But the stone sector must present more new ideas to create attentiveness and to promote its material as modern
A total of 373,151 visitors were registered at this, the 55th Salone del Mobile, Milan (12th to 17th April 2016), of which 67% came from abroad. That was an increase of 4% compared to the previous year. Some 2407 exhibitors, 30% of them from foreign countries, were represented on a total surface of 270,000 m² spread over 20 halls.
No wonder then, given the importance of the fair for the Italian economy, that Prime minister Matteo Renzi made a personal appearance and chaired the SaloneSatellite-Prize-session for aspiring designers. This special section of the fair, which stood under the motto new materials, showed works of 650 designers not older than 35 years.
Natural stone was well represented at this, the most comprehensive trade fair for furniture, and could hardly be overlooked. Yet in most cases, it only had a serving function on walls and in flooring to complement a posh over-all impression.
The kitchen section was the exception, where stone stood in the focal point of attention. Luxury countertops were represented by a number of manufacturers – some models are valued at some 10,000€.
Italy’s Antolini was one of the few producers who exhibited unusual types of stone in conspicuous settings and scenery (Design: Alessandro La Spada). Other companies did the same in their own style.
Nevertheless: the stone sector must brush up on its image. For comparison: even the most noble materials like gold or diamonds permanently create attentiveness by coming up with new design ideas. However natural stone often recedes to a boring albeit cultivated background position – interestingly only in presentations outside its own fairs!
Therefore, in another report we will be writing on an action by designer Raffaello Galiotto who had wanted to present the material in the via Tortona in the city center as an innovative and modern material. We also show examples of engineered stone in context.
In yet another report we will present ideas from the FuoriSalone in the city center.
Salone del Mobile 2017, April 27th to 30th
Photos: companies / Peter Becker
(20.05.2016, USA: 05.20.2016)