Maria Porro – Director of the Fair Salone Del Mobile.Milano
Salone del Mobile.Milano is eyeing the 2023 edition, which will be held in the Fiera Milano district, Rho, between April 18th and 23rd, with Maria Porro reconfirmed as its president.
During this 61st edition, many annual events will take place, such as the International Exhibition of Furniture Accessories, Workplace 3.0, the third edition of S.Project and the event dedicated to schools, universities and designers under 35 years old SaloneSatellite – which will complete its 24th edition in 2023 – among the pavilions.
Stay tuned, in the following pages, for the interview of Maria Porro – Director of the Fair Salone Del Mobile.Milano.
The next edition of the Salone del Mobile, will it count with the return of Euroluce? What are the expectations?
The 61st edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano will be an important one because of all its novelties and will mark the return of Euroluce, at its 31st edition edition, since 2019. Plus, it will be back in April, as it use to be before the pandemic!
We are exicited about gathering all together again the design community in one week and in one space after such a long time. The first most important thing is, in fact, sharing the experience. Salone has to be seen, has to be touched, has to be lived from real, alive. We will so rediscover the value in meeting in person, to discover an object, to touch it, to understand a shape. Companies here build up a new world in their booths, they make a huge effort, in terms of investments, creativity and time. That’s why it is unmissable!
We ceratinly expect a big interest regarding the new format of Euroluce, its cultural offer and about the new visit experience . It will be the pleasure of discovery and the power that will rise from the interdiisciplinarity of the event. In this regard, along with the core business, this year Salone will be presenting many cultural events at the fairground, more than ever.
How do you classify the adherence of the Portuguese brands in the Salone del Mobile?
Throughout the years we always had some Portuguese companies at Salone del Mobile. The 2023 edition will feature 66 top-quality ones, of which 12 at Euroluce. Salone del Mobile.Milano for these companies is certainly a great international showcase being visited by around 370,000 operators from 188 Countries.
Combining the best of technology and design, with the manual work of artisans and a creative craftsmanship, Portuguese design is very appealing to contemporary public.
Also SaloneSatellite, since its first edition in 1998, saw the participation of young Portuguese designers, and design schools, such as Politécnico de Leiria – Escola Superior de Artes e Design, ESTGAD / Escola Superior de Tecnologia, Gestão, Arte de Design; Caldas da Rainha; Icep, and Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão de Viseu. Salonesatellite is, like Salone, an international showcase and the place where Salone del Mobile exhibitors can discover new ideas and projects, which then they can transform into products for their catalogues.
Relatively to the anterior editions, what are the new highlights for 2023?
The 2023 edition will present a lot of novelties, all conveying to maintain the focus on design. Project, products and the strong effort of the exhibitors in participating will be given a new value along with the optimisation of the visitor experience.
Given the above, we first made the decision to hold the trade fair on one single level of the fairgrounds making the best possible use of the spaces, respond to the demands of the exhibitors and ensure even greater involvement of professional visitors. So, Pavilions 16 and 20 will no longer exist on the upper level but their exhibitors will be set in the halls at the ground level.
The other crucial change is the new general exhibition layout, illustrating the possible future evolution of the trade fair exhibition with Euroluce. I believe it will play a pivotal role in the trade fair transformation. Euroluce will abandon the traditional orthogonal plan for an “urban plan”, that is an irregular, geometrically polygonal, fluid and free-ring plan conceived by studio Lombardini22, designed to optimise the user- this great friendliness of biennial of lighting. Formafantasma, the celebrated research-based design studio, will turn Euroluce into “an ideal city” inside the new layout, designing public spaces and special cameo-events while Beppe Finessi – professor at Milan Polytechnic, architect and researcher – will curate the cultural content, from architecture to art (i.d. exhibitions, talks, workshops, installations), alongside with a number of young curators. From this perspective, it’s interesting that a number of companies specialising in technical products have accepted the challenge to take part in the Euroluce.
After listening carefully to all the exhibiting companies – some of which will be making a hugely enthusiastic return after a period of absence, and others that will be making their debut with equal confidence – the Salone will be making new support and visibility tools available through its digital platform and the online services connected to it.
Lastly, SaloneSatellite will be in a new but entirely natural location inside the Euroluce pavilions, given that it represents the future of design par excellence, and the 2023 edition will devote a particular focus to the Design Schools and Universities with the theme “Design School: Building the (im)possible. Process, Progress, Practice”.
In which way does the sustainability and the training contribute to the Salone del Mobile?
Taking a sustainable approach to social, environmental and economic issues is a value that the Salone del Mobile.Milano has always considered important and, now more than ever, absolutely paramount. We started a sustainable path in 2021 with Supersalone where we delivered our first strong message on this matter having everything designed to be dismantled and subsequently reused, such as the display systems with no loose components and fully recyclable; the lounge areas, the benches and the chairs were “dry” mounted and disassembled and then used again at different times and in different contexts. Supersalone was awarded ISO 14064-1:2019 certification and now all our efforts are devoted to the process of obtaining ISO 20121 certification for sustainable events management. We are also the first international fair to be part of the United Nations Global Compact– the leading business sustainability initiative at global level.
Looking to the future, was is the vision and path traced for Salone del Mobile?
Salone has always looked into the future since its first edition in 1961. It is “the village of design which leads where other will follow” – as it has been described by a prominent English magazine some years ago. Salone has traced its own path since the beginning considering quality, reaserach and innovation its master guidelines.
Because of its cultural remit and value, issues such as regeneration, reuse, circularity, planet-centricity, energy saving, and attention to people and communities have always stood at the heart of the Salone del Mobile.Milano’s mission, vision and long-term strategy, inspiring the way it operates sustainably, geared to achieving a balance between respect for the environment, ethical and transparent dealings and people’s wellbeing.
So, looking at the future, environmental, economic and social responsibilities will remain our priorities. We will make the least possible impact, be geared to the efficient use of resources, cutting waste and environmental impact, and protecting the human rights, health and safety of those taking part in the event and those workers involved in its organisation, and assuring benefits for all the companies taking part and the local community.
Actually, in January I have just signed the Salone del Mobile.Milano “Sustainability Policy” which confirm and enhance what I just told you very briefly. If you are interested into the details please check our website at this dedicated link https://www.salonemilano.it/en/sustainability-policy.