Stefano Boeri

Three questions to Stefano Boeri

Architect Stefano Boeri is curating the supersalone, an extraordinary event of the Salone del Mobile, which will take place in Milan from 5 to 10 September 2021. He explains to us in an interview what his concept is for the dynamic format and why the international furniture fair should also present itself in a more low-threshold way in the future.

Anna Moldenhauer: Mr. Boeri, for the supersalone, you wiped the conventional structure of the trade show off the table and presented a new, sustainable and dynamic concept. What considerations were central for you in the creative process?

Stefano Boeri: We have made the supersalone a special event for many reasons: Firstly, we are still in the shadow of the pandemic, so we do not expect to welcome the same number of international visitors as in previous years. Secondly, we have to take care of the safety of the visitors and the staff. For this reason, we decided not to organise a Salone del Mobile with the classic booths, but to propose a completely different format, a flexible vertical wall on which each company can present its products and brands. Thirdly, we know very well that one focus of clients is to invest sustainably in order to optimise their living or working spaces. Fourthly, the supersalone should be a mixture of the traditional salone, the physical presence of the objects and the possibility to rent and buy any product through a digital sphere, like through a smartphone. Fifth, why we want to combine a commercial with a cultural event this year: At supersalone, we will not only present the products of hundreds of furniture manufacturers from all over the world, but also the best international design schools as well as the results of a decade of designers' work – in the form of an exhibition of the chairs that have won the Compasso d'Oro in previous years. At the entrance to the fairgrounds, we will also set up numerous trees that will be planted after the event, as a sign of respect for sustainability. Every object, every panel, every wall is fully recyclable and will be reused. This is another advantage and novelty that the supersalone adds to the traditional format of the Salone del Mobile.

What reactions have you received so far from manufacturers and designers to your new approach?

Stefano Boeri: We started designing the new format of the supersalone in May and I am very happy with the response we have received so far from the companies, the designers and the design schools. Their strong approaches and the great diversity of their themes will allow us to organise an event that covers more than 50,000 square metres. The exhibition will feature thousands of pieces of furniture and for the first time in the history of the Salone del Mobile it will not only be a B2B but also a B2C event. So I am very happy about the result and very proud of my colleagues, a group of designers and curators who, in my opinion, are currently among the best in their field internationally.

The supersalone will be open to end customers on the very first day. In your opinion, why should a trade fair no longer be restricted in terms of access in the future?

Stefano Boeri: I think that the concept we created for the supersalone can also be a template for the upcoming furniture fair. The presence of the general public as visitors should be a constant for trade fairs. There is no reason to exclude the buyers from the group of trade visitors. That's why we decided on a combination of physical and digital offers that will enable all interested parties at the supersalone to experience the design of the products, to compare the companies and the prices and then to rent or buy.

5. to 10. September 2021
Sunday to Thursday: 10 am - 7 pm
Friday: 10 am - 4 pm

Venue: Milan Fairgrounds, Rho
Entrances: East Gate, South Gate, West Gate

Tickets can only be purchased online.