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Designers from all over the world descend on Milan for the Salone del Mobile

by Marta Casadei

The Salone del Mobile is a key event for the home furnishing sector, which has always been the flagship of Italian industry. This year the 54th edition of the trade show will open on Tuesday, April 14 at the Fair of Milan-Rho and will involve 2,000 exhibitors, including furniture, lighting and office accessory companies

A few weeks before the start of Expo Milano 2015 - which will be located not far from the Fair of Rho – the trade show launches a dynamic half-year during which the Lombard capital will be the focus of global attention, putting the spotlight on an aspect of Made in Italy's excellence: design -- intended as a synergy of ideas and production, handicraft and industry.

This edition of Salone, which will close Sunday, April 19, will host the biennial exhibition Euroluce, dedicated to the world of lighting, and Workplace 3.0, the new incarnation of the SaloneUfficio. There will also be a showcase for young talent: the SaloneSatellite, now in its 18th edition, which brings together 700 young designers under 35 from all over the world and will be dedicated to the theme Life Planet, in line with Expo Milano's.

“We expect a lot from the Salone del Mobile,” said Carlo Molteni, president of the namesake Brianza-based company, which should close 2014 with a consolidated turnover of €255 million. “It is an event we attend every year and that puts us in touch with a wide and international audience. This year, in conjunction with the event, we celebrate the first 80 years of our company with an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GAM). It is a way to tell how simple values together with the spasmodic search for quality have brought us this far.”

With the names of great superstars - from Ron Arad to Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas – the companies have combined a lot of research on the shape and functionality fronts. This bond between shape and functionality will be the protagonist of Euroluce 2015: “As a company, we are coping with the sector from different points of view: on the one hand there are designer lamps, on the other hand there are systems for architecture and professional products. All this is topped by the technological revolution that, in our industry, but not only, is beginning to influence the languages of design,” says Piero Gandini, CEO of Flos, a €160-million-revenue company.

Technology has profoundly changed the DNA of the office and the SaloneUfficio, renamed Workplace 3.0, reflects this evolution. In the Workplace 3.0 space there will be different products ranging from the Dyapason chairs created by Giovanni Baccolini for Aresline - armchairs with essential design and whose side resembles the shape of a tuning fork, to be matched as needed – to the Hook of Newform, a desk designed by Karim Rashid to be customized according to the needs of the user, so that the working environment is as functional and comfortable as possible.