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Design Trends and Themes Explored at the 60th Edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano
From the 7th until the 12th of June, the streets of Milan were overflowing with thousands of national and international architects, designers, manufacturers, artists, and craftsmen for its annual Design Week, exploring new design innovations, and exchanging ideas about interior design, furniture, and lighting. Much like every year, the Salone del Mobile, which takes place at the Fiera Milano | Rho, serves as “a laboratory for experimentation and a place for new opportunities for reflection on the world of design and designing”. But with attendance of over 262,000 visitors in six days, along with over 3,500 accredited journalists from around the world, this year’s event surpassed all expectations in terms of turnout, confirming that the exhibition is still a prominent influence on the architecture and design industry.
For its 60th edition, the Salone del Mobile.Milano was organized around inclusive design, fostering “autonomy, comfort, movement, usability, interaction and safety for all”, and highlighting the fundamental opportunities and responsibilities of environmental responsibility. The Salone committee made a decisive step towards these missions by joining the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative that called for companies to adopt and uphold the values of sustainability in the long term, support the protection of human rights, promote greater environmental responsibility, and work against corruption in all its forms.
Staying in line with the exhibition’s mission to “demonstrate that it is both possible and crucial to start embedding sustainability and environmental awareness into furniture production”, brands heavily explored the relationship between nature and the way we live, and looked back at traditional techniques and designs, whether it being through the materials used, the colors selected, or the way products were manufactured and assembled. Reinforcing this concept, Design with Nature, a large 1,400 sqm installation designed by architect Mario Cucinella, exhibits our virtuous ecosystem and reflects on the future of home living. The installation highlights topics such as circular economy and reuse, exploring the potential of cities as “reserves” of the future, where raw materials can be sourced.
Architectural Interventions and Exhibitions Taking Place at the 2022 Salone del Mobile
Read on to discover the dominating themes and trends displayed at the 2022 Salone del Mobile.
Brown is the New Black
One of the most evident trends at Salone this year was the use of rich, deep hues and Earthy colors. Designers opted for harmonious yet diverse color palettes, borrowing shades found in nature, and experimenting with their spectrum. Black, white, and shades of gray were replaced with burnt brown, cream, and various shades of beige, and were complimented with muted shades of green, blue, and terracotta to create a harmonious yet sophisticated palette that subtly anchors the space.
Further demonstrating the importance of environmental responsibility, there was a noticeable absence of plastics and artificial compounds. Instead, designers “went back to the roots” and experimented with traditional materials such as timber, natural fibers (bamboo, rattan, and sisal), bricks, stone, marble, and textiles (linen, and cotton). Brass, copper, and muted shades of metallics were also used to accentuate the pieces, along with tinted and sanded glass.
Dismissing the notion of “engineered products and machinery” and highlighting natural processes, artisanal craftsmanship and traditional building techniques were heavily explored at this year’s Salone. Whether it being through seating areas, partitions, tables, or accessories, pieces were uniquely fabricated using local and natural materials, paying tribute to classical techniques and reinforcing individuality and authenticity.
Curvy and Organic Silhouettes
Furniture pieces and accessories were inspired by the shapes and silhouettes of botanicals. Instead of structured geometric forms, which were relatively popular the past decade, most pieces took curvy and organic shapes, generating a sense of comfort, accessibility, and playfulness.
Succulents and Native Trees as Ornamentation
Cacti and Aloe Vera peculiarly stood front and center in most interior displays. These thickened and engorged plants, are considered low maintenance as they grow indoors for years, retain water in arid climates, and are often found in various types and forms. Native flora, such as olive trees and bamboos, were also heavily seen across the exhibition, elaborating on the vernacular nod that took place throughout the exhibition’s projects.