From the boom of outdoor proposals to customizable and modular lighting systems, the trends that will be seen in the Rho exhibition spaces

With two thousand exhibitors from 37 countries, the Salone returns from 18 to 23 April del mobile di Milano, the reference event for the design sector, which invites the public of architects, interior designers, retailers, students or simple enthusiasts to discover the new proposals in the Rho exhibition spaces.

Three are the main novelties of this 61st edition. The first: the event develops on a single exhibition level, with the companies of the upper pavilions (pavilions 8-12, 16-20) relocated to the lower ones; the second is the new layout of Euroluce (halls 9-11 and 13-15), the lighting biennial imagined by Lombardini22 as a city of lights - The City of lights - with a circular route that puts the visitor back at the centre, for a more fluid (and simpler) use of the exhibition space.

Third novelty: the cultural component integrated into the spaces of Euroluce, with a high-level and wide-ranging schedule curated by Beppe Finessi.

See also: Salone del Mobile 2023: how it changes (starting from Euroluce)

On display the research, projects and experiments of companies in tandem with designers, innovations united, this year more than ever, by environmental, economic and social responsibility.

The wood-furniture supply chain in numbers

Sixty-eight thousand companies, equal to 14.9% of the total Italian manufacturing sector, 298 thousand employees, equal to 8% of the total, a production turnover of 56.5 billion euros , with a increase of 12.6% compared to 2021 (data from the Centro Studi FederlegnoArredo).

These are the numbers with which the wood-furniture supply chain presents itself at the Milan furniture fair, in a complex period of geopolitical instability, raw material price increases and delivery delays.

Companies are looking to 2023 as a year of stabilisation which physiologically follows a two-year period, the pandemic one, in which the centrality of the home was rediscovered, and investments were made in purchases to make homes more comfortable and pleasant. living spaces.

Really sustainable

The watchword of the Salone del mobile 2023 is environmental responsibility, starting from the stands, which according to the guidelines of the fair must be low-impact, up to the products, designed according to a approach circular.

Fairs can, indeed must, be created in a different way, reducing waste and the resources used, with lighter, less monumental and impactful set-ups.

A virtuous example comes from Lago (hall 4, stand F08), which this year reuses the Good House, the multi-year reusable stand presented in 2022, avoiding up to 87 % of CO2 emissions.

“We applied the Life Cycle Assessment methodology”, explains the CEO Daniele Lago, “then considered the reduction of emissions throughout the life cycle of the stand. In this we relied on research launched in 2014 and developed in 2020 by Spinlife, a spin off of the University of Padua conducted by Professor Alessandro Manzardo".

Read also: A reusable stand at the fair: is it possible?

Wish to live outdoors

You breathe an incredible desire to live en plein air, walking among the stands of the Salone del Mobile 2023.

Thanks to the pandemic, the importance of being able to enjoy an outdoor space, even a small overlook, has been rediscovered to benefit from the salvific contact with nature.

A trend confirmed by the new, important debuts in the outdoor sector, including that of Poliform (hall 5, stand A3), which presents its first family for outdoors, and Molteni&C (pad 4, stand A3), which introduces its first outdoor collection coordinated by the creative director Vincent Van Duysen, pursuing a idea of "soft well-being, organic playfulness in an architectural vision of furnishings", as the designer recounts, who was inspired "by modernism to recall the idea of permeability and transparency between internal and external spaces and that intimate connection with light and nature".

The proposals for furnishing the outdoors no longer have anything to envy to the interior solutions: the fabrics are synthetic, to resist UV rays and bad weather, but with a soft hand, full colors and refined textures just like natural indoor yarns.

The companies present outdoor families complete with everything, from large relaxation islands to poufs, from rugs to coffee tables, to furnish and personalize outdoor areas with the same care and attention you have inside your home, but with a extra pinch of lightness, because everything is allowed outdoors.

Furniture companions for life

There is a need for optimism, at home as in everyday life. In dark times, of endless wars and environmental crises, the house becomes a nest in which to take refuge, a happy dimension in which to rediscover the lost balance.

