Salone del Mobile.Milano 2019: the 58th Edition

During this year of celebrations in honor of Leonardo da Vinci, the Salone del Mobile is adding a new term, ‘ingenuity’, to its Manifesto. It is a deeply intrinsic part of the DNA of the design event and of the companies, brands and designers that have made it such a success, as well as serving as an homage to the great Master.

The 58th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano will take place from 9th to 14th April at Rho Fiera Milano, in Milan, Italy. In the wake of the ‘new approach’ launched with the Manifesto in 2018, the Salone is putting the spotlight this year on both the centrality of Milan, which continues to garner international plaudits and recognition, and on the creative capacity and generosity of spirit of the industrial network that underpins it and works to deliver global excellence.

The Manifesto is thus with another chapter – dedicated to ingenuity, in other words, the ability to create and think that triggers new ways of seeing the world and of inventing solutions in which design contributes to the wellbeing of man and society. A talent that the companies and designers, the protagonists of the Salone, that have made it what it is today, possess and constantly develop, building on the layers of their cultural heritage, and which a city such as Milan well knows how to cultivate and valorize.

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Claudio Luti, President of the Salone del Mobile, had this to say: “At this particular time of great success for Milan, it is important to consolidate the Salone del Mobile’s powers of attraction, offering its visitors not just a wide range of products, but, especially, opportunities for the international interface and reflection on the relationship between creativity and business. Looking again at the keywords of its Manifesto, a statement intended to refocus on the values that have helped make the event the leading appointment for the design sector at the international level, the Salone is introducing a new word. That word is ‘ingenuity’, in other words, intelligence as the trigger of creativity, the meaning of talent, and the ingenious ability to create and think. All gifts that our companies possess, that our designers develop and that stem from our roots, and a word that constitutes an invitation to keep looking forward, not to rest on our laurels, to believe that everything can always be reinvented and rediscovered with fresh eyes that look to the future. ‘Ingenuity’ also pays homage to Leonardo, the Master of all creatives, the forerunner of the relationship between creative and entrepreneur, a man of progress, of the future and the present, who came to Milan for the very purpose of developing his relationship with the form of creating.”

Through the Manifesto, the Salone del Mobile.Milano calls for the emotional and intellectual involvement of all its actors in a bid to push further ahead than ever before, to consolidate the leadership role that the event and the city have carved out over the years and which increasingly attracts new projects and talents.

“The strength of the Salone del Mobile.Milano is closely bound up with the uniqueness of the wood-furnishing chain, a widespread ecosystem of industrial and cultural values that we as a Federation are committed to supporting daily, and for which our event is the showcase par excellence. In 2018, positive signals for the wood-furnishing sector came from both the domestic market, with a 3.1% rise in production destined for the Italian market compared with 2017, and from the export market, which sustained its positive trend. In the high-end segment, our companies held the largest quota of all the markets, demonstrating our sector’s ability to withstand the ups and downs of the current international macroeconomic situation and to maintain the characteristic competitive edge that sets them apart. Creativity, ingenuity, and industry are bound together in an extraordinary web, making Italian design a strategically important strong point for the entire Italian system. It is one of the best visiting cards that the city of Milan – which has always had the ability to interpret its time in an international spirit – can proffer to the world,” said Emanuele Orsini, President of Federlegno Arredo Eventi.

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In a bid to respond properly to the structural changes in contemporary society and the ensuing rapid changes in the furnishing and design market, the 58th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano is announcing two fundamental changes to its trade fair format.

As this year is an odd year, it is the turn of the biennial Euroluce and Workplace3.0 exhibitions to take place at Rho Fiera Milano; the latter will feature a new, widespread and crosscutting exhibition format, geared to better illustrating the evolution of the concept of the workspace design, right now, even better, a hybrid space in which duty and pleasure, professional and personal go hand in hand. The exhibiting companies will make their liquid and hybrid presence felt throughout the fairgrounds, as a faithful reflection of the social transformation of the workspace into a flexible, permeable and dynamic space, ripe for professional interaction and engagement with other day-to-day activities.

This edition will also see the launch of a new crosscutting exhibition concept dedicated to design products and decorative and technical interior design solutions: S.Project, versatile space in which the keywords are the multisectoral approach, synergy, and quality.

550 young designers will be the protagonists of the 22nd SaloneSatellite in Pavilions 22-24. This year’s theme is FOOD as a DESIGN OBJECT. Our hope is that these creatives from all over the world will see the slogan as a trigger for responses and solutions in the form of cutting-edge visions, ideas, designs, and original contributions.

