metaphorical reality.
Inside the installation it will be possible to hear and see nature: water and steam, which by colliding put into action the primordial force that shapes nature.
Superimposed on these elements are the silhouettes of the visitors and some symbols of human history that represent the knowledge of man from the past until today.
These elements want to put man, the most powerful transforming agent of the environment (although not everyone is aware of it), before a choice: whether to really be part of this ecosystem.
Walk the Talk, via Fiori Oscuri 4
In the frenzy of every day it is difficult to stop and reflect on how much we consume: we do not notice that our choices have more or less positive consequences on the surrounding environment as well as on us. Walk the Talk Energy in motion, designed by Italo Rota and CRA with Eni, is an event of Re-Evolution interiors.
The set-up is a path that invites us to reflect on our decisions, especially regarding urban mobility. The interactive path transforms the Brera Botanical Garden through light and sound effects that change throughout the day.
Along the way you can see several symbols: some indicate a path that has a positive impact on the environment, the others indicate an opposite one. At the end of the itinerary it is also possible to try the Enjoy miniature remote-controlled cars, an experience that allows you to go back to being a child even if only for a short time.
Urgent Legacy, in Via Tommaso da Cazzaniga & Corso Garibaldi 89/a
The world is constantly changing, as are our needs; Urgent Legacy, a group exhibition of Swiss design, guides the viewer on three floors to the different solutions.
Seven exhibitions of studios, brands, schools and professionals respond to the brief 'the urgent needs of our society' through: local production, new materials, reuse of waste, upcycling, promotion of inclusiveness and the fight against the climate crisis.
On the ground floor it is possible to see the work of ECAL students, who tackle the issue of recycling, reusing industrial material waste, transforming it into functional products such as seats, coat hangers or vases.
On the first floor, the Federal Polytechnic Institute of Zurich explores inclusive design through technology, designing artificial limbs; the NOV Gallery launches Tappello to stimulate a fresh approach to new materiality, while a group of emerging talents builds a shared legacy for posterity through multifaceted projects, belonging to different sectors.
On the second floor, the students of HEAD - Genève, University of Art and Design Geneva, pay homage to female designers of both the past and the present, and finally the Basel Academy of Art and Design questions on the formation of design cultures.
Surprise Party!, in Corso Magenta 63
The collection that is most striking for the originality of the story is Surprise Party! by the French Constance Guisset. From the moment he enters the room, the viewer is immersed in the designer's thoughts: nothing is hidden from the public, be it the concept or the sketches or the design process. In fact, it is possible to observe the creation of the products on video using a 3D program and manual models.
From here we perceive the leitmotif of the collection: the theme of movement, marked above all by some rotating planes that slowly turn the seats.
This is the theme that, according to Guisset, lies behind that of life. But the purpose of the exhibition, paradoxically, is an invitation to take time for contemplation and reflection, to detach from the frenetic life by losing yourself in a play of colored lights.
After visiting the central space, one arrives in an alcove plunged into darkness, where one can observe the architectural, installation and scenography projects, which, at the end of the exhibition, will be recovered or reused.
Ro Collectible, in via Matteo Bandello 14
At the Ro Collectible exhibition it is possible to see, in the first room near the entrance, the photographic work of Lyle XOX, a series of self-portraits in which the author builds sculptures around the face with various objects and entrusts a story to each portrait.
Continuing along the path, you find yourself on the ground floor of the structure, which houses the Éloe installation made in Molza paper by Atelier oi.
The paper is arranged in a fan around a center made of stone pine. The fan moves up and down through a mechanism that is activated manually, and, through the circular movements, the natural scents spread throughout the space.
Another installation by Atelier oi is Helicoidale. Again, the products are made of stone pine and are also arranged like a fan.
The wind that hits the pine sets the installation in motion and once again transports us to the natural world. Another installation by the Atelier is Aura, created in collaboration with WonderGlass. On the ceiling there are different lights that go down and up at different times, until they illuminate the inside of the glasses; in this way an interaction between light and glass is generated.
A game of geometries, opacity and transparency is what characterizes the Abyss vase by Jan Plechac, in addition to the color that intrigues for the depth it gives to the vase. Another very interesting project on the theme of sustainability is The Room of Necessity by Secondome in collaboration with Studio F, in which there are several pieces of furniture made from a single trunk wooden.
Different designers have designed the furniture, giving each one a personal interpretation, but they still communicate well with each other. The shapes, therefore, are born from a personal and not a collective inspiration that shows us how, starting from the same theme and having the same possibilities, we can have different interpretations.
What unites the different objects is above all what is present on the wooden surface, i.e. the "patches", a characteristic sign of the studio. A return to the past but with a decidedly avant-garde character is the new collection by Draga&Aurel which present Transparency Metters. It is inspired by the main themes of the 70s: change and experimentation.
The collection shows hybrid products, in which colored resin and concrete are present; instead of the latter, steel is used for the lighting.
In the basement of the building, one encounters the works of Jordan Artisan, where the plastic material transforms the object into something more fluid as if it were a material that is dripping . Some objects still have the lines of the designer's past, so we find metal parts together with the new material.
The new color of the Mandalaki brand torch is interesting, an object which, among other things, is not static and fixed, but can be disassembled from the main structure so that the lamp becomes a torch. Mandalaki was created with the aim of giving an artificial light that refers as much as possible to the natural color of the sun.
During the Fuorisalone, the brand has prepared a hypnotic audio-visual experience that transports visitors into a primordial and dreamlike reality, awakening the desire for discovery inherent in our nature and reconnecting us to it. The installation will be hosted within Morel. In addition to these projects, it will be possible to see many other things at the Rossana Orlandi gallery.
Certosa District, in via Barnaba Oriani 27
Many times design looks to the future, other times it is already the future; several projects aiming at smart solutions for the future of living can be seen at the Certosa district.
Designtech, the first technological innovation hub, has selected, together with Design Burger and Isola, some projects from various companies, start-ups and professionals who, divided into subgroups on the basis to the areas of interest, they will occupy different areas of the place.
Some products are also designed for mobility, such as Cowboy from Brussels, a thinking e-bike that adapts to any difficulty on the road, always remaining connected to the user via the Cowboyapp app.
Other projects, however, want to send a message, such as Kleber Alves's Alligator Bench, which demonstrates in favor of the vaccine in Brazil. Still others promote a new way of designing with the use of new technologies such as the 3D printer, of which you can admire the lamps (Arpeggio Collection) by Studio Elk or the React Sustainable Boutique living collection.
Furthermore, it will be possible to see the winning products of the competition launched by Design Wanted and therefore awarded the Design Wanted Award, which aims to honor designers and companies that make products for solve current problems, while also managing to anticipate future needs.
An example is Dam Da by Ann T. Dinh, a set of dishes conceived by Asians for Americans whose goal is to provide a unit of measure and service, based on the recipes containing chicken.
Another winning project is Vespertine by Studio Sugar, a versatile and interchangeable lighting: with a single object it is possible to switch from a portable torch to a pendant lamp.
From this selection we understand the difficulty of the challenge that the designers had to face, which requires being visionary and not limiting oneself to current events or what could be. Despite the complexity of the brief, the different products are simple and 'honest'.