The era of the flaneur is over at Salone del Mobile. Until a few years ago, visitors could stroll through the pavilions, delighting in the sparkle of the products on display. But these days are long gone. Many pavilions are now impassable or challenging to enter. QR codes, filters, and controlled access are ubiquitous. Privacy is a must, appointments are mandatory, and schedules must be thought through. The industry demands it.
It’s impossible to wander aimlessly, to get lost, and suddenly stumble into an unexpected coup de foudre. Being alone and establishing a physical relationship with objects is also unattainable. Technology and bodyguards act as filters. As a result, visitors are forced to move from one pavilion to another, observing, saturating their gaze, and searching for something. However, not everyone at Salone is looking for the same things. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I, for example, was mainly looking for innovation: innovation in material usage, revisited typologies, form and color mixtures, and discretion, simplicity, and restraint. Of the many things I saw (though not everything), the following were the most intriguing exhibits that caught my attention.
1. Linea, Alessandro Mendini, Porro
2. Twain, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Magis
3. Heb, Francesco Rota, Desalto
4. Underdog, Lorenzo Damiani, Campeggi
5. MY A.I. Evolution, Philippe Starck, Kartell
6. Black Flag, Kostantin Grcic, Flos
7. Luigi (o mi amate voi), Gaetano Pesce, Bottega Ghianda
8. Array, Umut Yamac, Vibia
9. Mostra Costellazioni, Formafantasma, Euroluce
10. Ku Do Azò, Ahokpe+Chatelin, Salonesatellite