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supersalone: Stefano Boeri Greens up the Exhibition, Adding a New Format – Scan and Buy

Erin Tallman
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supersalone, the special 2021 event under the banner of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, provides new ideas for future events.

September 5, 2021—Salone del Mobile did not resemble that of previous years, as was to be expected; however, it reopened the fair doors to the physical world of a meet-and-greet with its special 2021 event entitled supersalone. The event comprised only four pavilions with a variety of mixed design categories. Celebrated Italian architect Stefano Boeri curated the supersalone exhibition to match his style and the future of urban design: circular and sustainable.

All the materials and components on display were designed to be dismantled and reused, while a green area welcomed visitors at the East Gate of the fairgrounds; following the event, the 200 trees used throughout the exhibition—lime, ash, oak, flowering plum trees—will be relocated to Milan’s metropolitan area thanks to the Forestami project.

Recycling the installations once the event comes to a close means 1.2 million kilograms of co2 NOT being pumped into the atmosphere. In this way, the supersalone event questioned how companies exhibit their furniture and other products.

“We’re used to seeing a series of stands which are an amazing way to try to produce an atmosphere identical to a plan, not only with a product, to create a landscape,” said Stefano Boeri during the Open Design Talk on Sunday, September 4, with SaloneSatellite founder and curator Marva Griffin alongside art curator and critic Hans Ulrich Obrist, also the art director at Serpentine Galleries in London.

“My concern is that this intensity of closed, boxed areas has penalized the power of the product/furniture,” Boeri said.

Companies often work with designers to develop a world within their stand, offering an image for viewers so they can see the product(s) in a real or dream-like environment.

“What we’ve done here with those on the team, is to [break down the boxes],” Boeri said in relation to how this year’s event put the products in the light without the overwhelming emphasis on the atmosphere created within the enclosed stand.

Reducing the involvement of installing the stands already means less carbon footprint; as the installations will be recycled following the event, nothing goes to waste.

All the materials and components used in the installation designed by Andrea Caputo — long parallel sets and the communal areas such as the food courts, arenas and lounges designed by Stefano Boeri Interiors — have been devised in collaboration with Lukas Wegwerth to be dismantled and reused.

“The importance is to make things last, to only use things that last and not to return to before [the pandemic] but to focus on how we can function differently,” said Hans Ulrich Obrist.

In going green, Boeri did not leave technology and innovation behind. In fact, for him, they go hand-in-hand. The new format for supersalone included the possibility of buying discounted products by scanning QR codes located next to the product. Boeri chose to take advantage of the rise in the purchase of home furnishings and switched from B2B to B2C.

Visitors could browse the display of new products and creations released by the companies over the last 18 months and navigate freely inside a large design library, a huge national and international archive of creativity. While browsing, they had the option of scanning the QR code and purchasing the product(s) online through the e-commerce system set in place.

Courtesy of supersalone
Courtesy of supersalone

Exhibiting brands put products in the center. Coutesy of supersalone.

Design Talks area. Courtesy of supersalone.

Exhibiting brands put products in the center. Coutesy of supersalone.

Exhibiting brands put products in the center. Coutesy of supersalone.

A rendering. Courtesy of supersalone

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