Objects are transformed into life companions, they caress us with their soft and enveloping coverings, and with their playful shapes they elicit a smile.

An example is BomBom, the new outdoor collection by Joana Vasconcelos for Roche Bobois (hall 6, stand C24): sofas, rugs and cushions with fluid and organic silhouettes, and delicate pastel colors that recall the facades of the old houses of Lisbon.

“For me, this collection in collaboration with Roche Bobois represents the perfect alliance between art, design and life,” says the Portuguese artist.

Also playful is the Mickey seat by India Mahdavi for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna (hall 4, stand G05), so named for its characteristic "ears" reminiscent of those of a mouse: "The Mickey chair is large and comfortable, but also enveloping, colorful and gentle.

A friend to love and with big ears, who listens to all your fears,” adds the Iranian-French designer.

Lights for the well-being of man and nature

This year the great novelty of the Salone del Mobile is Euroluce with its renewed look (halls 9-11 and 1-15).

The lighting biennial, now in its 31st edition, has been completely reimagined in its layout, no longer as a grid but as a ring, and in its contents, with five exhibitions, a maxi site-specific installation, and twelve individual architectural and exhibition interludes that flank the company news, with information signs, to orient oneself in the new exhibition system, made of fluorescent paper, starch glue and black ink, designed by Studio Leftloft.

See also: Euroluce 2023 : the (rich) cultural program narrated by the curator Beppe Finessi

Furthermore, for the first time, Euroluce is opening up to more technical realities, because the miniaturization of sources and electronics has changed the way of making light; we no longer speak of a lamp as an object, but of light projects.

And if, on the one hand, the architectural lights are becoming increasingly invisible and imperceptible, to integrate and enhance the buildings, such as Orma Blade and Xenia by Linea Light Group (pavl 15, stand 120), on the other, on the decorative front, new combinations of colors and materials are experimented with, as in Fregio by Andrea Anastasio for Foscarini (pavillion 11, stand 106), a ceramic floral bas-relief that becomes a suspension and wall lamp.

The new lighting projects are increasingly efficient, with optics designed and patented to illuminate more with less consumption.

Lamps designed for man's well-being, for his visual comfort and his circadian rhythm, and to respectfully integrate into nature, like the new products from Artemide (hall 11, stand 114), including Trilix by Mario Cucinella, a sort of trellis on which plants can climb and grow.

The new collections are conceived as systems open, customizable, modifiable, configurable over time based on spaces and needs.

Central is the use of the track, the supporting axis on which to graft spotlights, suspensions, lamps with arms for an increasingly customized light, such as Alibel by Luceplan (hall 11, booth 102).

The trend of wireless lights is still strong, to be brought inside and outside the home, such as Cameo by Claesson Koivisto Rune for FontanaArte strong> (hall 11, stand 101), a small table lamp in blown glass, rechargeable, dimmable and also suitable for outdoor spaces.

Industrial production, handcrafted details

The new protagonists of the Salone del mobile are designed, engineered and developed for industrial production, but at the same time they are masterpieces that tell the incredible artisan savoir-fair of the companies and the knowledge kept by the masters and, fortunately, handed down to the new generations.

One example among all: De Castelli (pad 4, stand C01-C03) presents Glyphé, new processes that draw inspiration from traditional forging techniques, applied this time not to iron but to brass; the result is metal surfaces and furnishing accessories with unique traits, the result of stratified phases of beating, oxidation, polishing, brushing and sanding.

Inspirations from the past

The past fascinates, seduces and reassures.

So there are more and more companies offering re-editions or novelties inspired by the glorious Fifties, Sixties and Seventies.

Among the re-editions, the Armadillo armchair, designed in 1969 by Gianni Pareschi, and reproposed by Busnelli (hall 10 , stand A01), a seat whose peculiarity is the folding of the fabric that evokes the armor of the armadillo, the animal from which it takes its name.

While Oluce (hall 11, 116) re-proposes the famous Atollo by Vico Magistretti, one of the most seen lamps in interior projects like Arco by Flos, now in a new, intriguing, version in satin black nickel.