Salone del Mobile Debuts an All-In-One Digital Platform
The Milan furniture fair launches an all-encompassing digital experience that offers brand profiles, editorial content, and product libraries to accompany this year’s physical edition, which is slated to kick off in early September after extensive delays.
The cultural calendar was thrown for a loop when the coronavirus pandemic broke out last March. One of the earliest and most shocking event cancellations came from Salone del Mobile, the world’s largest and most preeminent design fair that takes place in Milan every April. After a series of delays saw the fair’s launch date get pushed back months at a time as Italy weathered the pandemic fallout, Salone del Mobile is staging its current iteration (Sept. 5–10) in a different format. Called “Supersalone,” the new fair concept forgoes branded booths for products displayed on walls with QR codes for easy inquiry and purchase.
Accompanying the physical fair is an all-encompassing new digital platform that seeks to support Salone del Mobile exhibitors year-round from strategic and commercial standpoints. Exhibiting brands, such as Flexform, Minotti, and Magis, can customize interactive profiles that feature virtual showrooms, product libraries, and easy ways for fairgoers to inquire directly about products.
“The pandemic has been the greatest digital accelerator in history,” says the Italian journalist Riccardo Luna. “We’ve all learnt how to do things we previously didn’t do and discovered that digital is a formidable tool for resilience. Now that we’re cautiously emerging from the pandemic, the world is no longer the same as it was, and we’re entering a new, hybrid world in which the physical and the digital realms coexist, boosting each other and furthering their opportunities. This is the direction in which the Salone del Mobile platform is heading.”
What really sets the platform apart from competitors, however, is the breadth of original editorial content being offered at the cross-section of design, art, architecture, and technology. Led by editorial director Annalisa Rosso, the platform kicked off with exclusive interviews with such design talents as India Mahdavi, Michael Anastassiades, and Fernando and Humberto Campana, with even more scheduled as the fair approaches. (If you’re attending this year, we recommend diving into this interview with lead curator Stefano Boeri, who shares everything you need to know about the “Supersalone” concept.)
“The new digital platform marks a major step change for the Salone del Mobile.Milano and provides a sophisticated digital experience, the cornerstone of which is precisely the mix of physical and online,” says Marco Sabetta, the fair’s general manager. “It’s a business tool for the companies and a virtual harvester of beauty, value, and quality. A virtual space for sharing interpretations of design and innovation, allowing for a glimpse of the future of the sector and nurturing it with visions and possibilities.”
Though the digital platform can’t quite recreate the energy and experience of walking Salone and seeing new products in person, it’s a foolproof way for enthusiasts to stay in the know—especially after the past year has left many people feeling reluctant to travel.