Salone del Mobile’ in 3 days and die

May 5, 2015

Flying with Ryanair is sometimes more surprising than the plot of ‘Game of Thrones’. For example, instead of the planned trip to Warsaw you can fly to Barcelona, as it recently happened to us while returning from the fair in Milan. But let’s start from the beginning…


This year, we went to Milan for the ‘iSaloni’ in a larger group. Milan for us is 3 days of intense meetings with known and unknown companies from the lighting and furniture industry, 2 days of regeneration and exploring this beautiful city, and 5 evenings spent eating pasta and pizza, pasta and pizza, pasta … And drinking wine. It’s pointless to write about Italian cuisine and wine, everyone knows they are excellent. About relaxing – another time. And about the fair – very gladly. If you come to see the ‘iSaloni’ for less than 3 days then you’re probably a Kenyan marathon runner powered by the best Italian espresso. This year’s fair was extremely disappointing for us. Like Pamela Anderson without makeup. In all of the 24 exhibition halls, each with the size of Oslo, we found only a few new products which surprised us. Probably only a few of them have a chance for commercial success and staying in our memory for years. Furniture manufacturers have quite clearly divided themselves into two groups. The first group consciously noticed that the spirit the 50’s and 60’s is making a comeback. And so everyone, in unison and in a similar style, is showing furniture with a light wooden structure, cut out of pieces of wood into fancy shapes. This furniture is upholstered with fabrics in bright optimistic colours, often patterned. Copies of armchairs, chairs and tables from the otherwise excellent Autoban studio, which have been sold by Porada for many years, now can be seen in every third booth.


The second group of manufacturers hasn’t noticed that the time is moving on and for the last three years have been showing us the same products in identical colours and similar subdued entourage. Earth colours, muted blues and yellows – you know what I mean? From time to time copper and brass accents in the details pleasantly sting the eyes – this trend is gradually breaking through, is well received and has a chance to compete with the all-too-familiar chromium and nickel. I will write about this interesting trend in a separate article.

Even the so-called Satellite Showroom, which has always been a source of ideas and a display of talents of young designers, did not surprise us this year. This year the slogan was ‘Planet Life’. If the first prize goes to a trivial design from the Chinese group Xuberance made using a 3D printer, the future fairs will probably be held under the slogan ‘Planet Death’. All we can say about the lamps is that they were there. Sometimes, if there are no innovative products, the manufactures make up for it with a spectacular booth. Meanwhile, the expositions of lamps, just like the expositions of furniture, did not surprise us with the design of the booths or their contents. Even such a ‘sculptor of light’ as Ingo Maurer presented an exposition as boring as a wedding video.



The Czech Preciosa had a beautiful and one of the biggest expositions. The company’s booth made a greater impression than the boots of all popular Italian manufacturers combined.


In conclusion – this year, we did not find much design at the design fair. I assure you that more interesting details and inspiration can be found at the Cimitero Monumentale. The Milan cemetery, which is probably the most beautiful and most surprising cemetery on the earth, is open in similar hours as the fair. And it is certainly more inspiring. I will write about it soon.

And Ryanair? We are returning from Milan via a route changed by the carrier. Through Spain to Warsaw. I wasn’t even worried. I am waiting at the airport in Bergamo, sitting on the floor and writing this article. Barcelona will be a grateful topic for another post.

Szymon Tarnowski