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Adding the word ‘ingenuity’ to the 2019 edition of the Manifesto is a deliberate homage to Leonardo da Vinci. The great Master left the sophisticated city of Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance in 1482, bound for Milan – a city that was already at the center of one of the most productive regions of the times, and open to every sort and kind of technological development and where he knew that Ludovico Sforza would be a rich and generous patron. He worked here as an artist, architect, engineer, and scientist for more than twenty years, leaving indelible signs of his passage.

Leonardo’s creative force, his status as a globally recognized icon, and his innovative, receptive and multifaceted persona thus represent a major asset for the city, conscious of the legacy of its past while looking beyond it to a future of change and awareness of its role on the world stage. This is why the Salone del Mobile decided to celebrate Leonardo right in the very heart of Milan, at the Conca dell’Incoronata canal lock, with an outstanding and hugely evocative installation devoted to his brilliance and his studies of water. AQUA. Leonardo’s Vision will narrate a tiny fragment of the Renaissance and the future of Milan, part reason and part enchantment.

That’s not all, however. Given the huge relevance of da Vinci’s legacy and as a spur for those who all qualify as baton carriers for Leonardo and Ludovico Sforza – designers, young talents, entrepreneurs – the Salone will also be holding another event at the fairgrounds, in Pavilion 24, designed to celebrate da Vinci’s legacy to the art of design and craftsmanship, a theme now more deeply relevant to the world of design than ever before. DE-SIGNO. The art of Italian design before and after Leonardo is an atmospheric narration of Leonardo da Vinci’s ingenuity and his connection with contemporary Italian design.

“One figure in the history of art, of architecture, of engineering and science reflects the creativity and industriousness of our city: the genius Leonardo da Vinci. The tribute that the Salone del Mobile is paying to him in the 2019 edition is an intelligent and by no means banal way of celebrating Leonardo’s oeuvre in all its farsightedness and complexity. Leonardo is still a point of reference for our times. It is thanks to him that designers and planners in this day and age rely on intuition, curiosity, and study when it comes to designing furnishing accessories, spaces, and objects that will respond effectively and functionally to practical, concrete and everyday problems. This homage to genius in all its forms, and its valorization through outstanding business experiences unquestionably make up the realm in which the Salone operates and evolves. The Salone is an event recognized the world over, one that is not afraid to experiment and push the envelope, welcoming the latest market offerings with pragmatism and originality, while never losing sight of its role as a mouthpiece for the spirit of Milan and the times in which we live”, said Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan.

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Underscoring and valorizing its ties with Milan even further and in the spirit of increased openness to the exchange and circulation of ideas, culture, and creativity, the Salone del Mobile has entered into a three-year agreement with the Fondazione Teatro alla Scala Foundation, leading up to 2021 and the celebrations for the sixtieth anniversary of the trade fair. This partnership was born of the desire to combine shared values, with the dual aim of promoting and valorizing the talent of the Filarmonica della Scala and allowing the design community that breathes life into the Salone every year an opportunity to be involved in a unique experience. This year, for the first time, the Salone will open with a great concert: Riccardo Chailly, musical director of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, will conduct le Ouverture da Semiramide e Guglielmo Tell di Gioachino Rossini and Pictures at an Exhibition, composed by Modest Mussorgski and arranged by Maurice Ravel. A hugely powerful and emotionally impactful piece of music that will transmit its energy to all those actors who make it their business to ensure the Salone is a success year after year, without reservation.

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Underscoring the international remit of the Salone del Mobile.Milano and the city and their commitment to inclusion and hospitality, the Welcome Project will be running for the sixth consecutive year thanks to the partnership with the Municipality of Milan, the Councillor for Employment, Economic Development, University and Research Policies Cristina Tajani and the city’s leading design schools – Domus Academy, IED, Istituto Marangoni, NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano and the Milan Polytechnic University/Design School. The Salone will be setting up information points at various focal points around the city, manned by 100 students, there to provide visitors with information on how to negotiate the city, on the trade fair itself and the palimpsest of events in Milan organized by the Department.

The Salone del Mobile.Milano sees Federlegno Arredo Eventi work tirelessly with the Italian trade agency ICE, the government agency that supports the economic and commercial development of Italian businesses abroad and works to attract foreign investments in Italy, in a bid to come up with a raft of strategic activities to stimulate the interest and participation of foreign professionals, buyers, architects, interior designers and journalists at the Shanghai and Moscow editions of the Salone in particular.

Again, this year, a great celebration of design will mark the close of the Salone del Mobile.Milano on Friday 12th April at Palazzo Marino, fuelled by the tremendous exhilaration generated by the event and its mission. It will be an occasion for celebrating the enormous productive and organizational commitment of our companies and all the designers and people who help to make Milan the most interesting and attractive place in the world during that particular week.

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Photographs – Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano
Photographs by Andrea Mariani


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